Am I the only Maine citizen who finds Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew unfit to continue leading the state’s largest agency?

As a lobbyist for Maine’s hospitals, Ms. Mayhew may well have been very talented and accomplished. However, her performance at the helm of the DHHS has been, at best, mediocre – and, more often, embarrassingly inept.

Her recent failure to regain federal certification and funding for Riverview Psychiatric Center may ultimately cost Maine taxpayers over $30 million. Her attempts to blame legislators for her failure are nothing less than bizarre.

Perhaps if she had spent less time and energy in hot pursuit of electronic benefit transfer card “cheats” and other imagined threats, she might have found time to avoid this latest calamity.

But perhaps the most painful effects of the DHHS’ failures are being felt by those the department has pledged to protect: the poor, the mentally ill, the elderly and the neediest of our citizens.

Personally, I have respect for public servants. I can only imagine how difficult their careers must be. But I also believe in accountability.

As is the case with all professionals, if a well-paid public official fails to perform adequately, his employer should seriously question continuing that person’s tenure. I, for one, think that Commissioner Mayhew’s resignation is long overdue.

Steven Powers