January 25, 2012 - I've never been a fan of local governments constantly employing the services of high-priced consultants.
Yes, there are times when it's necessary to get an attorney's opinion or have an engineer provide some sort of technical expertise.
But I draw the line when a governing body wants to hire somebody to basically do its job.
Case in point, the Oxford Area Cable Communications Commission last week debated the idea of hiring a headhunter to help it find a new station manager for Oxford Community Television (see story on Page B-1).
Nothing's been decided yet, but I must say I'm opposed to this idea for a few reasons.
One, I find the concept of possibly paying someone a five-digit sum to help hire someone else repugnant, wasteful and shameful.
If the commission is really eager to spend more than $11,000 on something, I'd rather see that money invested in state-of-the-art equipment, dedicated personnel and quality programming – things that could actually enhance the viewing experience and make the station more relevant to the community.
Secondly, the job of advertising, searching, finding and hiring a new station manager should be the cable commission's responsibility and no one else's.
It really shouldn't be such a complicated matter that it requires hiring an overpaid headhunter. We're looking for someone to manage a public access TV station that covers two townships, not an international space station orbiting the Earth.
Coming up with a list of qualifications and job responsibilities shouldn't be too difficult.
Whatever information the commissioners lack can be ascertained by talking to folks at other TV stations, experts at educational institutions with broadcasting programs and existing OCTV personnel such as Jim Hughes, Bill Service and Dave Kenny.
The great part is none of these options cost a dime.
To me, if the cable commission decides to hire a headhunter, it's choosing to abdicate its responsibility and take the lazy man's route.
It's also telling the public there's no reason for its existence.
A cable commission that doesn't feel it has the knowledge or ability to conduct a proper station manager search on its own certainly doesn't have what it takes to oversee whoever it hires for the position.
I urge the governing boards for Oxford and Addison townships along with the villages of Oxford and Leonard to direct their cable commission representatives to reject the high-priced headhunter option and conduct their own search.
It's not rocket science.
All that's necessary are dedicated people who are willing to invest the time and effort necessary to do the job right and properly serve the community.
Isn't that why we elect and appoint people to these types of boards?
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.