Governing Magazine: Public Official of the Year
November 19, 2009
Thank you all very much. To tonight’s fellow honorees: it’s humbling and inspiring to have the opportunity to share this evening with you.
To everyone at Governing Magazine,… on behalf of the hardworking people of Maryland and the committed public employees who serve in their government, thank you for this honor and for your belief that governing well makes a difference in the lives we share and the stronger future all of us prefer.
A generation ago, a great American wrote that “our choice is not whether change will come, but whether we can guide that change in the service of our ideals,... In the long run we can master change not through force or fear, but only through the free work of an understanding mind – through an openness to new knowledge and fresh outlooks which can only strengthen the most fragile and the most powerful [of] human gifts: the gift of reason.”
This timeless American notion holds renewed meaning and urgency today, in our rapidly changing world,… a world which is growing smaller, more crowded, and more connected by the day,… a world which faces the tremendous challenges that demand American leadership in skills and education, American leadership in sustainability, American leadership in security, and American leadership of the human spirit.
We believe in Maryland that progress in the face of these great challenges requires not only a government that works, but also a deeper understanding of the connections by which goals are reached, problems are solved, results are delivered, and progress is made.
Connections between our willingness to set goals and our willingness to measure our progress toward reaching them,… connections between our openness to holding the performance of our public efforts and institutions open and accountable to the people they serve, and our willingness to broadly share information rather than hording it, and to change tactics and strategies when necessary to move forward.
Performance outputs don’t always tell us what we want to hear, but they tell us where are challenges and opportunities lie. And more often then not, our challenges and opportunities are connected,…
It’s all about a deeper understanding of the connections between our hopes and our responsibilities; the connections between our lives and the life our family and our neighbors; a deeper understanding of the connections between the actions and choices of this generation, and the lives of the next.
One person can make a difference, each of us must try, and God wants every partial victory. Thank you again.