Saturday, December 11, 2004

Three Cheers for Skipper!

Skip Purnell has been given the second annual Governor's Heritage Award by Governor Minner. It's a well-deserved award for a man who, in a quiet way, has been an important leader in Delaware.

Skip and his wife Til are among the first civic leaders Karen and I got to know when we first came to Delaware. Til is a leader in the environmental community and has been active in community theater. I covered her environmental efforts as a reporter and worked with her on theater projects. We met Skip, a less public leader than his forthright wife, through Til.

As I settled in as a state employee over the years and became more aware of the larger governance and public data-sharing issues, I've come to realize how much of a force Skip has been. His has been a constant, strong voice for sharing data and information with the public we serve and for taking full advantage of technology to do so.

In person, Skip is a craggy, bemused, and intense presence. His interest is always piercing. A conversation with Skip is a fascinating seminar on whatever you are talking about, but without being all long or tedious.

I'm glad for Skip. I have long held both skip and Til Purnell in high honor. It's good to see the rest of the state agrees.

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