Since announcing my candidacy for the State House, I’ve been knocking on doors nearly everyday, listening and learning about the issues that matter most to folks living in District 99. I want to share just a few thoughts on the infrastructure challenges currently facing our area.
Anywhere between 8-10 million tourists visit our region each year. Tourism is great for our market because it generates jobs and investment. It also generates lots of new residents because when people visit the Lowcountry, they never want to leave! Like many of you, I grew up here – so I get it. Our live oaks, sandy shores, delicious cuisine and inviting hospitality are addictive. But I often ask myself two important questions: Where are all of our new friends going to live? And secondly, how will they get around town?
As it stands now, we are wholly unprepared to meet the infrastructure demands of today – let alone those of the future. In South Carolina, we have a politically driven system of spending and allocating highway dollars. The most senior members of the legislature dictate where the money goes, and whichever members have spent the most time in the legislature – they get the most money. This is a system of political spoils – and it is a system that is failing our state.
The good ol’ boys in Columbia don’t know any better. But you and I both know there is a better way. If we commit to fixing the system – we can fix its outcomes.
As a conservative businesswoman, I believe our state needs to adopt an objective, nonpolitical method of spending taxpayer infrastructure dollars. For starters, funding for roads and bridges should be doled out based on merit and need, not politics. Secondly, South Carolina governors should be in charge of appointing Department of Transportation commissioners and members of the State Infrastructure Bank. This way if these officials do not perform their duties in an impartial, objective manner – everyone will know where the blame lies.
Third, while I will pour my heart and soul into every committee assignment I receive, I’m going to push to be appointed to panels that specifically address our state’s infrastructure needs. And if I don’t receive these appointments right off the bat, I’m going to sit in on those committee meetings anyway and build relationships with colleagues who are on those panels.
Let me be clear: we are in an infrastructure crisis because political decisions, NOT real-world needs, have dictated infrastructure funding decisions. I will work hard everyday to change that – and to meet our road needs here in SC State House District 99! And I will be a champion for our district from the very first moment I set foot in Columbia, working hard to bring improvements to our quality of life. And let’s be honest – this is life and death on some of our Lowcountry roads.
Please let me know what you think about our infrastructure situation. Send me an email at email@example.com or call me 843.580.6223. In fact, you can even text me if you need me. I want to hear your concerns and ideas.
And remember, the special election for the next State House representative in our district is TUESDAY, JANUARY 16th! I would be HONORED to have your vote!