We all know it when we see it in our workplace … a memo is sent out, and if you’re lucky, a split second introduction takes place to introduce you to the newly appointed executive. Within days you hear first proclaimed statements of what they plan to do to you, your coworkers, your work and the people you serve.
With utter disregard for the years of experience you collectively have, or the decades of legislative oversight and public input that has informed your agency’s path so many years, the big influential new exec proudly states how much better he is going to make your agency; how much you are all going to have to change what you’re doing and how you’re doing it; and that it will all take time but you’ll get through it together.
And throughout your workplace, every time someone opens that emailed memo, someone says to themselves, “… here we go again.” Such is the case with the new candidate for Governor.
On Wednesday, Walt Havenstein announced his run for the corner office. Like too many candidates before him, he supports “right to work for less” legislation and gutting public services. He claims democratic governors have squandered the past ten years economically. If he actually lived here the past ten years, he might know that Governor John Lynch was one of the most popular NH Governors of all time; and he might be better positioned to form an opinion on that issue, but of course, he hasn’t lived here.
He is in the midst of a residency scandal – one that most pride-filled Granite Staters would find morally disturbing – as he claimed to be a NH and Maryland resident at the same time for several years (for tax benefits) – and yet states he has done what is required to run for Governor.
So here we go again. A new executive is on our doorstep and telling us how much he knows about what we do, who we are, and the services we provide. He’s singing the same old songs and as usual, hasn’t the decency to bother to meet with us in our workplaces before making those claims. He wants to be our boss but has devalued and disrespected us publicly already. The official photos at Havenstein’s announcement event show former Governor Benson by his side in support. As an employee who was here when Benson took office and almost immediately told public workers to “bring our brains to work,” it’s troubling that Havenstein holds him so close.
As a 20+ year proud state employee, who also feels blessed to be your SEA President, I say Mr. Havenstein needs to respect the citizens of NH more thinking he has what is required to be our boss. If he did, he would know better.