This year, our family Thanksgiving holiday was a little out of the ordinary in that the blessing took nearly as long as the demolition of the feast. There were just an immense number of things for which our clan was giving thanks.
Daughters Reedy and Eliza Rose were in the play “Willy Wonka, Jr.” for which good reviews were in order, or should I say that fabulous reviews were to be found in abundance. Truthfully, they were both great. I assure you that any inherited talent for theater was not from my side of the family, as Rose is fond of reminding.
In reward for William’s performance at summer camp, I promised to be with him for the Green River Kayak Race. I was personally, and silently, grateful that I was able to make the 1.5-mile hike into the beginning of the racecourse. He made the hike like he was a mountain goat, with his father pulling up the rear.
As an aside, if you are not familiar with the Green River Kayak Race, please Google it for a taste of what your representative endured to not embarrass himself before his son. The racecourse is pretty hairy, but the climb to the starting line is something I will train for next year.
Needless to say, two “thousand-year” floods in the recent past and a Category 2 hurricane battering not only our Myrtle Island home but also the “refuge” we took in Manning after evacuating, left us with much for which to be thankful.
On the legislative front, we return for organizational meetings at the statehouse on December 6 and 7. I hope to be re-elected chairman of the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC), as we have done exceptional work to improve the various departments which we, and when requested, the Legislative Audit Council, have examined in the last year and a half.
The work of our committee is making a substantial difference in how some of our departments execute their duties. For example, we took action to ensure the continued health, safety and welfare of the juveniles and employees at the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The Department of Agriculture has modified the hours of operation for its laboratory staff in response to the public comments solicited and received by our committee. We have identified needs for modernization in the Comptroller’s Office, which prompted the House to pass measures correcting or amending almost 100 statutes to improve not only the Comptroller’s Office, but also the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.
We have secured a number of studies by the Legislative Audit Council, which include implementation schedules. As President Woodrow Wilson observed in his doctoral dissertation: “As important as legislation, is vigilant oversight of administration.”
What we have done and will continue to do for at least another six years is to do a programmatic review of all departments that do the work of the state.
It’s not sexy. There are few headlines. But we make sure the people’s business is done and done efficiently, getting the most benefit for the least tax dollars.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.