In response to other questions from Mazziotti, Walker said he has not held another position where he's managed more people and has not worked for any county, state or federal human service agency.

After the meeting, Mazziotti estimated hundreds of people work under the county's human services director.

Commissioner David Jones told Walker: "I'd rather have somebody that doesn't have your breadth of on-the-ground experience but is an effective facilitator and coordinator, because that's really what management is about."

Ott complained that commissioners rarely see any data showing how effective county human services programs are at actually helping people. He told Walker that commissioners should be getting that data, so they know what they are paying for in budget allocations. Walker said he would be happy to share that information.

Said Ott: "We're almost never presented with data that says anything other than 'there's a horrible problem, give us more money'."

Said Walker: "Service providers must be held accountable. It is my commitment to the commissioners that I will do that very thing."

Best laugh of the night

Mazziotti wanted more time to review a contract with the Wood Company to provide food service to residents of the Cedarbrook nursing homes.

He noted it's a $14 million, three-year contract, but commissioners had spent only 15 minutes discussing it in committee Wednesday evening - although later they discussed it again in their 7:30 p.m. meeting.

"I'm not saying I'm opposed to the agreement; I don't know enough about it to vote yes on it tonight," he said.

Commissioners approved the contract by an 8-1 vote. Only Mazziotti voted no.

He got the best laugh of the night when he asked: "What happened to my bloc?"