In an effort to reduce a $1.9 million budget deficit, Park County’s commissioners last month began exploring the option of turning over custodial services to private contractors.

The rumor mill and social media lit up.

Even though the commissioners had stipulated any private company awarded a contract would have to maintain all current county custodial workers for a time, many of the custodians were alarmed by the outsourcing consideration.

We can understand confusion, uncertainty and concern for one’s family at the potential loss of a job.

However in non-government, non-union jobs, uncertainty is often the case.

In non-government jobs, employees can be laid off without notice, retirement plans can be scuttled, there may be a number of years between raises, businesses can be sold or shut down with the loss of jobs.

In the private sector, there are no guarantees. That is a reality.

The stipulation that all current custodial workers be hired should be more than enough.

We agree with commissioner Lloyd Thiel’s assessment. He said, “I work for the people of Park County paying bills. I’m not going to subsidize people. It’s not that I don’t feel for them, it’s just that I don’t care to waste money.”

Facing a severe budget deficit, the county commissioners need to take drastic measures to save money. The taxpayers’ money.

The county now spends $421,477 in custodial wages plus many excellent benefits including a great health insurance plan.

If turning over custodial duties to private business can save money and reduce the deficit, the commissioners need to bite the bullet and do it.

John Malmberg

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