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Governor keeping state government lean

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By Jay Miller

Gov. Susana Martinez has pleased almost everyone with her trimming of political appointees in state government. The only people not happy are a few politicos who hoped for jobs.
The target number for Martinez originally was to cut appointees from over 500, which former Gov. Bill Richardson had during most of his administration, to the 320 former Gov. Gary Johnson had before he left office.
But focus by Republicans on Richardson’s appointees, beginning over a year ago, caused Richardson to start cutting his appointees back so it wouldn’t be a campaign issue and wouldn’t tarnish his legacy.
So was that the end of the issue? Not for Susana. She asked for resignations from all of Richardson’s appointees and then set about deciding which of the jobs previously held by appointees really needed to be filled.
Obviously, the cabinet secretary posts needed somebody in them .. But as for deputy secretaries, 12 of those positions remain unfilled. Richardson was known by department secretaries for sending cronies in need of a job and sometimes with instructions that they were to be a deputy secretary.
So many departments had deputies without clearly defined job descriptions. And no money was sent with these appointees. Department secretaries had to find room for them in their budgets.


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