As a former employee of Hubbard County Social Services for nearly 14 years, I have seen the devastating changes made by the current director, Deb Vizecky. Her lack of communication with employees and community agencies has led to over 25 employees leaving. Some were fired for no reason, or for issues that could have been resolved by additional training or consultation, and some just chose to retire early. But many, including myself, left to take jobs in the private sector at lower rates of pay, just to have a normal work environment and to continue helping those in our communities who need it.

As mentioned in recent news articles, the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners has now hired a second agency, at the expense of taxpayers, to investigate the difficult work environment that has finally become public knowledge, thanks to the media and Teamsters 320. The board stated that they “need more facts” at the meeting held July 2.

Nearly every employee that has left Hubbard County Social Services has either had an in-person exit interview or submitted an exit interview statement in writing. Board members, what more evidence do you need? Please read the statements of former employees. We are honest, hard-working professionals, and we are not making these issues up. They do exist and need to be addressed. The taxpayers of Hubbard County should not have to incur additional expenses for you to handle this situation appropriately.

While having newer employees at a lower pay may help the budget in the short term, it will only cost more overall. Employees with knowledge and experience are better able to do their jobs in a more productive and cost-efficient way, compared to new staff who need training, more supervision and more time to complete the same tasks.

The director has also hindered relationships with many of the local agencies who assist Social Services in providing needed services to our residents, relationships that former Director Daryl Bessler spent years building.

I encourage local agencies who have been negatively affected by these changes to write letters to the editor, to the county board or to call our commissioners, so the residents of Hubbard County can realize the full impact of this dysfunctional administration.