Not so fast, Joey!
The Transportation Cabinet's reorganization at the highway district level went into effect today, but how long will the new status quo remain? Secretary Joe Prather better not count on smooth sailing for his unproven reorganization plan.
The new branch manager jobs in each of the dozen district offices will be opened up for competition soon, but there's a good chance that those newly-created vacancies will remain in limbo for several months.
We're hearing that some KYTC employees are considering suing to stop the reorganization from taking effect. We're not sure on what grounds they'll sue, but we do know that a KYTC employees association is having an emergency meeting in Frankfort this week to discuss the matter.
If a suit is filed, the next thing will no doubt be a temporary injunction halting implementation of the new organizational structure and filling the new positions created by it. We anticipate any such lawsuit taking years to litigate to completion. And that doesn't count any Personnel Board actions that may come about when positions are filled and the unsuccessful applicants protest.
In a somewhat related matter, KYTC released its executive highway plan late this afternoon, which is supposed to serve as a substitute for the legislatively-passed Six Year Plan that Gov. Steve Beshear vetoed. We haven't examined the contents of the plan, but it's a moot point. Senate President David Williams has a slam-dunk legal case against the Beshear administration on this matter.
We're also hearing troubling news out of Frankfort that Prather and his merry band of political hacks in KYTC are cancelling projects right and left, many of them which have been planned and promised to Kentuckians for years. Other projects are being scaled back to the point that it doesn't even make any sense to continue with the skeleton of what's left.
One year ago, Kentucky's highway department and budget was in excellent shape. Projects were being planned and let for bid, contracts were being awarded, and new construction was being completed. Two years in a row, the state set records for the amount of construction being done. Do Beshear and Prather want their legacy to be the dismantling of Kentucky's highway construction program and the destruction of the Transportation Cabinet's internal structure? Sure looks that way.
Ernie Fletcher's KYTC, while it did have some problems (and not what the mainstream press regurgitated after being fed by Greg Stumbo), was nothing compared to this cluster-foxtrot.
So, Joey Prather, you might want to slow down before you run what little is left of your reputation.