James L. Armey, Cando
The North Dakota Veterans Preference law does not do anything for veterans and is useless.
Political subdivisions can hire in-house and do not have to advertise their positions and the law does not apply. This is what the Towner County auditor revealed to the Towner County commissioners when they were discussing the vacant position of County Veterans Service Officer and how to fill it.
The auditor received various options for filling the position from the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Lonnie Wangen. Of the options not one of them mention using the veterans preference law, except Mr. Wangen told the Auditor they may use the old veterans system and hire the first veteran that applied for the job.
Why then even have a new system? Why would any person representing veterans affairs not protect the integrity of the law and insist the hiring agency follow the veterans' preference law? And even worse is this position is the county veterans service officer which is mainly the local and first contact for veterans needing help. Now Towner County has a non-veteran person doing the job.
I have contacted the Administrative Committee on Veterans' Affairs which is a committee appointed by the Governor, and that committee or its subcommittee hires the Veterans Affairs Commissioner. I have sent courtesy copies to my district legislatures, the governor of North Dakota, The Adjutant General of North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, the Executive Director, Job Service North Dakota, and the Center Director, Veterans Administration Center in Fargo.
None of these agencies or persons gave me the courtesy of any type answer until I telephoned Mr. Overby who is the Chairman of the Administrative Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and he told me they would take no action because the North Dakota Attorney General told them my issue should be with Towner County. It now appears to me that all these officials do not really care about the veteran as much as they want us to believe.
My complaint is not with Towner County. Had they been told to follow the law as it states in CHAPTER 37-19.1 VETERANS' PREFERENCES and more specifically the content of CHAPTER 37-14-18 COUNTY VETERANS' SERVICE OFFICER - APPOINTMENT - DUTIES I am confident they would have complied with these laws.