Cunningham, a Paterson Adviser, Departs

David Paterson’s adviser Bill Cunningham is leaving his job.

Cunningham sent an email at 9:46 a.m. to friends, and it was forwarded to me by a reader.

Cunningham, whose roots are on Long Island, served as the governor’s secretary, but then left in February.

It was immediately reported that Cunningham rejoined the state payroll as an “adviser.”

Today’s departure sounds more permanent. Here’s the email:

From: William Cunningham,

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:46 AM

To: #EVERYONE; #Governor’s Cabinet

Subject: The Future

Today, May 11, 2009, will be my last day present in the Chamber. On June 1, 2009, I will begin serving as the Vice President of Government and Community Affairs for the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. NS-LIJ is New York’s largest healthcare network, and is one of the largest in the nation, with 33,000 employees and $4.5 billion in revenues. Health care is one of our society’s greatest challenges, and I am excited to become a member of the NS-LIJ team.

This is a difficult time for the Governor and for our government. It is a daunting task to maximize the opportunities and to minimize the risks which so many confounding crises present simultaneously.

New Yorkers are overtaxed and many are underserved. Our residents’ best hope for rescue is the Governor’s leadership and you–our secretaries, commissioners, agency heads and other senior and support staff. In my March 12, 2009 Newsday Op-Ed, I was pleased to pay tribute to “the hard work of our gifted and dedicated senior staff….”

For you and me, now is not the time to be on the sidelines. As we confront complicated, frustrating and exhausting problems and solutions of all kinds, we need to communicate with our people and institutions wisely and widely–saying what we mean, and meaning what we say.

We also need vision that invigorates everything we do. The memorable words of the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw are as good a standard as you will find: “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?”

Excelsior. Bill Cunningham

Cunningham, a Paterson Adviser, Departs