My wife has been a social worker for the State of Utah for more than 26 years. There are nuances of how state government is operated that is way beyond my grasp—but some things I get, totally.
When former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. announced that Lisa Michele Church was joining his cabinet as the director of the Department of Human Services, many people were grumbling, “Oh, great, a Republican, LDS attorney who just left Sinclair Oil is going to be in charge of Utah’s social work? Can it get any worse?”
In the five years since, Lisa Michele Church has shown leadership and compassion in her role that is beyond reproach. She has fought tooth and nail against very small-minded, conservative legislators with grace, power, intelligence and infinite patience, while they spewed insults and ignorance; all for the good of the department, the committed career employees, and most importantly, the citizens of Utah who desperately need these services. My wife is a viciously liberal Democrat and is heartbroken, as am I, with the news that Lisa-Michele is stepping down.
Godspeed, Lisa-Michele, you will be sorely missed. Palmer DePaulis [recently named to replace Church], we are very optimistic, but you have a tough act to follow.
Salt Lake City