Who would want Sheriff Dan Kimball’s job?
Thurston County Sheriff Dan Kimball has let it be known that he will not seek re-election when his term of office expires in 2010. Kimball said his decision was for personal reasons citing the death of his brother and the need to take care of his mother.
But, you can bet his decision not to seek re-election also had something to do with his frustrations with the office, his conflict with the Thurston County Commissioners and the economic conditions of the county.
Who would want to continue to work in a job where you had to lay off people you’ve worked with for years? Who would want to continue in a job where the county commissioners say you work for them, when you thought you worked for the people? Who would want to continue in a job where “your bosses” told you how to run your office, how to spend your money and tell you how to do your job?
And, who would want to continue in a job where the decisions you make are not only second-guessed, but subjects of a lawsuit?
And, who would want to work in a job where you had to defend your public policy against a lawsuit with money from your own pocket, where you had to defend yourself against your so-called “bosses” and nobody seemed to give a damn?
That’s the situation Kimball faces.
Kimball’s conflict with the county commissioners was over funding and staffing. The commissioners ordered Kimball to cut his administrative staff but Kimball refused. Even though he had campaigned for the job in 2006 on a platform of down-sizing management and adding more deputies, Kimball refused to cut his administrative staff.
Kimball managed to keep most of his deputies employed by the use of grant monies and one-time funding. Which means he’ll have to find additional grant money next year to avoid the cuts he doesn’t want to make.
All of that, and the fact that he followed a very public and well-liked sheriff in Gary Edwards, and Kimball has been reluctant to follow the public relations profile of his predecessor and has kept a lower profile – - until his recent clash with the county commissioners, that is.
So, with lawsuits hanging over his head, with the need to make major cuts in staffing next year, with a good retirement nest egg from his four years as the county’s top law enforcement official, it just makes sense that Kimball would step down.
Who would want a job that was no fun anymore?
And, when a job isn’t any fun, then maybe it is time to go.