Editorial: Where's the transparency?At the April 3 Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting, a press release was distributed stating longtime county administrator Mel Ruppert was announcing his retirement, effective immediately.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
At the April 3 Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting, a press release was distributed stating longtime county administrator Mel Ruppert was announcing his retirement, effective immediately.
Apparently, that press release was either poorly written — or flat-out wrong. Either way, it can’t be disputed the county board will catch plenty of heat, and deservedly so.
We reported in Saturday’s edition that a document received Friday at this newspaper — which, we might add, took us multiple requests to receive, though its public nature is not without question — includes a third amendment to Ruppert’s employment agreement, effective April 3. According to the amendment, Ruppert has not retired but has taken a new role as advisory county administrator until April 3, 2013. He remains a full-time employee at a salary of $55.33 per hour — that translates to $115,086.40 over the course of a year — and, should he choose to opt out of his contract as many as six months prior to the April 3, 2013, date, he’ll still be paid in full. (That would leave the county on the hook for as much as $57,543.20.)
We have little doubt there were considerable negotiations that took place behind the scenes to formulate the county/Ruppert agreement. While our beef here is not with the agreement itself — though it most certainly could be — we instead take issue with the way the county board wasn’t immediately forthcoming with its terms for the taxpaying public.