Governor Deval L. Patrick
Cabinet Remarks
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Good afternoon everybody, and thanks for coming this afternoon.

In 2010, right after the re-election, as we worked to refine our Second Term agenda, I asked each member of the Cabinet to commit to at least two years.  I wanted to know that I could count on their leadership, talent and drive as we resumed an ambitious agenda; but knowing the wear and tear that goes with these jobs, I knew it was unrealistic and unfair to ask them to commit to all four.

Last summer, after the legislative session ended, I reminded them that we were coming up to the end of that two-year commitment and -- because we were going to keep pushing hard right through to the end of the Term -- I asked for another two-year commitment.  I spoke to the team as a group and individually.   Each knows how much I appreciate them, and how much I would proudly have them finish the Term with me.  Each has contributed significantly and earned their rest.  Some are ready and able to continue.  And some cannot.

And so I have some announcements to make:

Marybeth Heffernan is stepping down as Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, having made large strides in making a fairer and more just Commonwealth. CORI reform and mandatory minimum sentencing reform, both debated for years in the Commonwealth, are part of a better reality here in Massachusetts.  Marybeth has also been a steady hand at the helm during some of our most trying moments – the tornados in Western Massachusetts, the floods of Hurricane Irene, the ice storm and more and more.  She has been a relentless champion in her efforts to ensure that all of our residents knew in times like those that their government saw that, and would do everything possible to help them get back on their feet. 

Paul Reville was fairly described as the father of Massachusetts education reform before he came in as Secretary of Education and has continued that journey to even higher ground.  Under his stewardship, with the Achievement Gap Act, we achieved the most comprehensive education reform in Massachusetts in nearly 20 years.  Community colleges will also now have a deeper and more systematic role in helping people get ready for the jobs there are today and that we are creating. He has been a tireless advocate for teachers, for school administrators, for educational innovators of every stripe and kind – but above all for children.  He, too, will be sorely missed.

JudyAnn Bigby has shown tenacity, creativity, resilience and effectiveness above and beyond the call of duty day after day after day.  As secretary of HHS, the largest agency in the Commonwealth, it was she who implemented the then-new and unknown health care reform law, staring in January 2007, and carefully stewarded us to virtually universal coverage, making us number 1 in America and the model for national health care reform.  With her guidance, we have now taken the pioneering step of tackling the issue of health care costs – because she has helped teach us all that the issue of skyrocketing costs for working families and small businesses cannot be kicked down the road any longer.  And her ability to find new ways to support human services at the unique moment when the economic downturn made demand go up and our ability to provide go down is simply extraordinary.  She has earned the respect, admiration and trust of the most vulnerable in our Commonwealth and the thoughtful leaders who care about them.

And finally Jay Gonzalez.  Jay has a unique blend of deep substance and touch.  He is the reason our budgets have been so well balanced, our reforms and cuts have been well thought through, our public unions have felt so well respected and been so willing to work with us, and our bond rating is the highest in the history of the Commonwealth.  Jay always sees the faces behind the line items, and in doing so brought not just his intellect to the job, but his compassion as well.

In addition to being wise advisors, Marybeth, Paul, JudyAnn and Jay are also my friends.  I am proud of their accomplishments and to have worked alongside them, and I will miss every one of them.  On behalf of a grateful public, I thank them for their service and I wish them well.

On a happier note I am glad to report that several of their colleagues will remain in their posts.

Secretary Joanne Goldstein at the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; Secretary Rick Sullivan at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Secretary Rich Davey at MassDOT; and Secretary Greg Bialecki at the Exective Office of Housing and Economic Development will remain in place, and I am very, very glad of that.  They are doing it with their eyes wide open, fully mindful that we have much more we want to accomplish before the end of 2014.  I love them, too, but they will have to wait until then for me say the kinds of things I just said about their outgoing colleagues.

We welcome today new colleagues, proven leaders as well, to build on their predecessors’ accomplishments.  I am excited to introduce you to them now.

Andrea Cabral joins the team as our new Secretary of Public Safety and Security.  She has done a truly remarkable job as the Sheriff of Suffolk County.  The reforms she has enacted and reentry programs she has developed have made our community stronger and safer while giving people the tools they need to find a way back into productive society. She will bring that same creativity and accountable leadership to her new role and we welcome you.

Matthew Malone will be our Secretary of Education.  Matt serves currently as the Superintendent in Brockton and is a rising star in education here in the Commonwealth.  His passion for high quality, transformative education and his commitment to creating an opportunity for every child in the Commonwealth is contagious.  And he has shown throughout his career an ability to make real change and bring real innovation in the most challenging circumstances.  As a teacher and an administrator, Matt has made a difference for thousands of children already, in his new role he will make that difference for millions. Welcome aboard.

John Polanowicz becomes the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  I first met John six or seven years ago, when I was a first-time candidate and he was then the head of Marlborough Hospital.  He impressed me then with his leadership, his effectiveness, but most of all his values.  He is an Army officer – I’m sorry I didn’t mean to forget the Marine part for you Matt – he is an Army office with an MBA, and a man of service and compassion.  He will lead the largest agency in state government with a steady hand, a clear vision and a very good heart.  We are also lucky to have him, welcome John.

Glen Shor will be our new Secretary of Administration and Finance.  He is no stranger to this administration, having previously presided over the state’s health connector as its executive director and, before that, served in a senior role in ANF.  Glen brings deep experience in our fiscal affairs, and in health care, and will continue our record of progress on both fronts.

The Lieutenant Governor and I warmly welcome the new members of the Cabinet and look forward to the bonds that they will form with their staffs, with the veteran members of the Cabinet, with the Lieutenant Governor and me --- but most of all with the work and the people on whose behalf we do it. Welcome everyone and thank you all for coming. I’m happy to take a couple of questions.