It won't be politics, personal or public, that leads to the changing of 30 or so state government bosses, but whether they've done a good job and followed the policies of Gov. Norm Bangerter.
By the end of next week the governor will have announced changes within his administration, newly installed chief of staff Bud Scruggs said Tuesday. "Our transition team has reported to the governor. He's reviewing their suggestions, and we should have something to say this week or next."The governor appoints about 300 people throughout state government, from department directors, to agency and division directors, to his own staff. He asked for the resignations of all such appointees several weeks ago following his re-election Nov. 8.
Most of the appointees, of course, will stay.
"I guess maybe 30 people will be asked to move. Maybe 10 percent of the total," said Scruggs.
Some of the changes will be controversial. Others will probably go almost without comment, Scruggs believes.
"The governor, really, doesn't have a malicious bone in his body. There is absolutely no revenge at all, none, in any of these decisions. He understands better than anyone that it was a very dark time for a long time," Scruggs said, referring to Bangerter's difficult re-election this past year.
"A lot of appointees who worried about getting a job in the private sector might have goofed around a little (during the election)." In short, they may have supported Democrat Ted Wilson who, when he led Bangerter by 30 points in the polls, was considered by many a shoo-in for the governor's post.
Said Scruggs: "There are two kinds of disloyalty. Political disloyalty, and the governor forgives that completely. I don't even know if he cares about it. The other is policy disloyalty; refusing, over time, to implement his orders. That won't be tolerated. Period. No one will be replaced for the first (political disloyalty). Some will be replaced for the latter (policy disloyalty)."
Bangerter hopes to find jobs, if he can, within government for all the people he wants removed from their current positions. "Some have worked for the state for 15-20 years. We hope they will drop down in their departments or divisions and stay with us."
The governor set up an 11-member transition team, with people outside government interviewing the department and division heads and the public on whether changes should be made.
"I was shocked, I must say, to learn that none of the constituent groups - not Social Service providers, not trucking groups, not mining groups - none, wanted the people who regulate them replaced. The groups didn't even have any what I would call constructive criticisms about the people who regulate them. If you think about that, it's kind of scary - that they are totally satisfied with government."
Bangerter considers three reasons in replacing someone, Scruggs said.
Foremost, is the person doing a poor job? "In our discussions with the transition team none of the department directors fell in that category; we believe all are doing a good job," Scruggs said.
Second, sometimes change is needed to shake up a department or agency and get the employees thinking in new ways and working with renewed enthusiasm. "Four or five changes may be made for that reason."
Finally, a change gives another person, equally or better qualified, an opportunity to serve. "It is really unfair that Billy Martin has been the manager of the New York Yankees five times and I've never had a chance at it," Scruggs joked.
He admits that in some cases, political debts owed by Bangerter will be paid by promoting or hiring a qualified person to run a state department or agency.
But don't look for much of that. "I can say that some Republicans will be angry with us because we don't replace someone who wasn't politically loyal to us - but who is doing a great job - with someone who was politically loyal but who isn't right for the position."