Last month as I filed my state taxes, I paused to think about where that money was going. I reflected on the state government I helped to manage when I served as the Deputy Secretary of Administration, and I thought about the conservative principles that shape my views of how government should operate – and work for the people. Unfortunately, I have grown concerned that those values are no longer in alignment with the state government we have today.
Make no mistake – the Commonwealth of Virginia is home to some of the best employees in the country. They were drawn to their roles from a desire to serve their communities, and they come to work each day to serve their fellow Virginians honestly and faithfully.
Unfortunately, the system often sets them up for failure. Too often they are directed to comply with layers of unnecessary bureaucracy; they are underpaid and undervalued. Surely public service is a noble and worthy cause, but how can we expect our best and brightest to choose this path at a cost of thousands of dollars each year? We can’t.
Too often, government operates in silos and fails to recognize and reward talent due to inertia. Virginians have trouble accessing the performance of their government. In the same way businesses prioritize customer experience, the government should prioritize the citizens’ experience.
There is no time to waste in solving these pressing issues, and too often, politicians use their first few months to make good on the partisan promises they’ve made to their core supporters. Virginia’s next governor must be prepared to tackle the management challenges facing state government and to do so swiftly.
Ed Gillespie has shown us that he will be that governor. This week, he put forward the “Efficiency + Effectiveness: A Government that Works for ALL Virginians.” It’s a detailed blueprint to reorient the system and the way we all think about our government. It clearly demonstrates that he’s ready to implement real, evidence-based solutions. Ed’s plan features a commitment to:
- Find $200 million in savings through operational efficiencies;
- Create a smaller, more efficient and better compensated state workforce; and
- Insitute best-in-class management reforms to improve outcomes and customer service.
I have closely reviewed the plan, and I was impressed with Ed’s thoughtful approach. He has explained exactly how he will be an effective chief executive. He has the perspective of a small business owner that will help to make this plan a reality.