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In a letter to the editor, ASPA National Council Member J Paul Blake responded to a syndicated column in the Seattle Times by Ann McFeatters. The article, published April 26, was particularly critical of highly publicized government scandals. Below is a reprint of Blake’s response.
The Seattle Times (April 27) included your column under the title “What Your Public servants Are Doing For You.” Since I’ve spent most of my 40 year career in public service and have served in local and national leadership roles with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the column caught my eye.
With National Public Service Recognition Week starting May 5 I was hopeful your column was an acknowledgment of the work of our nation’s public servants. Needless to say, I could not have been more wrong. The incidents of poor decision-making you cited are unfortunate and embarrassing. Your conclusion regarding the government, I suspect, is intended to be provocative. In any event, as part of National Public Service Recognition Week, on Tuesday I’ll have the opportunity to attend a “Celebration of Public Service” program where awards will be presented to federal employees who have developed and implemented systems and programs that have reduced operational costs by millions of dollars, protected human health and the environment, promoted diversity, literally saved the lives of fellow citizens and donated more than $2 million to support non-profit organizations in their community. These employees exemplify the dedication to public service, the integrity and the devotion to their communities of public servants across the nation.
Let me know if you’ll write a column about that. I’m happy to provide details.
J. Paul Blake
District IV Representative, ASPA National Council