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Archive for Friday, August 10, 2012

Statehouse Live: KDOT announces plan to cut 40 positions

August 10, 2012

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— The Kansas Department of Transportation on Friday announced that it intends to lay off 40 employees at its headquarters office.

Transportation Secretary Mike King issued the following statement: “Like all state agencies, KDOT is committed to serving Kansans in the most effective and efficient manner possible. This restructuring of headquarters will allow the agency to be fiscally responsible while continuing to focus on its core responsibility of providing a statewide transportation system that meets the needs of Kansas now and in the future."

He said no additional layoffs are planned at this time, but that the agency would continue to look for cost savings and implement those.

KDOT's plan has been submitted to the Kansas Department of Administration. Once the plan is reviewed and approved, it will then be implemented, according to a news release from KDOT.

The reorganization will affect fewer than 5 percent of KDOT headquarters staff, the agency said.

Secretary King was appointed to the position in March by Gov. Sam Brownback.

King is the owner of King Enterprise Group, a McPherson construction company. When he was appointed to lead KDOT, King said his company wasn't involved in any state highway projects, and that he was putting his interests in a blind trust.

King replaced Barb Rankin, formerly KDOT's chief counsel, who became acting secretary in December following the resignation of Deb Miller. Miller stepped down after nearly nine years as secretary to take a private-sector job.

Comments

blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

Maybe don't need them anymore since it appears that the SL/ Baker Wetlands issue is on it's way to being resolved. Eureka, thank God, hallelujah, bout time!!

blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

Maybe don't need them anymore since it appears that the SLT/ Baker Wetlands issue is on it's way to being resolved. Eureka, thank God, hallelujah, bout time!!

George_Braziller 2 years, 4 months ago

I realize that the article says "fewer than 5 percent" but even if 40 was five percent that works out to 800 employees. In one department? How is that even possible?

snoops 2 years, 4 months ago

I think it means there are 800 employees who work at KDOT headquarters. Not just in one department. In all the departments at KDOT headquarters.

George_Braziller 2 years, 4 months ago

The article says "at the headquarters office."

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

KDOT has a $1 billion annual budget. KDOT employs hundreds of engineers to design road and bridge projects from Topeka. People, there is no more bloat in government. There are some people in any organization whether public or private that don't pull their weight. That is just a fact about humans and organizations. But, there is no bloat. We've been cutting jobs at KDOT and other agencies for decades.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

Another stupid comment. Brownback is cutting jobs to support his next bid for the white house in 4 years since Romney will lose his bid to Obama. These job cuts will result in more work being outsourced to private consulting firms who pay their employees more money and bill more for overhead and bill for profit. This downsizing will cost taxpayers more in the short run and the long run. Oh yea and the quality of work will be lower too. That doesn't sound like good business sense to me.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

You can't measure bloat solely by looking at the number of employees. Kansas has 10,000 miles of state highways. So does Florida. Florida DOT has about 7000 employees. KDOT has 2700 total including those at construction offices around KS. So no bloat there. You're just wrong kr.

Jennifer Alexander 2 years, 4 months ago

Yay! Cut the fat...people are still LOSING THEIR JOBS!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure that wherever it is that you work these days (even if you're self-employed) you're expendable. You should lose your job in the name of the Great God Efficiency.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope you like waiting in like to get your drivers license. I hope you don't mind potholes on highways. I hope your kids are out of school "cuz thar wont be anymore fansy book larnin". There isn't fat in KS state government. Anyone who "believes" there is at this point doesn't know what they are talking about. You should go "pray" about it. God will reveal the truth to you.

socnick 2 years, 4 months ago

Sageon - do you actually work or are you sitting at home on government aid? If you actually do have a job, judging by the amount of time you spend on here it seems as though your employer should look into trimming some wasteful fat.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 4 months ago

This is where some of you miss the nuance to the Obama SuperPAC ad linking Romney to the closing of the KC steel plant. It's not that Romney caused this woman's cancer or even caused her to die - it's that anytime a business is closed or their are layoffs, there are consequences to the individual. The point is that Romney doesn't care about the individual. These are 40 people losing their jobs. From their stand point they were necessary workers and their paychecks were surely necessary to them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

"Yes we empathize with the workers and their family,"

I'd like to say that's a joke, but I doubt that your sense of humor is any better developed than your capacity for empathy. So I'll just call it a lie.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

Sageon, the US is not a pure capitalist state. Do you even know what socialism is? The US is a socialist state. We have PUBLIC education. We have PUBLICLY funded Medicare and Social Security. We have PUBLIC subsidies for agriculture. We have massive PUBLIC giveaways to big business. You are living in a dream world. Did you earn your high school diploma or did you drop out in 8th grade? You don't know what you are talking about.

