According to The City Paper, Gov. Bill Haslam doesn't have time for state workers, so he's putting another layer of bureaucracy between him and them:
Haslam Tuesday announced the hiring of Greg Adams, a high-ranking officer at IBM, who will work in the administration's newly created COO position.
"I don't have nearly enough time to spend with the agency heads as I would like to," the governor told reporters Tuesday after an awards ceremony for environmental stewardship held at Lipscomb University.
"We've got people running departments that have 7,000 or 8,000 employees who I may get to see, talk to, twice a month. That's not a great way to be a huge resource to somebody," he said. "I think Greg can give that kind of hands-on help that I don't have the time to."
Well, I guess thank goodness for Greg Adams, then, because someone needs to be running the state — but does anyone else find this a little strange? The governor already doesn't seem to like to set legislative agendas or pick fights with lawmakers. And now he's hiring a guy to deal with the state employees. Is there anything about being governor that Haslam does like to do?
I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. But Haslam's incredibly popular. The people of Tennessee seem to like him. But the way he keeps pulling away from day-to-day interactions with Tennesseans makes me wonder if he likes us.