Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Public Service Recognition Week
May 7, 2003

Good afternoon. I am honored to be here.

Today we recognize the many who serve the public, here in Washington and across America. The women and men who teach our kids, maintain our roads, protect our environment, enforce our laws, keep our food safe, run our libraries, process our social security benefits, guard our prisons, take care of our parks, and do countless other things for us every single day. Things that we tend to take for granted.

This week we take notice and we pay tribute.

Public service is not the most glamorous or profitable line of work. But it is one of the most important. Public service translates our government, laws and social values into the daily work that keeps democracy going.

Public employees are the face of our government. You provide the direct interaction with our citizens. I value and deeply appreciate your hard work and dedication.

At the state level, I believe we have the best public workforce in the nation. Despite tough times, our state employees are finding great ways to improve the services we offer and the value we provide to the public. To all our state employees—thank you!

I would like to acknowledge one very special state employee, Mr. Jerry Mulcahy.

Jerry retired at the end of March this year. He was a longtime employee of the Washington Horse Racing Commission. This was his second retirement—he originally retired in 1972 from the Department of Agriculture.

Jerry is also a former patrolman with the Washington State Patrol, Sheriff of Colfax County, police officer with the Edmonton Alberta Police Force, and one of the original members of the Washington Horse Racing Commission Police Force. I have not heard whether he intends to run for Governor next, but I wouldn’t be surprised!

How did Jerry manage to fit so many positions into one public service career? He had a very long career. In fact, he will turn 97 in two months!

Jerry Mulcahy’s lifelong dedication to public service exemplifies what I believe is the credo of every public servant: others first. What a great way to work. And what a great way to live!

I am honored to be a public servant. I believe in public service. I believe it is a noble calling—putting others first and trying to make the world a better place, usually one person and one need at a time.

Let’s dedicate this week to showing all of our public servants how much we appreciate them. And let’s carry the spirit of this week with us the rest of the year.

On behalf of the people of Washington, thank you to the many public servants who make our lives better and easier, every single day.

Thank you for putting others first.

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