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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Indiana Government - Stories today on Daniels' appointments

No new appointments today, so far, but several noteworthy stories about recent selections.

The Elkhart Truth has a long editorial titled "Daniels' team looking good, " containing both praise and cautions. Some quotes:

Besides impressive resumes, the eight share something else in common -- a shortage of experience with not only state government but public administration of any kind. Their willingness to leave lucrative careers or -- in Silverman's case -- retirement is admirable.

Daniels is counting on the fact that these new public servants will come into office unencumbered by biases and resistance to change of government bureaucracy. He's also counting on each of them bringing successful practices from the business world.

Most who come into contact with state government will quickly realize that Indiana's services and agencies don't always hit on all cylinders. * * *

While Silverman may bring to the BMV some good customer service ideas from his retail days, his greatest contribution may be in reshaping a culture focused too little on pleasing the customers -- Indiana motorists and vehicle owners.

Previous charges about poor service at the BMV have usually been met with complaints by employees of inadequate compensation. We believe the problems run much deeper than that. Retailers aren't known for their generous pay packages, yet many help their customers far more efficiently than the BMV.

With Mitch Roob, Daniels has selected an individual who has enjoyed success with government reorganization. He helped rework Indianapolis city departments in the 1990s under then-Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and headed an agency that supervised the Marion County Health Department and Wishard Memorial Hospital.

We're eager to hear about the merits of other new ideas Daniels' team has for the state, but the new administration should also be cautious about cleaning house too thoroughly. Like it or not, Daniels needs on his side the state bureaucracy he criticized in his campaign to make the changes he believes are necessary. Therefore, the governor-elect must also select competent managers with state government and public service experience -- Roob is a good start.

Failing to do so could mean a rocky transition for the new administration. Case in point: An overzealous outsiders' attitude torpedoed the early days of Bill Clinton's White House, leading to much wasted time and effort.

Indiana's future cannot afford wasted time and effort. Every decision, every choice has to count.

Daniels and his team have the ability to hit the ground running. But it must not run over key people in the process.

The Indianapolis Star had an editorial today headlined "New FSSA chief faces big challenge." It begins: "Our position is: The governor-elect has appointed a gifted administrator to tackle the toughest job in state government."The Daniels' organization chart, current as of this writing, is available here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 9, 2004 04:55 PM
Posted to Indiana Government