deec 2 years, 4 months ago

Odds are they'll be replaced with a few cronies at quadruple the salaries, or the work will be contracted out to a private contractor buddy at inflated rates.

question4u 2 years, 4 months ago

KDOT can't sacrifice safety, so the effects are most likely going to involve delays: longer planning periods, longer construction periods, longer waiting periods. Supporters of Brownback will of course grin and bear it without complaint, since to do otherwise would be infantile and hypocritical. Even children understand that you get what you pay for. No one, not even in Kansas, can be naive enough to believe that you can lay off 40 people with no adverse effects. Since that's the Brownback way of fixing things, we can now sit back at let cheerleaders like SageonPage entertain us as they throw glitter, wave their pom-poms and tell us that every agency that Brownback's administration cuts will be much better.

It's definitely a tragedy for those workers that Brownback's agenda will leave unemployed, but at least the rest of KDOT workers can be cheered by the knowledge that no Brownback supporter who knows nothing about the agency will be able to say a word against it again without impugning him or herself. It's Brownback's KDOT now and it can do no wrong – even if it gets things done at only half the speed.

verity 2 years, 4 months ago

Can't sacrfice safety? I agree with everything you said except that. I don't see how this won't sacrifice safety.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

I am constantly surprised by how ignorant people are about THEIR government. The radical right is FOS. Anyone who believes that government is bloated is FOS too.

james bush 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope that the cuts comprise political hacks that Sebelius installed during the time she was fouling up Kansas from our statehouse. Too bad she's screwing things up from Obama HHS now though.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 4 months ago

Jimin is talkin reel dum. Sebelius appointed qualified professionals. Brownback hired hacks some of whom even made up degrees. Why go to college when the bible helps you run a faith based highway program

1983Hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Nice to see so many pliant tools on here celebrating the loss of 40 jobs and a very stressful time for 40 families. I guess when they are spoon fed the right-wing dogma in their church pews these days, the part about Christian charity must be nuanced such that the concept need not be applicable to the subhumans affiliated with the evil public sector.

dogsandcats 2 years, 4 months ago

And then two articles down from this one is the one about Brownback's upcoming speech about economic growth...

Steve Jacob 2 years, 4 months ago

Even if you support cutting government spending, we all have friends and family working with the state, and everyone of those jobs could be in jeopardy under Brownback.

anotherview 2 years, 4 months ago

In the article it says "King said his company wasn't involved in any state highway projects". I noticed that the equipment and trucks working south of Lawrence on US 59 say "King Construction". Is this Mike King Constuction or is it another King?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

Under Republican ethics (oxymoron, I know) his company is likely a subcontractor to some other construction company, which in his view means he can say he doesn't have any state highway construction contracts.

Plains78 2 years, 4 months ago

King's Construction on HWY 59 is from Oskaloosa.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

Typical RINO economics which is likely about to turn over KDOT operations to some political campaign money source who has been frothing at the mouth over those trillions of tax dollars flowing into their bank accounts.

Thus tax dollars will then be wasted on CEO pay packages,shareholders,golden parachutes and last but not least radical right wing political campaigns. This is not reducing tax dollar spending.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"Secretary King was appointed to the position in March by Gov. Sam Brownback.

King is the owner of King Enterprise Group, a McPherson construction company. When he was appointed to lead KDOT, King said his company wasn't involved in any state highway projects, and that he was putting his interests in a blind trust."

Bringing Washington D.C. conflict of interest politics home to Kansas.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 4 months ago

I'll bet that one reason these people are being downsized is because they never should have been hired in the first place. Governmental and Public Sector employees generally have job descriptions. If you job is to empty the trash can once a day, then that is your job. If you do anything else then you are taking a job from someone else. When the workload exceeds what the current staff can do, then additional staff is justified and hired after a lengthy process. When the workload drops off, out of compassion, these positions are usually not eliminated. I'll bet the problem is the beast has gotten to big for the budget and hard decisions have to be made.

There is only so much money, and these jobs could be saved if we did not cater so much to the entitlement sector of society.

This has to stop and stop now. We need to live within our means and play from ahead. Everyone knows how hard it is to catch up a credit card when almost half of your payment goes to interest. Imagine how much more we could have if started playing from ahead.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

Or, you could be just talking out of your backside about something you know nothing about.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 4 months ago

Couldn't be doing that Bozo... would be taking a page from your play book.

sciencegeek 2 years, 4 months ago

I wonder how many of the jobs it took to pay for the new chandelier in the Capitol?

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