Thursday, August 27, 2015

WHAT, No Beach Wear?

Public Welfare brass might be cutting services to the poor and needy, but at least they'll look good.

WHAT, No Beach Wear?


The state Department of Public Welfare might be cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the poor, needy and disabled but, hey, at least the agency's top brass will look good doing it.

According to internal office memos provided to the Daily News, welfare boss Gary Alexander won't tolerate anything but professional dress from his department's managers.

This includes, shockingly, a ban on halter tops and "beach wear" during warm weather. One wonders what these public servants HAVE been wearing to work.

A second memo about a "lunch and learn" event with Alexander reminds employees of the dress code suggesting men wear "a suit and tie" and women wear "closed-toe shoes and nylons or tights."

I'm assuming most women also wore something else, otherwise musta been a very interesting "lunch and learn."

Anyway, in case you don't think your state is focused on major issues, here are the memos:

Subject: Important dresscode notice and clarification

From:  Secretary Alexander

Members of our executive leadership team establish an image for the entire department as well as the Commonwealth-at-large.  It is vitally important to project that professional image at all times and to be mindful as to how we represent our agency.  Inasmuch, I am asking that you adhere to wearing business attire during the course of your work day.  Although, it goes without saying during the course of the warmer months unacceptable attire would include: hats, sweat suits, flip flops, short shorts, skorts, mini skirts, halter or cropped tops, T-shirts with inappropriate, offensive or threatening imprints, swim or beach wear, tattered jeans or jeans with tears or holes.

Please share this information with your leadership team and any other appropriate staff.  Thank you.

Gary D. Alexander | Acting Secretary
Department of Public Welfare
Room 333 Health & Welfare Building
625 Forster Street | Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787.2600 | Fax: (717) 265-8223


Subject: Lunch and Learn with Acting DPW Secretary Alexandar
When: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Where: Room 812, Health & Welfare Building

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Where: Room 812, Health & Welfare Building

Hello everyone,

Below is the conference call number to dial into the session if you will not be able to join us in person on Wednesday.  Please call in before 12:00pm so that we may have everyone connected before Acting DPW Secretary Alexandar begins speaking at noon.

Please note that professional dress is being requested if you will be attending the session in person.  For men, this means a suit and tie and for women, this means closed-toe shoes and nylons or tights.


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

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