The Watertown Public Opinion is weighing in quite harshly on the pay raises Johnson gave out to his staff.
The only person who threatened to leave the office, however, was the recipient of the 20 percent raise which went to Johnson’s deputy, Justin Ohleen, whose annual salary currently is listed at $60,000. If Ohleen was so unhappy with making $60,000 a year, then why not let him leave and find another $60,000-per-year job? Apparently if he was willing to leave, there must have been one or more available to him.
What makes Johnson’s decision so bad is he violated the governor’s directive twice – once under Rounds and again under Daugaard. Plus, the lands commissioner oversees leasing of state lands for agriculture, mineral and oil and gas production purposes. Revenue from that is distributed to schools, universities and other state institutions. The money he gave his staff in raises should have gone to those programs and benefited the many instead of the few.
We realize we’re not talking about a significant amount of money. The point, however, is Johnson ignored a governor once and then, after promising not to do it again, did it again. What kind of leadership is that? Remember that the next time Johnson runs for office – if he does.
UPDATE: The Mitchell Daily Republic is now giving their opinion on the School and Public Lands controversy.
It appears that Jarrod Johnson is loose with the public?s money, and that?s frustrating to members of the state Legislature.
It?s also frustrating to us, after reading the account of how Johnson doled out raises to members of his staff after vowing to legislative leaders that he wouldn?t.