Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 15, 2013

Longtime road commission supervisor ousted


TRAVERSE CITY — The Grand Traverse County Road Commission is parting ways with its longtime maintenance supervisor.

Road Commission Manager Jim Cook said James A. Valade's position was eliminated as part of a restructuring.

"I'm in shock," Valade said from his home. "I didn't see it coming. I had no idea. There was no warning, no anything. I've been there 13 years and all of my job performance reviews have been outstanding."

The commission's board voted Thursday to give Valade, a 13-year county veteran, the choice of resignation or termination.

Cook said the decision to eliminate Valade's position was necessary.

"Every organization, over time, evolves," Cook said. "Positions are created that may make sense at a certain time "¦ but I'm evaluating the entire organization for job efficiencies, job responsibilities, duties and cost. As a result, I'm shifting job responsibilities."

Valade will be offered a severance check of $13,071.22. The severance pay will be offered regardless of whether Valade chooses to resign or be terminated, Cook said.

Cook said Valade's annual salary is approximately $67,000.

Valade's work history received praise from commissioners at Thursday's meeting as they discussed potential severance packages.

"Jim served us well in his 13 years," said Commissioner John Nelson. "He's done a good job for us."