I have received your letter of July 28, and it is with sincere gratitude for your many years of dedicated public service that I accept your resignation as Administrator of the General Services Administration, effective October 15, 1975, as you requested.
Throughout your six years at G.S.A.--and before that as an exceptionally able assistant to two governors of the State of Pennsylvania--you have fulfilled your challenging leadership responsibilities with skill and distinction. Better than most, you know that your assignments as Administrator have never been anything but demanding and difficult. Yet I have had the utmost confidence in both your ability and your determination to carry on each of your tasks in the best interests of the Nation. You have worked tirelessly to build at G.S.A. an institutional reputation for productivity and effectiveness, and I commend you for the outstanding record of achievement which is the result.
Now as you prepare to return to private life, I hope you will always look back on this time of public service with the fullest measure of satisfaction and pride. You may be sure you take with you my warmest good wishes for every future success and happiness.
GERALD R. FORDNote: Mr. Sampson's letter of resignation read as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
It is with deep regret that I submit my resignation as Administrator of the General Services Administration effective October 15, 1975. I had planned to stay in government until the latter part of 1976 but circumstances are such that I am advancing my schedule by a year.
I leave with a great deal of sadness. But I also leave with a great deal of pride.
I have now completed over 12 years of government service. Every year has been a grueling one. But each has also been a very rewarding one. No matter what the circumstances or the time frame, I continue to promote government service to everyone.
Governor Scranton persuaded me to leave the business world and enter government service in 1963. I served as his state purchasing agent for four years. He was and is a great American.
I then served as Budget Secretary and Secretary of Administration for Governor Raymond Shafer for two and a half years. He was a courageous and effective Governor and a statesman. I am happy to see that he is now working for you in a significant role.
In June of 1969, I came to work in GSA for Bob Kunzig, my predecessor as Administrator of GSA. Before becoming Administrator I managed the two largest operations in GSA--the Federal Supply Service and the Public Buildings Service.
GSA was a moribund, static agency in 1969. Bob Kunzig revitalized GSA and I feel proud that I helped him, and then, as Administrator went on to further improve GSA. Today, GSA is an exciting place to work. Morale is high and productivity excellent.
It is very unfortunate that some tough issues we have had to handle resulted in negative publicity which has beclouded the significant accomplishments of the last six years. Despite this you will find that our reputation for performance and integrity is excellent. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, businessmen, labor leaders, professionals (architects, engineers, etc.), other Federal agencies and GSA employees at all levels will attest to that fact.
Every assignment I have had in public service has been a tough one requiring difficult decisions. I accepted all assignments and made the tough decisions. I have no regrets in this regard because I always knew what I was getting into and tough decisions were necessary to get things done.
My career in public service has been exciting, challenging and rewarding. There have been some rough times and some frustrating moments. But I realize that you cannot really have one without the other.
I feel very fortunate to have been associated with you as Minority Leader, Vice President, and now as President. I think you are on the "right track" for America and that you will stay there.
Lastly, I want you to know that after 12 years in public service, I have great confidence in our democratic system of government. There were moments when I had my doubts, but overall, we have the best system known to man.
ARTHUR F. SAMPSON