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  • Writer's pictureD Lane

Smart... and kind!

Last week, I went to a retirement ceremony/celebration for Pat McCormick. Pat has been the Executive Officer for a fairly obscure government agency called LAFCO – the Local Agency Formation Commission. For government insiders and wonks, LAFCO is both important and fascinating. For the rest, it’s probably just a mysterious entity one hopes to never need to deal with. But this post isn’t about LAFCO, it’s about Pat McCormick.

Once in a while, those of us who work in the public sector come across someone that exemplifies the term “public servant.” Most of us just muddle through. Pat excelled in this work. Committed to working with everyone regardless of political persuasion. Very solution-oriented without a personal agenda. Respected by colleagues as a true expert on the laws and regulations he administered. Took on very controversial issues rather than ducking. Calm and patient under pressure. Generous with his time. And most important to me: Warm and kind to every person he dealt with. I’m sure I’m forgetting something great about Pat but you get the idea.

It’s too bad more people are not aware of this exemplary public servant. Government is so frequently seen as dysfunctional. But people like Pat McCormick prove that it often works quite well.

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