The Marconi Layoff


Inasmuch as it’s possible to find optimism in the dynamics of politics and state government I try to do this. The glass is half full and ultimately this is a position about what is right about New Hampshire.

But the recent layoffs and their reasoning, as reported in the media make it difficult for me to find any support for the above statement. The only words I can use to describe the process initiated by Governor Lynch are:

More of the same.

It’s clear that classified state employees bear the brunt of these cuts. And these are the caseworkers, carpenters and secretaries that are the working backbone of state government. These positions get cut, service to the taxpayers is reduced and strained, while the administrative hierarchy remains intact! I think it’s interesting to watch Governor Lynch’s press associate discuss the layoffs and how quickly his focus and mouthpiece shifts to the responsibility of the SEIU through this whole matter. This is very effective Mr. Manning, -- preservation of the well paid hierarchy, directly identifying the blame all while moving the attention away from Governor Lynch.  

The administrative hierarchy remains intact.

The corrections department recently laid off experienced corrections officers and I understand needed caseworkers. The long-term financial savings to New Hampshire hasn’t been explained. The reality at the corrections department I think will speak for itself. Forget the increased overtime, forget the strain on the remaining staff and forget the experience and financial investment that the state has already made to the employees that were laid off. This is significant because in a bureaucratic press release that appears in the Union Leader the corrections department announces that it is appointing a new director who will oversee various functions within the department.

I think similar examples like this exist across state government. When times get tough the policy is cut the rank and file backbone, preserve the administrative hierarchy and move the attention elsewhere. For example I believe a number of directors could be eliminated entirely resulting in substantial cost savings and a state government that would run better. I think one of these positions is Port Director Geno Marconi.

Why does NH need a Port Director?

Facts show that all operational, security and commercial projects in the Port of Portsmouth fall under the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) in Portland, Maine. The NH State Port Authority makes no decisions. The state pier and its rusting piles of scrap reminds me of Cannon Mountain, potential but in the wrong hands with the wrong leadership is merely standing water. Taxpayer financed standing water. I’ll make the same argument about press reports stating the possibility of container and cruise ships visiting Portsmouth.  I think this is similar to what Mr. Manning is doing, preserve the administrative bureaucracy and shift the focus of attention elsewhere.

So in the end this thread has to come back to Governor Lynch. Is the 250 state workers just the starting point? I think it is, more cuts will have to be made. So does Governor Lynch eliminate a few directors, save money and help the state run better.

If this could only be the case.

I’m thinking and the reality is sinking in like a lead brick. I’ll guess my idea about the directors can’t work because these are all classified positions and the Executive Council would likely have to get involved.

Get involved.