Yesterday I attended Governor-Elect Perdue’s “Transition Advisory Group on Health and Human Services.” Perdue’s transition team has put together these advisory groups in major policy areas and is holding day-long meetings to gather input.
The morning of this one saw various DHHS officials from Secretary of DHHS Dempsey Benton on down give short presentations about about where the state was with health and human service programs. No surprises there – just a basic overview. It got a little more interesting when folks in the room got to ask questions – it quickly became clear that the Governor was soliciting input from a wide range of people, given the diversity of views expressed. I guess when you have everyone in the room from the head of Duke Hospitals to people quoting Rudy Giuliani, it’s sure to be interesting.
After lunch the die-hards stayed, put dots on posters and came up with some priorities for the Gov. Overall, I’d have to say the day was pretty useful. It was clear that despite how quickly these events have been organized, Perdue is asking for people to put time into making serious recommendations. The process wasn’t perfect. A wider search for public input, especially on a important topic like health and other human services, would likely consume months. However, just the idea of a public call for input and a formal process to make that happen is a great way to start being Governor.
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