Letters – Reader questions bonding decision

To the Editor:

Why is Larry Roberson, our county auditor, seemingly questioning the bonding of our newly appointed county administrator? Mr. Roberson stated on tx4LOLA@yahoogroups.com  (an on-line discussion group) that having Mr. Heggemeier bonded would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money. Many should question his statement.

Being bonded is an insurance policy against employee malfeasance. As a taxpayer in Caldwell County, I feel there are three strong reasons for Mr. Heggemeier to be bonded.  1.) Our “elected” Caldwell County Administrator (Judge Bonn) is required to be bonded, as are all of our commissioners.  As we now have a second (albeit “appointed’) County Administrator, he also should be bonded. 2.) As Judge Bonn has taken the payroll duty away from our “elected” (bonded) County Treasurer and has given this duty to the Human Resource Department and has put Ronald Heggemeier in charge of this department, he should be bonded. 3.) In the newspaper, it was stated that Judge Bonn and Ronald Heggemeier co-created our 2011-2012 budget.  A later newspaper article, written by Judge Bonn, stated that Heggemeier will continue to assist in the crafting of future budgets.  As people who are (or should be) involved in the budget creating process are required by law to be bonded, it stands to reason that Mr. Heggemeier should be required to be bonded as well.

In addition to the reasons noted above, it is fair to note that Mr. Heggemeier has moved around quite a bit due to numerous career changes, is currently not a resident of, nor has any family members residing in, Caldwell County. Judge Bonn has noted recently to the volunteer fire department that an additional $5.9 million has been found; thus allowing the county to afford the new radios and the additional county government departments (with their accompanying high-paying employee salaries). Why then, the opposition to the mere cost of bonding Mr. Heggemeier?

This reluctance only tends to make one speculate, “Is there a potential ‘bonding problem’ with Judge Bonn’s new appointee?” If so, is this why the bonding process is being avoided, for if Mr. Heggemeier should fail to meet the bonding requirements, one could then ask, “Should an unbondable Mr. Heggemeier continue to be employed?”

Judge Bonn can easily put this (undue?) speculation to rest. He need only request the bonding of his “appointed” county administrator, to whom he has also appointed to oversee payroll. I sincerely doubt the many taxpayers of Caldwell County will view this as an unreasonable request.  Conversely, many will view this as the responsible action we expect from our “elected” county administrator.

Dianne Tillman

Dale

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