Monday, November 15, 2010

Special thanks to those who help make column successful

Bluffton Today

The number of constituent contacts seems to rise each week and this week was no exception. Much of the increase, in my view, is attributable to the fact that I am able to reach out to you on a weekly basis with this column. Every Monday, you hear from me, and the rest of the week, I hear from you. I try to explain the issues we are facing, and you let me know, usually in no uncertain terms, what needs to be done. For a lot of years, we’ve made a pretty good team.

The production of this column, usually around 600 words, is a serious and complex undertaking that involves several drafts and the good efforts of a lot of folks. Once a year, I try to produce a column that recognizes the work of those folks, and also tries to express my appreciation for their contributions. This is that column.

As always, my first and highest expression of gratitude is to my wife and life partner, Mary. Her support and encouragement is the foundation of any success, political or otherwise, that I might have achieved. I get a lot of credit that rightfully should go to her, but most of you already know that.

The calls and contacts generated by the column are usually fielded by my office manager, Kathy. She accurately and politely directs you to the appropriate government offices that will take care of your problem, unless we can handle it in house. She sees that documents left for me are placed in my hand, as well as makes sure that I don’t procrastinate in addressing any action they might require. She is hardworking and efficient, and somehow always manages to be pleasant about it.

I also want to thank my friends at the Legislative Audit and Legislative Research offices. They help make the information you read in the column as up-to-date and accurate as possible. They also research legislation in other states that may help me in crafting my bills or commenting on other bills.

The first draft of each column is dictated to Word Processing at the State House. Vivian and all her colleagues do a great job of transcribing and distributing my words down the line. One of those people down the line is my friend, Jacob Preston, whose grammatical polish keeps things between the rhetorical ditches. And my pal, Ken George, among other things, makes certain each column is properly archived on the website.

I am also thankful that Bluffton Today has created a stable of writers and columnists that approach life in our little corner of the Lowcountry from so many different points of view. They host a lively and entertaining conversation in print each week. Most of the political and cultural spectrum is represented, and disagreement, with a few exceptions, is handled without resort to boorishness.

Finally, I want to thank you the readers for your attention and fair treatment. When I make a mistake, I hear about it. When I get it right, I also hear from you. When I ask for your help, I can always count on hearing the wisdom of a good cross section of the community. You help me be a better, more effective representative. Thank you.

Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, represents District 118 in the South Carolina House of Representatives. He can be reached through his Web site at www.herbkersman.com or by telephone at 757-7900 or at (803) 734-3063 at his office at 308-B Blatt Building in Columbia. He is assigned to the Ways and Means and the Rules committees.