February 12, 2010

Real collaboration needed in any talk of natural resources reform

The Federation’s Natural Resources Policy Committee Chair Scott Mallery told the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Thursday, February 11, that the reform effort in natural resources agencies needs a new kind of collaboration.

The governor this past fall came out with a series of recommendations on streamlining functions in such agencies as Parks and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, Ecology and Natural Resources. That resulted in five bills forwarded to the Legislature, plus two requested budget actions.

“Reform is about getting more efficiency and providing the public better customer services (so) the government, Legislature and agency management should treat state employees with dignity and respect and transparency,” Mallery said.
That includes good pay, benefits and working environment, he said.
Mallery urged lawmakers to trim the growing ranks of management. He said in Ecology alone, reducing the staff-to-management ratio of 6-1 to 10-1 could be used to deploy 90 more Ecology employees to serve the public.

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