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Former DENR employee leaves her job with a blazing "Dear John" email

A long-time regulator at the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources left her job at the regional office in Asheville on Friday. Before she left, Susan Wilson wrote a "Dear John" letter to DENR secretary John Skvarla.

It was not a cheery good-bye note. Wilson does not agree with the state's new outlook on environmental regulation. She added a "take this job and shove it" YouTube link to her email.

A DENR spokesman said Skvarla will be responding.

Update: Wilson said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon that she retired after about 24 1/2 years, "a little sooner than I wanted to."

She said she gave a lot of thought to what she wrote. "You don't do that lightly. I lit the fuse and burned the bridges."

Here's the email, obtained as the result of a public information request.

Subject: RE: Labor Day

Dear John,

Thanks so much for the note regarding Labor Day - you have always been timely with these, unlike some of your predecessors.

You and I are going to part ways today. I had a great "gig" here in the regional office - I had a great boss, great co-workers, I was still learning a good bit, and the good days were always outweighing the bad days. I was pretty certain (after my first 5 years) that I could outlast any administration the governor could appoint. I had no problem with the Martin administration - he was a man of science and no extremist.

Between your inappropriate mission statement, the dismantling of the Division of Water Quality, and HB74 (along with a few other gems from this session's NCGA), I see no reason to continue here - because my own mission - to assist all citizens and protect those that don't have a voice, would be compromised.

I was a good regulator - I had a bit of distrust for both sides of the aisle - which made me regulate evenly and with common sense and fair judgement. Over the past 24 years I've had the privilege to have worked with some of the most intelligent, articulate, and respected environmental scientists and engineers - I'd put them up against my friends in the private sector any day of the week. But the disdain for them (and me) by this administration is too much to bear.

When you pushed our reasonable, right-leaning WQ Director out, I knew we were in trouble. When you guys (and they are mostly guys...) pushed out a very thoughtful and judicial Environmental Management Commission chair, I knew we were moving into a sand pit that we weren't going to dig out of easily. When you, along with your "great Tom Reeder", decided to cleave off the stormwater programs and move it to Land Resources, who have never been trained for such..nor do they much care about WQ, I knew it was time to leave. I'm sure the 401 Water Quality program is next (especially since you said we should be more like TX and SC).

I'm all about customer service (as the majority of employees in DWQ are, and have always been), but that just seems to be a smokescreen for a very extremist republican agenda.

Likely there will be some uptick in the business environment in the next few years (mainly because the economy has started to recover from the disaster your friends on Wall Street created). But when the hot summers and the drought years come back, and we get fish kills again, and maybe there's fracking going on in the sandhills - it will be the fine folks at DENR who will get blamed for the chaos. The politicians and their appointees, that did the dismantling and created the chaos, will be long gone. We know the drill.

For my brothers and sisters in the Division of WATER QUALITY (the so called "seat warmers") who don't have the option to be able to move on, due to various obligations and a destroyed economy, let me leave you with a video I pilfered from the internet 'cause I didn't have the tools to make my own.

You can view this while I gather up my toothbrush and grab my loincloth to start heading out the door.

Thanks,

Susan


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TRguy--I believe you are the

TRguy--I believe you are the kettle calling pot black, talk about pigeon holing folks. Just because people care about the environment does not mean they are liberals. And when one of the prior folks posted for you to get educated it was not about political ideology or history. The resignation letter was posted to make you "think" and ask questions about exactly what changes are being proposed and implemented by the new administration. These folks jobs are not about counting how many times you wipe your but (who gives a **** about that?). They are trying to make sure that rules are in place (e.g. how much dye a clothing manufaturer can dump into a stream before they start causing algae blumes and fish kills) and businesses follow these rules so that you have clean drinking water. This new administration is about relaxing the rules so businesses can save money by treating the environment (and our water supplies), like their private toilet. I wonder if you have children, and if so, do you wonder what kind of world you will be leaving behind for them as you obviously care so little about folks who are paid to protect it? Think about that the next time you hear about an algae blume and large fish kill in Lake Jordan (a.k.a the drinking supply for most folks in the RDU area)?

Daniel Daniel Daniel, you

Daniel Daniel Daniel, you libs amaze me sir, have you been looking at my tax records? Do you work for the NC DOR? How would you know if I pay a lot or none (like most spongers) how would you know if my taxes make a difference or not. Oh that is right you don’t know. You, just like to assume and pigeon hole, and categorize people a station, a place in life. So in your world only those that pay enough taxes “to see a difference” should speak their opinion? Just asking maybe you can clarify in your vast amount of wisdom. One taxpayer has a right to their opinion and one opinion piled upon another a voice, a message is clarified and made succinct for the mass. It is called a community conversation. You must just not like opinions that conflict with yours. Again the “Tolerant” liberals speak.

