published Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Tennessee commissioner who pushed privitization of operations returning to private sector

NASHVILLE — State General Services Commissioner Steve Cates, whose push to privatize the department’s operations has roiled state employees, will step down Aug. 20 to return to the private sector.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam made the announcement this morning, said Cates had all along planned to stay for only two years but extended that until now.

“Steve has put a lot of work into bringing state government into the 21st Century,” Haslam said in a news release. “We now have a reliable inventory of state properties; we have a plan to maintain those properties instead of deferring maintenance costs until there is a crisis."

The governor said his administration is now "creating more functional and cost-effective work spaces for our employees; and we’re leveraging the state’s buying power to save taxpayer dollars.”

Calling those “significant changes,” Haslam said he is “grateful to Steve’s dedication to see these projects through.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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