Monday, December 29, 2008

A year's worth of thanks

In keeping with my promise of little or no politics over the holidays, I want this column to be something of a thank-you to all the good folks who have contributed to my efforts to represent District 118 in an effective manner. I don’t do this as often as I should because usually there is some pressing issue that this column needs to address.

Obviously, my most serious gratitude is reserved for my caring and patient wife, Mary. There are so many times I have to leave our family time to help a constituent or rush up to Columbia for an urgent strategy session. Mary is much more tolerant than I would probably be if our situations were reversed, which, of course, they might be o­ne day.

Cathy and the legislative staff do a tremendous job of keeping up with the communications part of my job. They make sure that your calls; letters, emails and appointments are handled in a professional and efficient manner. o­n average, they deal with at least 300 contacts a week, and during busy times in session, it may be twice that number.

My friend, Jacob Preston has helped pull the column together every week for six years. I take seriously my commitment to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate legislative information. Consequently, I generate a ton of content each week. Jacob helps me schedule and prioritize what you ultimately read in the 600 or so words you hear from me every Monday. No matter how heated the politics get in Columbia, Jacob makes sure, at least, all my subjects and verbs agree.

There is also a worker bee in Bluffton (Moss Creek), who wishes to remain anonymous, who assures that the web site,, is the best in the General Assembly. It is an archive of my past opinions, achievements, and even a record of where I may have fallen short of the mark from time to time. It also has a load of cool South Carolina stuff. Check it out-- nearly all my legislative colleagues have.

When I have needed counsel o­n law enforcement and judicial matters, Solicitor Stone, Sheriff Tanner and Bluffton Police Chief McAllister have been available, forthcoming and outstanding.

I want to thank Bill Miles, President and CEO, and Chris Long, VP for political action, of the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. They have done great service in our struggle to attract good jobs to the Lowcountry, not to mention their recent efforts o­n behalf of the Waddell Marine Research Facility in Greater Bluffton. (Note: I am floating a name change for this outstanding facility, to more accurately reflect its function).

I also want to thank, in advance, our outstanding Beaufort County delegation. We have not always faced our challenges as a unified, effective force. But with the addition of Senator Davis, and Rep Erickson coming into her own, with Reps. Chalk and Hodges in strong support, I’m confident we will begin an era of legislative achievement o­n the first day of the new session.

Mostly, however, I am grateful for the continued confidence and support I get from you, the citizens and taxpayers of District 118. I hear from you an average of 300 times a week, year in and year out. There are a few complaints, but mostly it is advice and encouragement. You always make me proud to be your representative. Thank you. I won’t let you down