Wednesday, March 21, 2007

transportation bill gutted

On Wednesday February 14th the Transportation Committee passed a bill with sweeping reforms. The bill gives me the impression that the department should be run more like a business and therefore more efficient. It has been said "we need more business in government and less government in business." In the real world, businesses operate on a “perform or else” standard. Small businesses are so efficient because they can make necessary changes very quickly. One reason government, especially the current DOT, is so inefficient is that change is very slow. The original bill creates a state board that chooses the projects and priorities. Also, it defines the director as being an “at will” gubernatorial appointment. The director serves at direct accountability to the governor. This issue is where the real reform rests.

On Wednesday, March 21, the bill was amended to define the director of transportation as an “at will” by the board not the governor. The board is appointed by the Governor with a huge catch. The Senate confirms these appointments as in the Santee Cooper board. We've seen problems with the confirmation process.

In my perspective real reform would define the director as a gubernatorial “at will” appointment. After the bill was gutted, I see no real reform; therefore, I can no longer support the bill. Hopefully, we will revert back to the committee's recomendations for real reform.