It's good Gov. Ted Strickland wants to expose wasteful state agencies to public pressure, but the governor and his aides should insist on better management of overtime pay to state employees.
Strickland is cracking down - to an extent - on overtime pay. His action comes after an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch revealed that, during Strickland's first year in office, overtime pay increased by a record amount. State employees received $102 million in overtime pay last year - an increase of 16 percent from 2006.
State agencies have been told by the governor to monitor overtime more closely. In addition, they are being required to keep the public informed by posting reports on overtime on a Web site (www.das.ohio.gov). That may prompt some managers to control overtime better.
But, again, Strickland himself is the state's chief "manager."
"We're not going to tell anyone how to manage a business. We don't know how to run a prison or a state mental health agency," commented Ron Sylvester of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
True, but in the private sector, managers of complex businesses may find themselves in the same position. Still, they find ways to insist that their subordinates control overtime. Strickland should do the same with his subordinates in state government.