Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


January 14, 2013

Letter to the editor - Monday, Jan. 14, 2013

‘I leave your ranks with heartfelt thanks’

Editor’s note: The following is a letter Mitch Daniels sent state employees Friday.

Dear Co-worker:

Today is the last day I can address you that way, and I will miss that. For eight years it has been my privilege to be, as you are, an employee of the 6.5 million good people we call Hoosiers, and to call you my colleague.

On Jan. 10, 2005, the first day of our mutual service, I wrote you for the first time. Since I had long since forgotten exactly what I said, I’m quite sure you have, too (if you were even here to receive it; one in 2.25 state employees has joined us since that time). So I dug that letter up for rereading, and am attaching it for your reference.

I think it is fair to say that, working together, we have lived up to the aspirations of that first day long ago. Indiana state government is dramatically different, from the way it used to be and from any other state government I know of.

We set out to achieve real results, and you did so. That’s not an opinion, it’s a provable fact. We say it with certainty because we have measured our performance in every way we could think of. In department after department, service levels, turnaround times, customer satisfaction, error rates, whatever result a given mission aims at achieving, have improved, often by huge degrees. Department after department has won national awards and recognition.

We now have a system, and I hope it’s true to say a culture, of performance and accountability in Indiana state government. Working harder or smarter now earns the recognition it deserves. Every worker is entitled to regular, candid feedback about the job he or she is doing, and when that work quality is exceptional, to enhanced pay raises, and perhaps bonuses or other rewards for a job well done. No other state we know of operates this way.

Best of all, our fellow citizens recognize the great work you are doing. In a national study last year, 77 percent of Hoosiers said their state government was doing an effective job. It was the best rating in any state in the nation.

To me, what you have accomplished goes beyond tax dollars saved or far better service provided. That 77 percent  number tells us that, at least in this state, most citizens believe that government is on their side. That it is made up of people who are not just collecting a public paycheck but are trying hard every day to deliver highly ethical, conscientious, service in return for each tax dollar it collects.

Our free society requires that sort of basic public confidence. We will always debate how much government to have, how much it should spend, and what its priorities should be. But it is critical that those arguments take place in an atmosphere not of cynicism and division, but of some common trust that, whatever decisions our democratic process makes, those decisions will be carried out faithfully and well, and in the interest of all.

This is your accomplishment. Supervisors and agency heads didn’t do it, and it’s for certain that no mere governor could do it.

For eight years, we have asked state government to operate on the basis of continuous improvement, on the principle that “good enough never is.” I leave your ranks with heartfelt thanks for what you have done to prove that government can shoot straight, and can treat taxpayer dollars with the care and respect they deserve. And I go in the hope that you will never rest but will keep on delivering results that are better every single year.

Thank you for everything.

Mitch Daniels, Indiana governor

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • LETTERS: State water supply an economic issue State water supply an economic issueIt takes a lot of water to build and grow things, and in Indiana, that’s what we do. It’s why the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation commissioned a new study on water resources (www.indianachamber.com/water). W

    August 14, 2014

  • LETTERS: 'Fundamental' facts on zoning approval 'Fundamental' facts on zoning approval As a member of the 2012 Tipton County Plan Commission and Tipton County Board of Commissioners, I was involved in the commitments associated with the Functional Devices re-zone from Commercial to Light Industria

    August 11, 2014

  • LETTERS: Where decisions are made willy-nilly Where decisions are made ‘willy-nilly’ Citizens of Tipton County should have the reasonable assurance that local laws and ordinances put in place to protect them will not be randomly abandoned. Instead, some find themselves begging the leadership

    August 10, 2014

  • LETTERS: Double standards in Tipton County Double standards in Tipton CountyI attended the Tipton County Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals public hearings regarding industrial development adjacent to the Prairie Acres residential subdivision. Numerous citizens made presentations of

    August 7, 2014

  • LETTERS: Assistance wait lists bedevil employed Assistance wait lists bedevil employedI would like to bring attention to the issues of single-income families. I am about to lose my baby sitter. I was given a generous notice of two months. I signed up for child care vouchers and Early Head Start. B

    August 6, 2014

  • LETTERS: Leaders aren't using comprehensive plan Leaders aren’t using comprehensive planI got to watch two of our planning and zoning boards at work recently, and both times in public hearings they favored an outsider who has not lived up to any promised commitment over the testimonies of Tipton Co

    August 5, 2014

  • LETTERS: School, re-establish teacher-led prayer School, re-establish teacher-led prayer "Complaint ends teacher prayer," headlined the small article. Teachers were having prayer before school-sponsored events, someone complained about their child having to hear the prayer, and the Freedom from Rel

    August 4, 2014

  • LETTERS: A tale of two BZAs in Tipton County A tale of two BZAs in Tipton CountyIt was reported recently the City of Tipton Board of Zoning Appeals heard a variance request for a garage to be rebuilt on an existing concrete pad after the structure burned in May. The owner had to comply with the

    August 3, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller