Brain drain leaves Lacey dry

June 21st, 2011 by Ken

Greg Cuoio is leaving Lacey government after 24 years as city manager. A farewell party is set for this Friday. Last week, a retirement party was held for Jim Broman who served as Lacey Fire Chief for 22 years. Tom Nelson, who served on the North Thurston School Board for eight years and for eight years on the Lacey City Council where he served as mayor, has decided not to seek re-election.

North Thurston School Board member and past president Bill Williams has announced his retirement from the school board after 25 years. And, Skip Houser, who served nearly two decades as a Lacey Fire Commissioner, and chair of the commission, has also skipped filing for re-election. Together, these retirements have created a brain drain for Lacey.

The institutional memory these individuals hold is invaluable. It’s the knowledge of past events, which help provide a guide to the future. The old saying, “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” holds true.

There are still a few “old” leaders around. Virgil Clarkson on the Lacey City Council and Chuck Namit on the North Thurston School Board, but they are few. New blood is always welcomed in community service, but without the wisdom of time, we can expect a number of mistakes to be made.

Thank goodness I’m still around, after nearly 40 years, to point out those mistakes.

Posted in Government, History, Local Politics, The Real News

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