I am honored to have this chance to help in preparing the incoming administration. The transition team provides a good avenue for describing the challenges on public safety matters they will quickly face and for offering suggestions on direction and priorities. To meet public demands for fiscal responsibility, government reform, and economic opportunity, the Corbett Administration will need abundant ideas and ample cooperation.
In the aftermath of revelations about improper monitoring of citizens and advocacy groups, the state homeland security operation needs a serious shakeup.
The financial woes of cities across Pennsylvania are forcing some short-sighted decisions affecting firefighters that could compromise community safety. There needs to be some sort of urban recovery strategy so cities are not trading away long-term safety for short-term budget relief.
At the same time, we have to ramp up efforts to ensure there sufficient volunteers to man the firefighting and rescue units that provide coverage across most of the Commonwealth, and to see that they are properly trained and equipped.
Even though veterans’ issues are not part of this assignment, I have an important point to make there as well. While the tough economic times mandate state cost-cutting in many places, we must not shortchange Pennsylvania’s veterans. The commitments to veterans’ benefits such as education, training, and health care are moral obligations that must be met.
Being part of the 2001 transition from Governor Ridge to Governor Schweiker, I gained some useful insight into what it takes to keep things running while carrying out the shifts in policy a new administration wants to accomplish.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson