Thursday, May 12, 2011

Secretary Perez moves on to greener pastures after a scant 5 months.

Manny Perez, now departed (yet alive) Secretary of DWD

Job creation is the signature issue (and promise) of Governor Walker.  Thus the governor would presumably want to have strong capable leaders in place at both the Commerce Department and the Department of Workforce Development, two administrative agencies that are intimately involved in job creation.  You would assume that the new leaders of both agencies would be well-vetted in advance of their appointments.  You would assume that they would only be appointed if they had convinced the governor that they were committed to staying in charge of their agencies through at least one term of office.

So it was a little surprising to see that Manny Perez resigned as head of DWD via an email distributed to his department staff yesterday.   Mr. Perez claimed he had decided to return to the private sector, and made his resignation official immediately. 

Although the Governor's statement did not appear on the press releases on his official website, reports the governor as saying:
“I appreciate Secretary Perez’s willingness to serve Wisconsin,” said Governor Walker. “The Department of Workforce Development is vital to our mission of creating 250,000 jobs over the next four years. Already we have made important strides; in our first few months in office we have seen more than 24,000 private sector jobs created, including more than 11,000 manufacturing jobs. Recently, CEO magazine recognized Wisconsin as having the most improved business climate in the nation. We’ll work diligently to make sure that DWD’s leadership team continues to be able to help our economy grow.”

Usually when a resignation is announced "effective immediately," someone is pretty unhappy, either the boss or the employee.  I have no idea if this is the case with Secretary Perez' departure.  But I am very confident in saying that we will eventually learn more information about the departure.  That is one of the few benefits to the public of having a government leader who demonizes the public employees he leads.  It breeds a cadre of folks chomping at the bit to become whistle-blowers, whether about lobbyists' children getting high-paid jobs they aren't qualified to do, girl-friends of married legislators jumping over other candidates and being handed a nice position, or a department secretary walking away after five months.

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