• Last modified 313 days ago (Sept. 14, 2023)


Reference checks

To the editor:

As a recent recipient of a gift subscription to the Marion County Record, I eagerly read the Sept. 6 edition from cover to cover.

I hail from a small town in Kansas, and I know the importance of small-town newspapers covering local news to stay viable and relevant.

I finished my reading by thoroughly taking in the classified section.

Any reader of the Sept. 6 edition surely noticed the two large employment advertisements for Marion County, each two columns wide.

One was for a custodian for the Marion County Courthouse complex; the other was for an administrative specialist to work with the Marion County clerk. Both are advertised as full-time positions. Did you read them?

The irony of these two employment advertisements and the front page, above-the-fold article “Poor vetting can mean poor hires” is simply too much.

The custodian advertisement states, “Background check and references required.”

The administrative specialist position includes no such requirements.

To be clear, by all outward appearances the courthouse complex janitor needs to clear more pre-employment hurdles than the City of Marion’s chief of police, Marion County ambulance director and, via the employment posting, the Marion County clerk’s administrative specialist.

Is it a leap or merely a small step to conclude the Marion County clerk position must not require a background check or confirmed references?

A monster leap forward for both the city and the county is simple and clear: background checks and reference checks for all, and every employment advertisement should states that. Every single one.

It would appear the city’s recently passed budget includes money to cover what would be an obvious increase in employment costs.

Do better. The world is watching now.

Janet L. Horner

Last modified Sept. 14, 2023