YOUR FEB. 12 editorial “Tim Murray’s patronage politics show deeper problem in Mass.’’ presented a skewed view of governing, namely that elected officials should not hire people who support their agenda. I disagree.
Deval Patrick and I were elected in 2006 after 16 years of Republican governors. They had one view of government; we had a different view. We believed then, and still believe, that government has a role in fostering economic growth and in helping people help themselves.
When we hire the people who report to us, and when they hire the people who report to them, we want a team that shares the ideas and ideals that the public voted for, and that can implement them. Ultimately, everyone in our administration should be judged on their performance.
Massachusetts is first in the nation in student achievement and in health care coverage. The state is fifth in the nation in job creation, up from 47th when we took office. We have managed through a global economic crisis and emerged with a higher credit rating than when it began and one of the largest rainy-day funds in the country.
None of this is by accident. It happened because of the vision the governor and I share and because we have hired people who have made it real. Along the way, we’ve made government more reflective of the people of Massachusetts. Though we have reduced head count in the executive branch by close to 6,000 during the recession, there are more women and people of color in managerial ranks today than ever before.
Of course, when we make mistakes, we acknowledge them, correct them, and learn from them. But on balance, I am proud of the people who work for me and the governor. They are dedicated, qualified, and often underappreciated. Massachusetts is helping to lead this country out of the recession, and the hard work of these men and women, including those the governor and I brought into state government, is part of the reason why.
Timothy P. Murray