Monday, August 8, 2016

Things Don't Always Turn Out as Planned!

Just yesterday, I reported that I would be serving today on the first round of selection for the new DDS director.  Yet here I am, writing another blog post instead.  The panel is indeed interviewing, but I decided not to be a part of the process. 

As part of the pre-interview briefing, Mr. Walker, whom I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts (May 12 and May 26 of this year), passed out the non-disclosure agreement each of us was expected to sign.  It was small print, 4 or 5 pages (but who’s counting?), and in my personal opinion it was overly broad – way more restrictive than any personnel-related agreement I ever had to sign in my 30-plus years in government.  But whether I’m right in my opinion about it or not, we all frankly could and should have seen the agreement in advance - it certainly would have saved me a trip to the Wilson Building!  I knew, as I wrote in this blog yesterday, that I would need to protect the confidentiality of the specific candidates and their answers in the interview, but if I had signed I would have been unable to mention what topics were discussed today for two whole years!  To me, that would be inconsistent with my primary role of information sharing and issue advocacy, and I simply don’t want to have to ask myself when I sit down to write, “Now when exactly did I hear that information?”  I can be much more useful to the community by keeping the issues on the table, as openly as I can.  And let’s face it, the issues facing the District’s disability community just aren’t that much of a secret!

And I’ll tell you straight – the room was full of very able folks who will make sure the right questions get asked, and I hope most of them long ago read my post, “Here’s What I Would Ask” (May 26, 2016).  I did want to add a new question today about the balance between the CMS rulemaking on community-based supports and person-centered planning, an issue I raised in “Who’s Watching Out?” (February 13, 2016), but I’m not sure that would have made the cut since there wouldn’t be time for everyone’s questions.  In the end, my own two-cents’ worth would have been unlikely to tip the balance in the interview process today, and in any case there are going to be other rounds of interviews going forward, including one with the ultimate decision maker, the mayor herself. 

So hey, I have no idea who walked through the door after I left.  What I do know is that, whoever winds up as Laura Nuss’s successor, I’ll still be here to pester them.  And in the meantime – panel members, all readers, maybe Madame Mayor herself – keep reading.

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