A cold boot out the door | NevadaAppeal.com

A cold boot out the door

Nevada Appeal editorial board

We’ve done our share of bureaucrat-bashing in this space, and we’ve also come down in favor of Gov. Kenny Guinn’s re-evaluation of jobs and duties within state government.

But we never anticipated the kind of cold boot out the door that Stan Jones got lost week, 10 days before Christmas.

Jones, 76, worked in state government for 29 years. He had been administrator of the Employment Security Division since 1982.

Last Thursday, it was reported, Jones was given two hours to clean out his desk.

There was an attempt to make it look like he was “retiring” voluntarily. And his boss, Carol Jackson, director of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, denied that he was given two hours to clear out.

But that only shows how ineptly his ouster was handled. Reporters who had heard some rumblings had asked Jones just a week earlier if he was planning to retire. He wasn’t.

And when contacted after his firing, Jones admitted he was “completely taken aback.” A good soldier to the end, though, Jones also noted that he worked at the pleasure of the director.

True enough. But Jones is nothing near the symbol of waste or mismanagement that one might look for in a bureaucratic housecleaning.

By most accounts, he showed up early, worked hard and was dedicated to his job. Sheer longevity, working under both Democratic and Republican administrations, should have counted for something when it came to the treatment of Stan Jones.

While longevity may not be enough to keep a job, it’s certainly enough to warrant a dignified departure. Jones deserved that.

We want a state government that operates efficiently and effectively. We don’t need one that’s heartless and ruthless.