Over the past decade, while the state of Florida has often been hit hard with hurricanes, few complaints were heard about the quality and speed of government relief efforts. Many have credited the immediate past governor of the Sunshine State, Jeb Bush, for his hurricane response program.
Part of that good man’s administrative expertise was putting the right men and women into the right jobs, a quality which oftentimes distinguished him from his elder brother. In 2001, the younger Bush tapped Craig Fugate to head Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. Bush’s successor Charlie Crist, to his credit, kept Fugate on.
Now, President Obama is bringing that Bush appointee to Washington, nominating him to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Smart move. Given that state officials are the first responders to any catastrophe, it helps to have a man who has been on the front lines of relief efforts.
He’ll be well suited to coordinate a national effort and help whip the various state agencies into shape so they’re better prepared to face the next disaster than was Louisiana in 2005.
Kudos, Mr. President. Fugate’s a good pick. We can been pretty confident he’ll serve the nation as well as he served the Sunshine State.