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Otter’s budget chief departs to head Associated General Contractors

Wayne Hammon, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief for the past five and a half years, is resigning Sept. 28 to become executive director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors. Hammon, who heads Otter's Division of Financial Management, wrote in his resignation letter, “After serving as DFM administrator longer than any of my predecessors, it is now time for me to move on.”

The previous AGC executive director, Mark Dunham, resigned in June after suffering a stroke in January; he had held the position since 2007. The group has more than 600 members, and in 2011 Dunham described it as the state's “premier construction lobby” and “the premier voice for Idaho’s construction industry at every level of government.”

Hammon's been a lobbyist before; he served as director of government relations for the National Association of Wheat Growers from 1999 to 2001 after working as a congressional aide to U.S. Sens. Larry Craig and Orrin Hatch. Hammon also headed the USDA Farm Service Agency in Idaho for seven years before joining the Otter Administration. When he left the Wheat Growers, the group's president, Dusty Tallman, said Hammon “made our organization a potent lobbying force.” Hammon is the latest in a line of top Otter Administration officials who've left for positions lobbying state government, including two former chiefs of staff.

Hammon, 41, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in public policy from BYU, said, “I count Butch Otter as a friend, and I'm honored that he trusted me with this job, and I'm happy to have been of service as long as I have. It really is an honor.” He said the opening at AGC was a “great opportunity” for him. “We're right at the beginning of a tremendous boom in the economy - I think the recovery is happening,” Hammon said. “So that industry's got a very bright future, and I'm excited to be part of that.” Late this afternoon, Otter issued a news release about Hammon's departure; click below to read it.


C.L. “Butch” Otter

GOVERNOR

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                          

September 18, 2012                                                                                                                    

 

STATE BUDGET DIRECTOR LEAVING TO LEAD IDAHO’S ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS

 

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today announced the resignation of Wayne Hammon, administrator of the Governor’s Division of Financial Management (DFM), effective September 28. Hammon is leaving to accept the position of executive director for the Idaho Associated General Contractors (AGC).

“It has been a true honor to serve in Governor Otter’s Cabinet. He has been and continues to be more than just a boss to me, but also a mentor and a friend,” Hammon said. “I am proud to have helped play a role in guiding Idaho through some tough economic waters. I believe that with Governor Otter’s continued leadership our great state is on the path to prosperity.”

The Governor named David Fulkerson, currently DFM’s deputy administrator, to serve as interim administrator during the search for Hammon’s permanent replacement. 

Hammon became budget director in July 2007, just half a year into Governor Otter’s first term. He managed spending holdbacks prompted by recession in 2008, 2009 and 2010 to keep the State budget balanced and rein in government growth, and oversaw Idaho’s response to and allocation of the massive federal stimulus program called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He also instituted a nationally recognized zero-base budgeting process that has dramatically changed the way State agencies use and account for taxpayer dollars.                                                                   

“Wayne has set a high bar for anyone else to clear. He has been in turns decisive and cautious as required, firm when it was called for and consistently responsive and thorough,” Governor Otter said. “He has been a great sounding board and a reliable, trustworthy partner in public service. He will be greatly missed, but I wish him all the success in the world in this new endeavor.”

At AGC, Hammon will succeed Mark Dunham, who resigned in June.

 

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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