During a KING 5 debate in 2012, Jay Inslee said that “Olympia needs a whole new culture of how we do business in state government” and that he would be a “disruptive force” for change. As governor-elect, Inslee picked a transition team that included the heads of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), the Washington Education Association (WEA), the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), and the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).
So much for the “disruptive change” Inslee promised.
Of course, Inslee continued the theme of placing “insiders” (bureaucrats and special interest leaders) at top positions in his administration. And, last week, we were treated to another example of his preference of “disruptive change,” which is bringing someone in from a different agency to run an agency in trouble.
Inslee faced a challenge after a man who had been charged with murder , and another patient , escaped from struggling Western State Hospital, Washington’s psychiatric hospital. He responded by firing Western State Chief Executive Officer Ron Adler.
Inslee hired Cheryl Strange in Adler’s place. Strange has previously worked as the deputy secretary at the state Department of Corrections and the deputy secretary of the state Department of Social and Health Services, which runs Western State.
So, just to be clear, in order to address the need for new leadership at an agency that has recently struggled with patient escapes and notices that it is violating federal regulations, Inslee brought in another government bureaucrat who, in the past, has worked as a top official in two other dysfunctional agencies.
Inslee did not necessarily fire Adler due to the escapes. He recently admitted that he was considering firing Adler before the escapes. The escapes “accelerated” the decision.
So, it’s not as if Inslee did not have time to consider someone other than another bureaucrat for the job.
Again, so much for the “disruptive change” Inslee promised.
Inslee has acted like a “disruptive force” in Olympia during legislative sessions – specifically when lawmakers have been busy negotiating budgets. Other than that, our green governor has maintained the Democrat status quo: catering to special interests.
If we give him the benefit of a doubt, Inslee’s failure maybe due to the fact that he has failed to find outsiders (private sectors leaders) willing to join his disastrous administration.