My Turn: Many thanks to Alaska's public employees for a job well done

Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2002

As Dec. 2 approaches when a new governor will take charge, I would like to pause a moment to recognize public employees all across Alaska for their outstanding work.

Many folks who make their careers in state government serve Alaskans very well. This is never more evident than during a change of administration. State employees are the people who help the new appointees get up to speed and help them guide on-going work toward a modified set of objectives. This process is particularly difficult in Alaska because we have a very short window between election of a new governor and commencement of a new administration, which must prepare for a legislative session that begins not long thereafter.

During the legislative session each year, it is the state government employees who help prepare the budget and frequently testify before legislative committees as our elected officials start working through the budget process. It is these same people who are available all year long to legislators and their staffs, as well as the general public, to provide specific information about programs and their value to our citizens and communities all across Alaska. Alaskans owe a great debt of gratitude to the rank and file employees who go to work each day to provide services and information that helps us educate our children, work, operate businesses, travel or feel secure in our homes and communities.

Among the talented folks that I am honored to call co-workers in my Department are the people in the Division of Occupational Licensing who issue professional licenses and help peer review boards investigate and adjudicate claims of misconduct by licensees. Their work helps ensure that when you call a dentist, a doctor, a hairdresser or an engineer, you are dealing with a person who is qualified to do that job. In another part of the department resides the Division of International Trade and Market Development whose personnel work with businesses to help them sell their goods, services, technologies and expertise beyond Alaska's borders. The Division of Community and Business Development works with our communities all across Alaska to provide.

It has been a privilege to serve with the people in the Department of Community and Economic Development. I leave my job with a passion for the activities of this department and the people that have helped me do my job and have served Alaskans so well. I couldn't have been in better company.

Sedwick is commissioner of the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development.

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