October 29, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: Oct. 29, 2012


---- — CHEERS to New York state for an effort to reform its appointment process. Last week, the New York State Center for Recruitment and Public Service was created. It’s a new enterprise within the Office of General Services that will replace the Governor’s Appointments Office. “Attracting the best and brightest to join public service in New York has always been a challenge,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in making the announcement. “The old appointments process was disjointed and politicized, and it lacked access to the tools used by today’s recruitment professionals.” He said the new center will “apply the strategies of the private sector to the hiring process so that we can find the most qualified individuals to serve the people of our state.” The state is putting out requests for proposals to find an executive search firm whose mission it will be to attract qualified candidates to state government. The company will also work with the Office of General Services to help the state build its own recruiting operation. The idea is to “better match skills with available positions and candidates, reform the background-check process for candidates, establish and track benchmarks for success and strengthen the state’s competitive position in the ‘talent marketplace’ by maximizing social-media opportunities.” The company chosen for this contract will help the Center for Recruitment and Public Service build a New York State Recruitment Portal, which will be an online, interactive website for interested candidates to explore and apply to positions. The center will oversee hiring and placement for about 5,000 unpaid positions and 2,000 staff positions that were previously made by appointments. It is always a good idea to introduce clear standards into hiring procedures so any hint of bias, nepotism or conflict of interest is eliminated.

JEERS to property owners who let their lots fall into shameful disrepair. If you travel many of the back roads of the North Country, sooner or later you’ll pass buildings that should have been @Editorial Drop Cap:shored up — or torn down — long ago. A number of them, for example, teeter by the side of Route 9N on either side of AuSable Forks, from the Northway to Jay. Some buildings are abandoned and do nothing but denigrate the countryside. We’re all for the sanctity of an individual’s decisions over what a person chooses to do with his or her own belongings, but what about the loss of respect for an entire neighborhood? In some cases, a coat of paint would do wonders to restore a modicum of character, though, in others, nothing short of removal would serve the purpose. Money is scarce, we realize, but help may be available. It may be time for local government to step in and see what can be done to remedy these insults to their communities.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at