Letter II: Writer gets it about DHEC

While I'm at it, allow me to call your attention to another letter on today's page, which makes a good point worth considering about the crying need to restructure government on the state level:

Aughtry big fan of current DHEC setup

I applaud Bo Aughtry’s call for a discussion on the structure of the Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC professionals, board don’t bend to politics,” Sunday).

But it looks as if he doesn’t want to lead it, since all involved in it are very good and adept at what they do. Everyone is doing their best — considering they don’t get paid (as we’re reminded).

But I was wondering: How would the votes fall when developers are wanting to build, build, build, and taxpayers want to attach conditions to building permits to protect their community? The “home builder/developer,” “the attorney in the land business,” the one in “the land business” and the “real estate developer” might be conflicted — it’s only human. (Remember we are not paying them, so why would they hamper the very industry that is providing them a paycheck?)

I could be accused of being cynical, but it seems that lately those in positions of power and responsibility are simply saying, “Mistakes were made, but don’t quote me.” Who can say, “The buck stops here”?


Excellent point about the makeup of that board. Allow me to elaborate: The DHEC board could well be as wonderful and public-spirited and as interested in protecting our health and environment as Mr. Aughtry maintains, in spite of the appearances raised by their lines of work.

But we don't know that. Why? Because we don't know them, and had no role in choosing them, much less any chance to vet them. Quick, name the members of the DHEC board. Yeah, some smart-aleck will do so, either by virtue of being an insider or having cheated by going to the Web site. But most of you don't know, and couldn't begin to tell me or anyone else how they have voted on issues or what overall influence each of them has had on policy, for good or ill.

The fix is to put someone we know and have elected in charge. No, that doesn't guarantee that things will be hunky-dory. But it at least gives the electorate a chance to demand results, and have some hope of being heeded.

One thought on “Letter II: Writer gets it about DHEC

  1. Brad Warthen

    I’m just testing to see whether the comment function is working on this post. We had this big discussion about restructuring gummint on the state AND local levels on the neighboring post — which was about city only — which tells me there is interest in THIS subject, but there have been no comments here.
    So I’m just checking.


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