Are state staffing cuts getting us incompetence rather than efficiency?

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Are state staffing cuts getting us incompetence rather than efficiency?

Post by T on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:47 pm

...or, did they result from the purge of experienced state workers when Gov. Paul LePage came to power?  Two examples:

Example #1

*It has been reported that federal inspectors found troubling instances of abuse, civil rights violations and safety problems during an inspection of the 92-bed Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in May.

*Neither McEwen nor the administration of Gov. Paul LePage told anyone.

*Riverview's CEO (McEwen) and the governor's administration waited until the Legislature was well out of session, and until three weeks before a federal deadline, to involve the Legislature or attorney general.

*Result: a confusing, hurry-up legislation that practically everyone involved admits will do little or nothing to solve Riverview's short- or long-term problems.

*Has McEwen been given enough personnel to run Riverview, and/or is she the right person to be running it at all?


Example #2

*Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho's agency, by its own admission, missed critical deadlines for relicensing dams controlling several water systems.

*These deadlines are routine, predictable events, and have apparently never been missed even once before, let alone three times in succession.

*Missing the deadlines means state government no longer directly controls water levels, flow rates and fish passage on three key waterways: Flagstaff Lake in Somerset County just north of Kingfield, and the fabled trout and salmon fisheries on Grand and Sysladobsis Lakes.

*DEP Land Use Division Director Mark Bergeron blamed the mistakes on personnel changes.

*Here's the really troubling part: Maine loses a say in how these dams are operated until they are relicensed in 25 years.

*That's two-and-a-half decades!

*Aho is a "fox in the hen-house," a former lobbyist who often does the bidding of her former industrial clients.

*Aho met with lawyers representing dam owners before these deadlines were missed, suggesting these deadlines may have been missed intentionally rather than accidentally.

*One missed deadline? OK. But three in rapid succession.


If these truly were mistakes, were they the result of under-staffing?  If so, are state staffing cuts getting us incompetence rather than efficiency?  Did they result from the purge of experienced state workers when Gov. Paul LePage came to power?  Maine's citizens should expect better of Gov. LePage and the people who report to him.

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