Goulet defined 'public servant'

Norwich will be losing a true public servant with the coming retirement of Beverly Goulet. After serving as director of human services for 30 years, Ms. Goulet announced Wednesday she will retire July 1.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with "Bev" knows that she views her position not as a job, but a vocation. She cares about the people her agency assists and is willing to try innovative approaches, take on powerful interests, and go well beyond the job description in acting on their behalf.

Ms. Goulet recognized the need for various agencies, both in government and in the private, nonprofit sector, to work together to help coordinate care for the needy and boost the opportunities for individuals to escape poverty. This approach led to the creation of the Housing Management Team, which works collectively on addressing problems such as substandard housing, landlords who fail to follow building codes, and threatened condemnations.

Thanks in large part to her efforts; Norwich also has a Community Care Team to provide the support necessary to help the homeless get the support they need to regain housing and to assist those on the margins from slipping into homelessness.

The long-time director has spurred regional cooperative efforts to deal with social service issues, taken on state policies that unfairly burden her city when it came to caring for the needy, and worked with city schools in providing children's services.

Though retiring at age 70, Ms. Goulet will hardly be inactive. She has plans to continue working on various boards and commissions that provide charitable services in the area. That is good news for our local communities.

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