Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Dear Brian ..."

In case you missed this on Kate Nash's blog Wednesday night, here's the letter that Heather Wilson, chairwoman of Gov-elect Susana Martinez's transition team, wrote to Gov. Bill Richardson's chief of staff Brian Condit concerning exempt employees finding classified positions.

Read all the way to the end. That's where Wilson says what Martinez will do if she finds any such ex-exempts.
"Dear Brian,

In my first communication to you on November 4, 2010, I asked you suspend any transfers of personnel from exempt positions to classified positions effective immediately. I suggested if there are particularly compelling circumstances, we should discuss them on a case-by-case basis.

Today’s Albuquerque Journal reports that, “More of Gov. Bill Richardson’s political appointees have slid into career civil service jobs with state government in recent months … Appointees, or so-called exempt employees, serve at the pleasure of the governor.”

These kinds of personnel actions in the waning days of an administration certainly seem to circumvent the will of the people of New Mexico who voted in a new administration into office just a week ago. The fact that some of these employees are apparently moving into jobs with very high salaries when there is a freeze in place for hiring and a $250 million-plus state budget deficit is inappropriate.

The Governor-elect has made clear that current employees are welcome to apply for jobs in her administration. She is looking for highly-qualified people of character who share her vision for the state of New Mexico.

I am reiterating my request that you immediately suspend any transfers of political appointees to classified posts.

Furthermore, I wish to inform you that any employee who moves from an exempt to classified position after November 3, 2010 without prior discussion with the Transition Committee on a case-by-case basis will immediately be terminated upon the swearing in of Governor-elect Susana Martinez on January 1, 2011.


Heather Wilson
Chairman, Governor-Elect Martinez Transition Committee