Quite often when a newspaper or television news outlet reports on a story or issue, more questions are raised than answered.
A good example of this is the recent coverage of the separation agreement between former Trumbull County Children's Services Director Nick Kerosky and the agency. Kerosky is being paid $122,529 from April 17 through the end of the year, which represents biweekly paychecks, 220 hours of vacation time, 576 hours of sick time and health insurance coverage for the rest of 2012 at $2,045 per month. Mr. Kerosky only worked at Trumbull Children's Services for 18 months, transferring from Ashtabula County's agency after working there much longer.
Why would the Trumbull County Children's Services Board agree to assume all of Kerosky's accrued vacation and sick time when he left Ashtabula for Trumbull? (Only 185 of his 576 sick hours were accrued during his Trumbull employment.) Did the Trumbull County board members consider Mr. Kerosky so effective and invaluable they were willing to pay almost any price - in taxpayers' money - to get him? If he was that outstanding as a children's services director, why would Ashtabula agree to let him transfer?
For the sake of argument, let's give the Trumbull County Children's Services Board the benefit of the doubt momentarily and assume it believed Kerosky would be a terrific director. Do board members still feel this way now? Consider: A baby was apparently raped by a depraved young couple inside the Children's Services building, an employee was forced to resign after threatening a local attorney, there's an ongoing lawsuit over public meeting access, and another baby was murdered after a Children's Services placement. Not to mention that in some of these cases, records were not kept as required by law and were then doctored long after the dates in question. Yet, the Trumbull County Children's Services Board chose an ''amicable'' separation with Kerosky rather than simply firing him. Do board members actually think he did a great job leading the agency?
The board was under no obligation to shower Kerosky with this lavish buyout, especially after only 18 months of service. His regular pay rate was $47.48 an hour. A large percentage of Trumbull County residents earn $8 to $12 an hour on their jobs.
Did the board really believe he was worth four times the pay most Trumbull citizens receive? And why did the board agree to pay Kerosky his full salary and benefits for the rest of the year after he ran a chaotic, rudderless ship at Trumbull Children's Services?
On April 17, Tim Shaffner was hired to replace Kerosky, which means Trumbull County taxpayers are paying full wages and benefits to two directors for 9-1/2 months.
To add insult to injury, the board agreed to negotiate with Kerosky for compensation if he's needed to testify at hearings past Dec. 31 related to improprieties that occurred during his tenure as director. Seriously? Shouldn't Mr. Kerosky be required to testify at such legal hearings?
For those who care about whether our government is honest, effective and efficient, there are many questions that cry out for answers.
Dunlap is a Weathersfield resident.