Careful with that axe, Joey!
Shortly after being named as the incoming Transportation secretary, Democrat political hack Joe Prather said he planned to take a look at every position in the cabinet and see if it was needed, and then look at every person in those positions to see if they were the right employees for the jobs.
Correct us if we're wrong (and we know we aren't), but wasn't cutting unnecessary positions the same rationale former Gov. John Y. Brown used when his administration treated the merit system like a cat treats a litter box and got rid of quite a few protected employees?
Those employees, of course, got their jobs back with back pay when they appealed their firings, costing the state a boatload of money. And need we remind you who was the attorney general at the time who sat idly by and did nothing while the Brown administration played fast and loose with the civil service laws? Here's a hint, he's from Dawson Springs and he's getting ready to take a new job on Dec. 11.
Since the hiring investigation was Ernie Fletcher's downfall in his re-election campaign, and since Transportation was ground zero for that investigation, one would think Beshear, Prather and others would show a little prudence. But if they go in and start canning merit system employees in the name of personnel reductions, they'll be in for a fight.
The Fletcher administration eliminated more than 1,000 jobs in Transportation through attrition, without firing anyone improperly. Due to changing retirement benefit factors, a large exodus of employees is expected next year with massive retirements. This will give Prather and the Beshear administration the opportunity to get rid of jobs and personnel without letting anyone go involuntarily.
Unless, of course, all the platitudes Beshear and company are spouting about their respect for the merit system is just all talk, and they really plan to revert to the Democrat norm of years gone by. And we have reason to believe they do. More on that later...