WARREN – Trumbull County Commissioners spent time on Wednesday discussing accusations of lying and manipulation and questions of “Fitness for duty”.
The exchanges were rooted in a discussion of whether every open county position should be advertised. Commissioner Niki Frenchko argued that they should do it, even though the Commissioners are pretty sure who they want to hire. Commissioners Frank Fuda and Mauro Cantalamessa said that in some cases advertising is unnecessary.
Frenchko made the accusation that a document was “falsified” in a past hiring, that “Secret meetings” have taken place where management staff discuss how to fill positions and some workers are in positions that have never been advertised and do not have a formal job description.
She proposed a standard policy used whenever a position is opened, making a motion for the human resources department to develop the policy within 30 days, as well as a policy stating that each position has a description and method of reporting. accounting for time worked and clarification for the non-union hiring process. The motion failed.
When Cantalamessa said he didn’t like “General policies” because in some situations alternatives are more appropriate, Frenchko said he doesn’t like politics because “You cannot manipulate a policy”.
“We have the power to proceed with these hires”, he has answered.
Frenchko said the hiring policies implemented in the Sanitary Engineering Department and the Employment and Family Services Department have been successful and make it a blind process based on qualifications.
Fuda said the policies need to be adjusted as some departments need a faster turnaround time. He said Frenchko doesn’t “Understand the county”.
“You don’t want to learn before you make the statements you want to make. You want to make changes and rules… you don’t know enough ”, he said.
Frenchko said she was elected to make changes and the public expects to see “You are working with me to make some of these changes happen. “
Cantalamessa said Frenchko’s proposals were not genuine, but made so she could beat her “chest and say ‘look at the changes I’ve made'” without actually improving the county.
Cantalamessa said Frenchko should work with the human resources department to develop the policies she wants to see.
Frenchko said HR should take care of it.
“That’s why I’m angry with you two, because every time I suggest doing something and a staff member is responsible for doing it, you put it on me.” she said.
The policies should already be in place, she said. And employees don’t respond to her when she asks them to do something.
“There is a reason for that, Ms. Frenchko, there is a reason for that. You reprimand and intimidate people ”, Cantalamessa said.
Fuda said it was time for the commissioners to start working together, instead of disrespecting them.
“It’s time for commissioners to stop leading from afar and saying ‘do this, do that, this policy, this policy.’ Put your hands in your skin, come in here, work with people, build consensus ”, Cantalamessa said.
” I tried “ she said.
Fuda said the staff obeyed her until they stopped letting her dominate their time, and now she attacks them.
– That’s the truth, Mrs Frenchko. I do not lie”, said Fuda.
“Yes you do, your mouth is moving” she said.
Frenchko said she was trying to save the county money by coming up with things like a capital improvement plan. She said she got yelled at and her ideas were “insulting” to other county officials.
“I get yelled at like it’s some sort of insult because I’m supposed to learn how things were done forever” Frenchko said.
She said Cantalamessa told her that one of her ideas was insulting to the county auditor.
“I think we need a work aptitude test, honestly, because you’re making up conversations now. Honest before God. You invent conversations. Look at me. You invent conversations. I never told you that. I know you want to play the victim, but you’re not the victim. Cantalamessa said.
Frenchko said she was not elected to do things the way they always have been.
“You were not elected to fire everyone and attack the workers …” said Fuda.
“And having eight complaints and having the county in turmoil; were you elected for this? Cantalamessa said.
Frenchko said the meeting was no longer focused on county business and that other commissioners did not treat her as an equal or with respect.
Fuda and Cantalamessa said she failed to treat people with respect by insulting them and staff members on social media and other forums.
“You have to learn something about respect, honestly you do it, you really do it” Cantalamessa said.
Frenchko said what she posts online after work is not a county affair.
“No, this is where you are wrong, you are still a commissioner after work” Cantalamessa said.