Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I am a great believer in 'institutional memory.'  Whenever an organization loses a long time professional and dedicated employee it will eventually cost big time.  Why?  Because there is not anyone around to see costly and stupid mistakes coming straight at them, especially when they have probably happened before.

That is why it is so sad to see two long term public servants leave their government careers.

First there is Bob White, the long time city attorney for Albuquerque.  He has seen in all.  He started his career as a city councillor back in 1979.  He served as President of the City Council.  After one term in office he was asked to serve in city government by Mayor Harry Kinney.  Over the years Bob rose to the position of city attorney in 1994 and he as been doing that job ever since.  He has been one of the most honest and hardworking lawyers the city has ever had.  He has walked the fine line of representing both the city council and the Mayor.  And that ain't easy!

Secondly there is Paula Tackett. She is retiring after 22 years as Director of the Legislative Council Service in Santa Fe.  She might be the most knowledgeable person in the universe on the workings of our State Legislature.  There probably isn't a piece of legislation passed in the last three decades that she isn't familiar with.  She started her career clerking for Appeals court judges, then went on to private practice and some lobbying work.  Then she went to work as an analyst for the Council service in the mid 80's.  She has always been respected by both sides of the aisle.  She was recently honored by the NM Bar as the Public Lawyer of the year for 2010.

Bob and Paula may be the last of a breed of long time public servants.  It is hard to see how many people could put up with 25 years of abuse in today's nasty Newt Gingrich and GOP inspired hate politics.  The public servants are the ones who catch hell while the politicos sail on into the next election cycle.  I frankly don't know how things will function without good people like them.

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