Sometimes I just don’t understand why bureaucrats in Frankfort can’t understand that appearance is reality.
Take for example Steve Beshear’s call to state workers to be more efficient. The call has been made by previous Governors. From John Y. Brown’s “Run it like a business” to Ernie Fletcher’s “Waste, Fraud and Abuse” the words change but the meaning is the same. This is nothing new, it is a repeat of the old “Do more with less”.
One of Steve Beshear’s first actions to create Innovation, Economy and Efficiency was to hire Joe Graviss as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Innovation, Economy and Efficiency (GOIEE). An Executive Director’s base salary is $73,255.68; however they usually state this level of employee at $97,050.72. It’s hard to get good help for less.
Graviss ran a close primary race for the Senate seat now occupied by former Governor Julian Carroll. He supports education and is a successful business man. He served on Beshear’s transition team.
From left, Joe Graviss, Versailles;
and KCTCS President Michael B. McCall.
As a community leader and chairman of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, Joseph A. Graviss, owner of Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants, understands the value of education and job training as it relates to economic development. His company made a substantial commitment to support the Versailles Building Fund initiative which has focused on transforming the KCTCS System Office into a statewide resource for companies, government agencies and other organizations. The gift will be used to enhance telecommunications and teleconferencing in the System Office conference center. An area of the System Office building will be named in Graviss’ honor.
Graviss McDonald’s Restaurants, led by Joe Graviss of Versailles, has initiated a McDonald’s-based GED promotion currently underway in Franklin and Woodford counties. For five weeks, more than 180,000 McDonald’s customers in three restaurants will see motivational tray liners and/or bag stuffers that profile successful Kentucky GED graduates with the theme, “GED: Prove Yourself.” Franklin and Woodford County Adult Education Programs have coordinated adult education public service announcements that will air on local radio stations in correspondence with the campaign. KYAE plans to replicate this project in other Kentucky communities using the same series of materials.
But here is the bottom line.
GOIEE is a public relation exercise. GOIEE will not make a substantial difference in the budget of the Commonwealth. If the administration really wants to deal with the ongoing financial mess they will support substantial changes to the tax laws shifting the tax burden to the the more affluent and the service sector of the economy.
Graviss appears to be a nice guy with good intentions and political ambitions but he probably doesn’t have a clue about how infighting works in state agencies. He will probably be stonewalled at every turn.
For instance he will have to deal with the Commonwealth’s Office of Technology. This agency was deeply politicized by the Fletcher administration and currently does not have a Commissioner in place.
Do you really believe that all of the emails surrounding the Merit System investigation just accidently disappeared?
Until Steve Beshear and Jonathan Miller take a broom to this agency they will be obstacle to progress.
So Joe Gravis has a steep learning curve to climb to make this public relations exercise work and to justify his salary.
And one other thing GOIEE as an acronym sounds like some kind of growth that needs to be removed.
Remember Joe, appearance is everything.