Letter: Addressed to Gov. Guinn
My name is Jim Pierce, and I am the president of Nevada Health Network, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public and environmental health in Nevada. I am writing to you to express some ideas about the state agency review project currently underway.
1. We support a review of all state agencies for efficiency and productivity because tax money, from whatever source, must be spent wisely. Every program, agency or private business for that matter, must regularly review its practices and seek to continually improve its services or products.
2. We ask the committee to understand that a government agency is not a business and never will be. The purpose of government is to benefit the public and not the “bottom line.”
3. We ask the committee to understand that public health’s “bottom line” is more than the dollar. It is about people. Cutting or removing programs and funding is short-sighted, especially when Nevada has so far to go in public health.
4. We ask that agency functions not be auctioned off to the highest bidder by breaking off the profitable parts for the private sector. Let’s not raid state government. An agency works as a whole and it provides expertise to all areas under its control. A private company cannot match that benefit or commitment.
5. A private company cannot necessarily perform a state function better or more cheaply. Privatization is a popular myth that has not seen many successes. We understand privatization is politically correct but please resist the pressure. For example, it could be argued that your staff should and could be replaced by a private service company, but would that be better for the state and its citizens?
6. We ask that public and environmental health programs be improved and not removed. State programs and agencies need adequate funding and good management.
7. We ask that you not rush your review process. Try to understand how agencies work before reacting. For example, the interdependencies of agencies and the federal funds supporting them are very complex. Change one part and you change the whole dynamic of how an agency or several agencies operate. This could easily reduce efficiency and cost more money.
8. Working cooperatively is beneficial for the public good. Our sole concern must be for those who live and visit here and not for parochial politics of any flavor.
I will be happy to provide additional information and assistance in this matter.
JIM PIERCE, President
Nevada Health Network, Inc.