Those who jump on the Tom Watkins bandwagon for the next president of NMC would do well to heed the words of philosopher George Santayana, who said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (“The Life of Reason”).

In his capacity as director of the Michigan Department of Mental Health from 1987-1990, Watkins did irreparable harm to the citizens and families of Michigan, especially those associated with psychiatric facilities, including many in the local area. Just ask those who lives he touched, those in the mental health profession, their descendants and members of law enforcement.

Now, after the damage has been done, he says he “regrets” some of his decisions (Record-Eagle page 2A, Aug. 27).Beware, all change talk does not foretell progress. The best single predictor of future behaviors is past behaviors.

Kenneth R. Gibson, Ph.D.

Traverse City

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