John Edgerton: Unprofessional leaders

December 21, 2013 

Regardless of the context, our state government should, at minimum, be professional when it engages its stake-holders. These stake-holders include residents, like Amy Adams; businesses, like fracking companies; and advocacy groups, like Appalachian Voices.

In her Dec. 16 Point of View “Why I left my DENR job: conscience,” Adams lamented what she saw as DENR moving in the wrong direction. She addressed what she saw as poor resource allocation and poor policy decisions at DENR that undermined its core mission to protect our environment. Adams did not ridicule anyone in her Point of View.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the response from DENR. In the remarkably unprofessional letter “Customer-friendly DENR,” Secretary John Skvarla attacked Adams personally as a wordy writer using “emotion, hyperbole and conjecture.”

This follows DOT Secretary Tony Tata’s equally unprofessional comments about an environmental advocacy group being elitist latte sippers.

I respect elections, and I respect well-intentioned dissent. What I don’t respect are leaders who think snarky personal attacks are the basis of a “customer-friendly juggernaut.” I’m not sure who the McCrory administration believes is persuaded by its cookies, condescension and crass personal attacks, but it is digging a very deep hole for itself among residents who expect professionalism from government.

John Edgerton, Durham

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