New Governor Means Job Loss for Some

New Governor Means Job Loss for Some

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Richard Piatt Reporting Governor Huntsman promised big changes in state government, and today he made some. At least 32 state workers-- all under the division of Community and Economic Development-- found out today they are out of a job.

Workers here called it doomsday. And there were more words in the office, describing a process that spelled layoffs.

Bill Afeaki, Laid Off: “Unprofessional and insensitive are the two words I’d use. And if you want a third word, it would be ‘cold.’”

Most sensed it was coming. Governor Huntsman's cabinet announcements were a sign his 'new day' could mean their 'last day' on the job. That's why recruiter Mary Ann Flinders decided to start packing early. But at the meeting today it was still hard for long-time workers like her to grasp what was happening.

Mary Ann Flinders: "We worked our tails off getting those deals in this state and that is not recognized or appreciated by this government, I'm sorry. All of our leads and contacts, I feel bad just to leave all the things I’ve been working on just hanging with no explanation."

This week workers were asked to sign letters of resignation, then told to wait to see if their resignation was accepted. But some complain a review of job performance and experience was missing.

Matthew McConkie, Laid Off: "I feel like it's more a game of relationships than it is a well thought out procedural change."

Also a sore spot here, the departure of director David Harmer, who was notified with a note on his chair Monday. Chief of Staff Jason Chaffetz says there's nothing personal in what's happening.

Jason Chaffetz, Huntsman Chief of Staff: "We love the people who have been in office, who have served the state so well. But we were elected to change what's happening and the way it's happening."

Even with all the years of experience and institutional knowledge that's leaving with these layoffs, the governor's chief of staff says there is a plan in place to fill the gaps and to move forward immediately. And he says the governor will take full responsibility for how that transition turns out.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast