MEET COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHERYL MUSGRAVE

first_imgCheryl Musgrave’s years of service in state and local government have made her a leading voice on Indiana government reform and a capable, recognized administrator and reformer. Over two decades, she has worked to serve taxpayers by cutting public waste, modernizing outdated processes, and building necessary projects. Her executive skills have been tested by crisis and proven by her record of delivering effective change. Always fiercely independent and devoted to the public interest, she has compiled a record of sensible and innovative changes that have resonated across the state. Local Reformer Voters first elected Musgrave to the office of Vanderburgh County Assessor in 1994.During her ten years in that office, she made one of the most backward parts of county government into one of the most forward-looking. She launched the first website in Indiana that made property assessments and sales information freely available. In October 1998, The Hoosier Farmer, a publication of the Indiana Farm Bureau, highlighted the site, saying, “This voluntary public disclosure by Mrs. Musgrave herself is certainly a welcome way to assure the public that she is confident that the work of her office is fair and uniform.” She also coordinated three levels of government to convert the county’s paper maps to a digital format, a Geographic Information System (GIS). Completed in only four years, the digital mapping system has saved countless taxpayer dollars through time savings and enabled governments and citizens to use their resources more effectively.Purposeful Executive Musgrave served as Vanderburgh County Commissioner from 2005 to mid-2007. In that office, she initiated the single largest set of road building projects in the county’s history, including expanding University Parkway, Green River Road, the Baseline Road railroad bridge, and Cross Pointe Boulevard. She also created new bike trails on county roads, initiated the construction of the now-beloved USI-Burdette Trail, and expanded and renovated Burdette Park. Following the fatal tornado of November 6, 2005, she developed an innovative approach to the problem of debris removal, clearing the debris from public and private property in less than three weeks and helping families to heal after the disaster.PAID FOR AND AUTHORIZED BY FRIENDS OF MUSGRAVE Statewide Advocate for Change After more than a decade of experience in Vanderburgh County government, in 2007 Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Musgrave as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) during the property tax crisis. Throughout the state, public outcry—and protests—showed voters demanded immediate relief from soaring property tax bills. Governor Daniels needed skilled leadership to see the crisis through and recognized that Musgrave’s unique combination of skills and vision meant she could rise to the challenge. Musgrave immediately set to work reforming the state’s antiquated property tax structure. She streamlined the DLGF’s staff, modernized its information technology, and lobbied for major legislative changes. Her efforts helped realize a historic property tax reform that saved Vanderburgh County homeowners an average of 38 percent on their property tax bills.She cut the cost of school construction by millions of dollars statewide by only approving projects that kept per square foot costs at or below the national average. Even more important, Musgrave led in efforts to improve government in Indiana for generations to come. Before 2008, a whopping 1,001 township officials oversaw property tax assessments, leading to unfair and potentially corrupt assessments. Musgrave championed efforts in the legislature to eliminate the office of township assessor in the smallest townships and to propose a statewide series of referenda on whether to retain the office in larger townships. Her efforts contributed to the elimination of all but a dozen or so township assessing officials.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Let’s take training to task

first_imgSeveral readers have commented that they have little or no faith in NVQs. Others say they wouldn’t ask if a candidate for a job had one. In fact, I have not yet found anyone to sing their praises.Colleges, as well as industry, have had the joy of trying to make the bakery NVQ work. No-one from the education system was involved in the setting up of the NVQ for bakery. In fact, as far as I can tell, college representation was removed from the consultation process.NVQs were sold to us as a way of ensuring the trainee got a thorough and complete training and education. Like the Child Support Agency (CSA), NVQs had lots of forms, plenty of spin and didn’t deliver the goods, and like the newly rebadged CSA, you can have more of the same. Now there’s an idea – we could name and shame the bakery companies that don’t deliver training (I don’t think!).The paperwork attached to NVQs was intended to improve the quality of delivery, but diverts many from training and bogs down those who do it. As for the trainees, they become educational bonsai trees; they are pulled up out of the educational loom to check on the length of their roots every week and measure their progress.So what can you in industry do? Well first, you should ask yourselves a few honest questions. Would you halt training if you had a staffing shortage in order to fulfil an urgent production order? Would you use trainees to cover for maternity leave, holidays and so on? Would you, in the case of a major downturn in profits, cut any of the following: directors’ cars, entertainment or NPD?I have worked in industry for over 30 years and I know the answer: training never gets priority when the chips are down.That is why it is best to let a neutral party deal with training to prevent it being hijacked by financial considerations.The craft baking industry has a long and honourable history and, thus far, has managed to avoid total de-skilling. Yet the loss of skilled craftsmen and women from the trade is taking place because, like me, they are coming up to retirement age.my recommendations1. NVQs in industry should only be delivered by qualified persons.2. Trainees should have a guaranteed contract, with penalties served on the trainer if they fail to deliver training and achieve the number of qualifications; 8/10 trainees should gain the qualification (colleges already have this).3. Industry trainers must hold a level higher of the qualification than they are training/assessing.4. There should be a firm, established linked training programme for bakers, confectioners and pastry chefs who train at basic levels locally, intermediate levels at appointed centres, and advanced levels in every region.5. Funding needs to be via a material tax – flour or yeast for the bread and fermented sectors and a tax on fat/oils or sugar for the confectionery and patisserie sectors.6. Funding for training should be returned to companies that meet the training requirements or used to support trainees in colleges.7. Funding should be available to top up trainees’ wages, like the Educational Allowance Maintenance system paid out to young people in schools and colleges to encourage education and training.8. Trainees should be contracted to work for the industry for a minimum of five years and receive a pay increase annually, as well as a review.9. Employers and trainees should pay a bond to guarantee both parties in the training contract.10. In the event of a failed business or training organisation, a ’get you trained’ plan should take place over a trainee’s education.11. Young people should have career path options.Industry must take charge of its own standards, training and education – not the government. The government runs the prisons, CSA, immigration and came up with NVQs, none of which are “fit for purpose”. If you don’t get involved to improve the current state of affairs, you had better brush up your foreign languages. nlast_img read more