Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006
in expired positions
SC Statehouse Report
3, 2006 - - There are 13 pages of vacant, expired or soon-to-be
expiring positions on state boards and commissions, according
to a list of 103 organizations the Secretary of State's office
The list, last updated May 8, shows 423 state-appointed positions
are considered "expired." Generally, that means
an appointee is continuing to serve in the position, but he
or she has not been reappointed or stepped down. The list
also shows seven vacancies and 28 slots that will expire by
the end of the year.
After May 8 and before the Senate adjourned in June, senators
confirmed 28 recommendations to bring the number of expired
terms to just under 400. Additionally, four recommendations
were not acted on by the Senate, according to the Senate clerk's
It's not uncommon for some positions to be in limbo. State
law says it's OK for appointees to continue to serve in expired
terms. But a lot of people are serving in posts to which they
have not been reappointed. Most of these positions aren't
on the high-profile boards, which tend to be political plums
for which campaign supporters clamor. Instead, they're lower-profile
positions that often are much harder to fill.
So far, our all-time favorite example is the Cosmetology
Advisory Committee State Board, which has five expired positions,
including one that goes back to April 1989.
But there are several other more prominent highlights:
- S.C. Arts Commission: Seven of nine board slots
are expired, including two that have been expired for two
- Commission on Human Affairs: Nine of 15 slots are
expired, two of which have been expired for three years.
- State Commission on Higher Education: Before an
Aug. 24 announcement of five new appointments, eight members
served in expired positions.
- State Ethics Commission: Two expired positions,
including the chairman.
- State Housing Finance and Development Authority: Six
expired positions, including the chairman.
- State Ports Authority: Three expired positions.
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Several state agency officials say having board members serve
despite expired terms doesn't pose major problems because
they've got experience. But one admitted it may have a psychological
effect: "Some of the board members who have been allowed
to stay feel a little in limbo and it has had some effect
on their role on the board."
As a wag noted, "You have to question why you should
even have terms."
Positions on state boards and commissions - - everything
from highly-touted postings on university boards to out-of-spotlight
boards like the Prisoner of War Commission or Board of Architectural
Examiners - - generally are appointed by the governor, about
half of which require Senate confirmation. State lawmakers,
either as the General Assembly or by legislative delegation,
also make some appointments.
Still, the governor's office gets the ball rolling on most
appointments. With an election ahead in November, it's not
unexpected for terms to remain expired. But with a bunch of
them expired for more than a year, you've got to wonder if
the expirations are symptomatic - - a indication of a lack
of priority, benign neglect or something else
So we asked the governor's office for some details and a
status report about appointments to a dozen selected boards
with some expired terms. (It seemed to make sense to ask for
info on a few key boards to get a flavor of what was happening
since there must have been some unreported appointments since
May.) But instead of information about numbers of recommendations
or appointments, we got spin.
Said spokesman Joel Sawyer, "There are literally thousands
of state and local board and commission appointments the governor
is responsible for filling, and that volume is magnified by
the turnover we see through term expirations and other natural
attrition for these largely volunteer positions. We fill hundreds
of those spots each year, and there are any number of board
appointments that we're actively working on at any given moment."
Is something ominous going on? Probably not. But 400 or so
expired terms certainly makes you wonder what's happening
with state government.
Send your comments to Andy Brack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His book of commentary, Bugging
the Palmettos, is available for
here for more.
Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
9/1: SC State helped
form public service mission
To the editor:
I would like to thank you for the recognition in reporting
the great things our institution has done for years. [Commentary,
8/27] Just think what we could accomplish with the
financial support comparable to USC & Clemson. I am a
civil engineering graduate of SCSU and went on to study for
my Masters in environmental engineering in FAMU/FSU College
of Engineering on a NASA fellowship. And just think, DOT offered
me $19,000 when I graduated. My NASA stipend was $15,000!
This past year I started my own environmental firm to remediate
contaminated properties and redevelop them for profitable
use. My mission is to bring my concept home to develop property
for jobs in SC. Thats the type of public service ideas
that is developed with an SCSU education.
-- Jerome D. McQueen, Kennesaw, Ga.
Thanks for the recognition
To the editor:
As an 89' Alumnus of SC State I would just like to thank
you for this awesome write-up about our illustrious university.
-- Sidney Wearing, Raleigh, NC
Great article on SC State
To the editor:
Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful article on my beloved
alma mater! We Bulldogs have always known that S.C. State
was an exceptional place to go to school, but it's nice to
know that we are appreciated nationally. Thank you for spreading
the word! GO BULLDOGS!!!!
-- Lisa R. Brown '80, Smyrna, Ga.
Vote no on property tax cap
To the editor:
Kill the 15% Cap - vote "No" in November. Leave
our Tax system in place-requiring everyone to pay their fair
and equal share of the cost of government based on fair market
value... Don't vote "Yes" and make "inequality"
a constitutional mandate - denying the little property owner
equal treatment for ever. . The big guys already have a handsome
windfall with the tax swap.- Those at the top of the ladder
will see their tax bill cut as much as 50% or more.
Let's not shaft the little property owner and saddle them,
their children and grand children with the added tax burden-
inherent with a 15% Cap- of subsiding wealthy property owners
The 136 lawyer-worded 15% reassessment ballot question is
crafted to defy interpretation by the average person. Rather
it is designed to confuse the average property owner into
voting himself self a tax increase to give windfall tax breaks
to the wealthy.
While the average person can be excused for lacking the skills
needed to understand the complexities of our property tax
system, our elected officials cannot. They have an obligation
to understand complex public policy and a responsibility to
inform/educate their constituents on such matters - especially
something as serious and important as a Constitutional change.
A change that is estimated by the state's Chief Economist
to adversely effect the majority of taxpayers statewide to
the tune of a $372 million tax burden shift from the haves
to the have nots..
As a minimum -elected officials should call on their Tax Experts
(Assessors and Auditors) to prepare an estimate of the effects
of implementing a 15% Cap in their respective counties and
release same to the public. The clock is ticking. Let's tell
the truth about the Cap.
-- Bob Henderson, North Charleston, S.C.
SC State has rich heritage
To the editor:
As a proud graduate of S.C. State University, please accept
my sincere thanks for the very positive commentary published
in Monday's Sumter Daily Item. Although not without
problems (and what higher education school isn't?) you are
quite correct. The University has a rich heritage and continues
to make exemplary marks in many fields of endeavor/ contributions/
services to both our state and our nation.
Thank you for your recognition of its latest rating by The
-- Carolyn Harris Brown '54, Columbia, S.C.
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