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The wheel of death

Lowe

Pam Lowe

We’ve not followed the administration of the Idaho Transportation Department closely enough to know first-hand how well its just-departed director, Pam Lowe, managed the place. We do know that the Board of Transportation, to which she reported, gave her only positive reviews in her performance evaluations. Up until the latest evaluation; work on that one was interrupted by her firing, which was done for reasons not made public.

While we may not have the information we need to evaluate Lowe’s performance, we do have enough to evaluate the board’s: Either the performance evaluations or the firing, or maybe both, must have been badly flawed.

One indicator at least points to the firing being the problem, with some blame to go around to the legislators. In the Spokesman-Review Betsy Russell blog is this from state Senator (and long-time ITB member and for many years chair) Chuck Winder, from an interview this spring: “They [transportation directors] are a lightning rod. They’ve [legislators] whipped up on the last two or three . . . Some of ‘em are valid, some of ‘em are political, and some are just ways to try not to address the funding for ITD.”

Oh, well. Time to launch another six-figure nationwide search for a new scapegoat – ah, director – to toss into the pit . . .

A suggestion. There’s good reason for keeping a lid on personnel evaluations of most public employees. But those of chief executives of agencies should be open and public.

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