SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Where are your taxes going?
By Jean Griffin


May 24, 2010

Taxpayers, where are your dollars going?

As everyone knows, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District has a problem with their School Lunch Program. On March 10, 2010, Joe Griffin was hired as the School Lunch Program Manager.

Joe has 45 years of experience in the Food Industry. He retired from the US Coast Guard with 20 years as a Cook. After retiring, here in Ketchikan, he worked as Project Manager for 17 1/2 years under different contractors for the Base Galley. Thereafter, he has held positions including the Ketchikan Pioneer Home and the Narrows Restaurant for 3 1/2 years. His involvement with all these organizations has necessitated his acquiring a working knowledge of Federal and State Guidelines for the Preparation and Serving of Food to the Public. Wouldn't you say he is qualified for the School Lunch Program?

After assuming the position, he has established a HACCP Program, SOPs, Temperature Controls, Logs, and added some new items to the menu. He was in the process of completing a 6-week cycle menu, addressing the issue of required nutrimental labels and correcting other deficits that will come under scrutiny in the up-coming Fall Audit.

On May 4th, he attended a Training Seminar in Anchorage on Child Nutriention in the School Lunch Program. On May 14th, he had an employee evaluation with Mr. Mathew Groves, Business Manager (1 year with the School District) for the Ketchikan Gateway School District. At this evaluation, Mr. Groves told him he had a personnel problem that needed some work. Two working days later, Mr. Groves told him he was on administrative leave and was to be terminated on May 21, 2010. There was no mention of mediation.

My question to the taxpayers is where in the real world would a business or organization not at least attempt mediation to protect their investment of training expenses in lieu of losing a qualified employee? Where else would that organization allow $18.00 an hour employees, who are in negotiations for a new contract, hold them hostage at the end of a school year and force a valuable new employee out just because one senior employee had not gotten the job when she had applied for it? Maybe she didn't get it because she wasn't qualified and resistant to change.

I think it is about time the taxpayers do some evaluating of their own?

But Joe would like to thank the Taxpayers for adding more knowledge to his qualifications.

Jean Griffin
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I have lived in Ketchikan for 32 years. Married to Joe for 45 years. Have 2 Grandchildren in school here. Have worked for E. C. Phillips for 30 years. And I am Quality Control at Phillips. I am HACCP and Serve Safe qualified."

Received May 24, 2010 - Published May 24, 2010


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Ketchikan, Alaska