SES and the Super
Thanks so much for the piles of letters youve
sent to Washington on the Superintendent issue here at Grand Canyon. Weve heard that
were already generating a fair amount of heat back there. Lets turn it up.
For those of you who havent heard, the position of Superintendent at
Grand Canyon is vacant again, for the third time in five years. This is due, in a large
part, to a program called the Senior Executive Service (SES); a high level, highly paid
corps of professional managers who are moved from one government position to the next.
Its a two edged swordon the one hand, we get very high level people in the
Superintendents office, but on the other hand, they dont stay long enough to
accomplish much of anything.
Here is whats happening at South Rim. After Superintendent Chandler
left, Assistant Superintendent Gary Cummins (a great guy) took over the position as Acting
Superintendent, until a new Super was chosen. We had all hoped for a prompt search and
replacement, but that does not seem to be happening.
In late January, Gary Cummins went back to being Assistant Superintendent and
a new Acting Superintendent, Boyd Evison, was brought in to hold down the fort.
Rumors come down to us from on high that perhaps it will be a political
appointee, someone to fill a quota
or perhaps the position will be announced for
people to apply for. No urgency on the governments part to get Grand Canyon
functioning again has been detected. Designation of the position as officially an SES
position, however, was announced in last weeks High Country News. Its
On a somewhat lower level, the Parks position of Chief of Resource
Management, vacant since George Nusehanger left last summer, has been filled temporarily
by an SES trainee, Mike Strump, who will be there for six weeks. No one is scheduled to
replace him, and resources, as well as the park in general, continue to drift. It's very,
The team of good people at the Park deserves better. So do we. And the
country. And most especially, the Canyon.If you havent written yet, please do so.
Demand professionalism and continuity at the Grand Canyon. Demand some respect. And send
us a copy of your letters.