By all accounts, the recent RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing was a splendid success. The crowds were large, attentive and well behaved (at least until party time after each day’s round).
The course was in excellent shape, especially considering the hurricane and the mark Matthew left on much of Hilton Head Island. The conditions were near perfect, so the golf was unhampered by our sometimes chilly, windy or damp conditions. With the cut at even par, you know the pros were playing some exciting golf.
Kudos also to the Heritage committee for the excellent organization. The parking was easy, the shuttles were pretty much on time, and the many details to a successful golf tournament were thoughtfully managed. With the experienced leadership and the huge number of wonderful volunteers, both spectators and participants had a great time.
There was even a small bit of entertaining political theater. Just prior to the flyover by the latest South Carolina-assembled Boeing airliner, there was a private plane pulling a banner with a message for all the members of the General Assembly in attendance. Four words: “Fix the Damn Roads” was the message.
Let’s hope the message will be heard and acted upon at the Statehouse, and that all the political theater will be confined to the sky above the Heritage.
Coincidentally, just before the banner appeared overhead, my good friend and delegation partner in the House, Rep. Bill Herbkersman, was nowhere to be found. Bill is also a pilot with decades of experience, a small plane, and a keen interest in bringing our roads and bridges up to a good standard of safety and sustainable serviceability. He was probably in one of the many hospitality tents, but I’m just saying …
It is claimed by the uninitiated that government should be run like a business. It is certainly a worthy goal, but the comparison is flawed. Sea Pines and the Heritage Committee had one goal: put on a world-class event. They did what was necessary.
In politics, our goals are often not well defined or agreed upon, and our stakeholders are often fractious and number in the millions. That said, sometimes we make progress toward the ideal way to manage a government, but our progress is often incremental and fraught with personal ambitions and an unfortunate penchant for preferring the appearance of progress to actual progress.
A recent exception to this tendency is the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC). Created by House leadership under Speaker Jay Lucas, I am honored to chair the committee, as well as to organize and populate the body with folks who are focused on the singular goal of making each agency of state government as efficient and cost-effective as possible.
In our short tenure, we have, by cooperative effort and submerging individual egos, to accomplish much toward our singular goal. Debates in the House often include references to LOC studies and recommendations. So often, in fact, that the Speaker has recently acknowledged that our protocols, transparency and effectiveness are moving the House in a positive direction.
Sometimes, a good example is a powerful incentive.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.