What makes Ms Wilson rare????, because she told someone to take their job and shove it through the use of an internet video? Hardly, many thousands in the world have done it more bravely than her and to their employers face. Or is it because the 100+ year rule of the socialists in the NC legislature was recently defeated and the atmosphere wasn't as rosey for her liberal beliefs, as they were under Perdue, Easely, Hunt, etc…. So the poor government worker takes her pencil and goes home and tells her new boss to shove it (Through a video) BRAVE.

Daniel, educate yourself on history, Read, Hobbes, Locke, Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, et al

History tells a tell, and gives a pretty story of human enlightenment of the individual human mind, free of BIG Government Tyranny and despotism.

Will the DENR stay open?

Will the DENR stay open or will it now have to close? Is there anyone left to do the job? You can't take the ball with you when you go home if the ball ain't yours. But when things don't go your way sometimes it is best to clear out. Politics is funny like that.

Integrity Difficult to Recognize For Some

Mr. TRguy....you posted "Now go make some profit errr money in the private sector and I thank God you aren't sponging off the tax payer any longer."

I have to wonder why you are so concerned about the effect of her resignation on the 'taxpayer' since you certainly don't pay enough taxes in NC to see a difference.

Ms. Wilson is, unfortunately, a rare government official, who cares about her work and the effect it had on citizens of North Carolina. She will be missed. But your admonition to leave the government and seek employment in the private sector may be just what is needed since the only way we will get the safe environment we desire in North Carolina is to make it ourselves in spite of government. Brava, Ms. Wilson.

Of course Teddy Roosevelt

Of course Teddy Roosevelt would be appalled because he was a LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE. You know Bull Moose party guy and Big Government guy. Know your history before you speak. Tar_Heel83 is that your Alumni year? If so, I was the Class of 92. I figured with your liberal pedigree you would know more of which you speak. Nobody wants dirty air and dirty water but we don't need the government setting regulations to count the number of times I wipe my butt on a visit to the bathroom. You liberals out do yourselves in your silly blind trust of the government bureaucracy.

I'm quite educated, what

I'm quite educated, what would you like to discuss; topics involving Empiricists such as Locke, or Hobbes? Maybe you prefer we discuss the conclusions of Alexis de Tocqueville and Charles de Montesquieu and what they rationalized from the works of Locke? What about The founders, Hamilton and Madison are my favorites, but you are welcome to pick any you like. How about the first Republican President, Lincoln? How educated do you want me to be to be able to speak to frivolity of hypocritical socialists bureaucrats??? Please oh please enlighten me.

TRguy - proving your ignorance

I don't know if TR stands for Teddy Roosevelt. If TR was alive today, he would be appalled at what is happening at DENR. Clean air, clean water are necessary for the entire population regardless of political persuasion. The effectiveness of DENR to effectively educate about and enforce existing state and federal regulations regarding water quality has been dramatically diminished by the current administration.

TRman, if you want to be taken seriously you should not be tossing around scurrilous and baseless assertions about Ms. Wilson. I doubt you have any clue as to the type of work she did with the Division of Water Quality on behalf of its citizens to ensure access to clean drinking water and mitigation of storm water runoff.

TRguy, brush up on your -isms

Before you vilify someone, TRguy, educate yourself.

"great "gig""- so her career

"great "gig""- so her career was a "gig", ummmmm professional

"I could outlast any administration the governor could appoint. I had no problem with the Martin administration - he was a man of science and no extremist." - So he wasn't a Conservative? a RINO maybe? So you got along fine with Perdue, Easely, Hunt,.... of course you did, they were socialists.

"very extremist republican agenda" - Ha extremist, you my dear marxist fellow State citizen can keep sponging off the government teet in retirement, I am glad you are gone. One less bureaucrat to deal with. Now go make some profit errr money in the private sector and I thank God you aren't sponging off the tax payer any longer.

"Dear John" email

Let's hope Susan Wilson finds a role to play in making changes. We need articulate leadership with a sense of humor and dedication to the public interest.

"Dear John" email

Very well stated letter of resignation/retirement. More people need to stand up to those who seek to destroy our great state.

Dear John" email

Very well stated letter of resignation/retirement. More people need to stand up to those who seek to destroy our great state.

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