Douglas Rooks' recent criticism of Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (March 25), feeds into the notion that this is nothing but an orchestrated attempt to destroy the credibility of a dedicated public servant.
Instead of focusing on the history of this computer problem, Rooks took the opportunity to call for the firing of the commissioner. This is not productive, nor does it solve the underlying problem with the new claims management system that has been ongoing for several years.
Mayhew has worked tirelessly, serving the people of Maine in her role as commissioner. It is inappropriate to accuse her of orchestrating a cover-up, after admitting a mistake, and bringing a problem to light.
Is this what public discourse has come to?
We should not turn against the commissioner because of a mistake that was made. Instead, our elected officials should come together and work to find solutions to fix the problem. Playing the blame game is simply an act of political posturing and adds no value.
Commissioner Mayhew has shown leadership in her efforts to turn around a culture of dependency within the Department of Health and Human Services. She has extensive experience, and knows the process in Augusta through her work with the Maine Hospital Association.
Commissioner Mayhew has taken ownership of the problem, and has not resorted to political "spin." She has shown impeccable integrity, by admitting that, in hindsight, she should have brought the information to the forefront sooner.
The commissioner has withstood hours of hearings, and questions from the Legislature. She has directed her staff to answer any and all questions to accommodate the needs of Maine's lawmakers during the budget process.
Mayhew has gone above and beyond in her efforts to be responsive and transparent throughout the legislative process.
In fact, once Commissioner Mayhew recognized the potential magnitude of the problem, she briefed the Legislature immediately and continues to provide them with updates every week.
Mayhew did not create this problem. She is charged with finding a solution to correct the problem and to prevent these types of issues from occurring in the future.
Instead of calling for Mayhew's resignation, I urge elected officials to come together to solve the problem.
The people of Maine deserve a state government that is accountable and transparent. They deserve to know that their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely. Commissioner Mayhew has stepped up and taken ownership of a serious problem.
The commitment Mayhew has made to the people of Maine to fix the problem shows her passion and dedication to Maine people. It is that commitment that people should be applauding.
Peter G. Vigue, Pittston