This past Tuesday we South Carolinians witnessed first-hand what can be accomplished when our state leaders place the best interest of our citizens above petty, partisan politics and self preservation of power.
With the creation of the Department of Administration and abolishment of the antiquated Budget and Control Board, the next phase of government restructuring was finally realized.
When my late father, former Gov. Carroll Campbell, was re-elected in 1990 he vowed to restructure our state government.
In his 1991 State of the State address, Dad stated that a major fundamental flaw in many area's of our state government was a system that "answers to nobody, listens to nobody and serves nobody except special interest."
In that same address, he also spoke of four branches of government - "the executive, legislative, judicial and bureaucracy."
Having said that, he understood that it would be a monumental task to change a government system that had not experienced significant change in over 100 years and would be particularly challenging to do so with a legislative body made up predominantly of members from the opposite political party.
However, as with every problem or issue he ever faced, his determination to bring people together from both parties to solve the problem was unwavering.
In addition, he felt three basic principles must be agreed upon and met by all involved to truly have a restructured government:
First, it must save the taxpayers money.
Second, it must enhance government accountability.
Third, it must improve government efficiency through eliminating bureaucratic duplication and redundancy.
Two years later in 1993, after much debate, deliberation and compromise to find common ground, members of the Legislature from both sides of the aisle, who had set petty politics aside for the good of the state, looked on as Dad signed into law changes that would forever change the structure of our state government.
In his remarks that day, Dad said, "This was the first significant step in the modern era of creating a better system of government for our people."
With that first step, he envisioned continued restructuring and for future leaders to take up the mantle where he left off.
Finally, after 21 years and thanks to Gov. Nikki Haley's leadership and persistence, along with bipartisan tireless efforts from many in the General Assembly, the next step of Dad's vision was realized.
It is now incumbent upon us all to assure that this only be the next step, and not the final step of always working to improve the performance of government for our citizens.
Gov. Haley graciously stated in her State of the State address Wednesday night that "Carroll Campbell, the father of restructuring in our state, is smiling down on South Carolina this evening."
There is no question in my mind that she was absolutely right.
Mike Campbell is a Columbia businessman and former Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
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