I want to say how pleased I am that we were finally able to get Bob Sprankle, the former Wells Elementary School teacher, the disability retirement he deserved and desperately needed (“Maine finally grants former teacher disability benefits, vows to reform system,” Nov. 3).

I also want to thank Sandy Matheson, executive director of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, and her team for listening to us and seeking a way forward that led to this good result. It takes a good leader and a strong team to look internally at their operation and understand where things can be improved.

That doesn’t always happen in government, and I was pleased to have worked with them to reach the results we have. Not only for Bob but also – and more importantly – seeking solutions to better serve the needs of the 60,000 state employees who might benefit from the new coverage options and protection that I hope my legislation will provide.

Finally, I want to thank the Portland Press Herald and staff writer Joe Lawlor for taking an interest in Bob’s case and shinning a light on some of the issues that needed to be addressed.

Often we become cynical about whether government can respond and fix the problems we face. While that doesn’t happen nearly enough, I can safely say that in this case, it did, and I was pleased to have been a part of that process.

Robert Foley

Republican state representative


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