Saturday, January 20, 2007

To Iowa: I'm Sorry


I feel like I need to apologize because Maryland just stole something from you. I think what we did rises to the level of Indianapolis whisking away our former football team, the Colts, in the middle of the night.

I'm referring to the announcement I saw in today's paper about our new head of public safety, Gary Maynard. I have to say, this looks like one terrific choice by our new governer. Mr. Maynard is someone who worked his way up through the ranks within the correctional system. He has been a warden, an assistant commissioner, and has also run prison systems in South Carolina and Iowa. He is currently the head of the national correctional officers' professional organization, the American Correctional Association (also based in Maryland). This is one of the organizations that sets standards for accreditation of correctional facilities across the country.

But the thing that tickles me most: He's a psychologist. The person ultimately responsible for reforming Maryland's criminals actually has clinical training! This is the first time in recent memory we've had someone in charge with clinical skills. (Usually we get a lawyer with some administrative experience who happens to be a friend of the governor.) This is a very very good sign.

I know that our gain is Iowa's loss. From the article it sounded like they weren't expecting him to leave. Thus, the apology. I hope we can still be friends. (And I hope I can still keep my University of Okoboji t-shirt.)