Will Wilson is a former GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
from Governing's Managing Technology Conference in Seattle
Bill Gregoricus, a senior consultant in Tennessee's Office of State Planning and Policy, had an interesting--and somewhat disheartening--explanation for why government can be overly risk averse, sometimes eschewing best practices that entail risk in favor of the safe route:
I can deal with the board and shareholders, but I don't want to deal with the press or angry legislators.
It strikes me as sad that government is precisely where concern for the good and for getting it right should trump all other issues, but often doesn't. Many a government problem, it seems, leads to an eruption of headlines and hearings without ever addressing the root causes or underlying institutional challenges that created the problem in the first place.
For boards and shareholders, the primacy of the bottom line means that when something goes wrong, assigning (and shifting) blame, grandstanding, and political point-scoring all take a back seat to fixing the problem.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.