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Proviso Probe

Monday, January 21, 2008

who is responsible for the Recorder of Deeds office being full of "knuckleheads"?

Congratulations to Ed Smith on receiving the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune for Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Smith is running in the Dem primary, but the Republicans have not identified a candidate and have no realistic chance of winning even if they did have a candidate.

Someone called me Sunday morning crowing that the Trib called the employees in the Recorder's office “knuckleheads”. But the Trib didn't call the employees “knuckleheads”, it quoted Deputy Recorder Darlena Williams-Burnett calling her subordinates “knuckleheads”.

In the Navy officers didn't get much choice what enlisted personnel they had working for them. An officer got the sailors s/he got. It was considered the mark of a weak officer to blame one's subordinates for generally poor performance. A specific screw-up could be blamed on the person who screwed-up, but there were still questions about training and supervision.

The quote makes Williams-Burnett sound like she's blaming her subordinates for the inadequacies of the office. From what I've been told, under Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore and Williams-Burnett the Recorder's office has used underhanded methods to try to push senior employees out the door to make room for more patronage employees who will work campaigns.

So, if Williams-Burnett has problems with her subordinates she should probably consider if she and her boss are doing things that would cause competent people to undermine the office in a passive-aggressive way. She should probably consider the possibility she could be a more effective supervisor.

And the thing that really offends me about Williams-Burnett whining about her employees is that she and her boss get to pick their employees. If they have an office full of ne'er-do-wells who can barely function in society, it's because they hired them. Moore has been the Recorder since January, 1999. Those “knuckleheads” are the people hired on this watch.

For people who have strong partisan biases toward Ed Smith, remember the Trib endorsement isn't something to be particularly proud of. Remember, the Trib endorsed Chris Welch over Karen Yarbrough for state rep. And the Trib endorsed candidate got 11% (IIRC) in the last GOP primary for governor. If the Republican Trib isn't swinging Republican votes, I doubt it's swinging many Democratic votes.

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