Letter: Civil servants among the best

Regarding "Editorial: Encouraging mediocrity": Here goes another cry of "mediocrity" in the federal government. Your argument for action by congressional committees acting on White House nominations could have been better framed. But I guess your readers expect you to play the same ol' drum beat.

Although I understand the frustration you may have for the delays and/or failures by the Senate to approve the two nominees mentioned in your article, I take offense to the overall tone of your comments. The implication is that federal agencies are staffed by less than the "best and brightest." You all but say that it is only the mediocre who would consider working for a federal agency.

Most of my "so-so" co-workers, colleagues and I are very serious about the work we do, and we work very hard — often doing thankless tasks for the American people, the very people — like you, for instance — who have no more regard for us than to think that we are just a bunch of so-so, less than the best and brightest, overpaid people whose jobs can best be done and should be done by a contractor anyway.

For the record, I would not hesitate to line up the knowledge base and analytical skills (assuming that these are among the attributes that make them who they are) of any of my co-workers with any of the best and brightest who have chosen not to work in the public sector.

Nominees to federal agency positions come and go. All they do is voice and try to enact the sitting president's agenda for the particular agency. The people who really make things work are the many unknown and unheralded employees who enter federal buildings day in and day out. Many, by the way, happen to be some of the best and brightest that this country has to offer.

William Wilson


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