Sanford cites need to change state government's structure

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AIKEN -- Gov. Mark Sanford toured B&S Machine Tools in Aiken on Thursday, listening intently as employees explained each machine's operation.

B&S Machine Tool Inc. employee Patrick Sparling talked about his job with Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday in Aiken. Mr. Sanford has visited businesses in 30 cities statewide to listen to workers' concerns and talk about his goals while in office.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
B&S Machine Tool Inc. employee Patrick Sparling talked about his job with Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday in Aiken. Mr. Sanford has visited businesses in 30 cities statewide to listen to workers' concerns and talk about his goals while in office.

"If your work is any indication, I ought to harvest more ideas here than we have anywhere else," he told the machinists. "I am profoundly impressed with the detail that goes into what you all do."

For the past two weeks, Mr. Sanford has visited similar businesses in 30 cities across the state, meeting with people to listen to their needs and to talk about his goals and agenda.

The governor spoke at length about the need for fiscal responsibility in Columbia and the need to change South Carolina's antiquated government structure.

"This is about a system that flat out doesn't work," Mr. Sanford said, citing the South Carolina Budget and Control Board , the massive agency headed by a committee of the governor and the financial constitutional officers, along with appointees from the House and Senate.

Last week, the budget and control board approved $117,000 in pay raises for 10 state agency leaders - raises Mr. Sanford said the leaders weren't expecting and that came without any performance reviews.

One of those leaders who received a $9,746 increase in salary is the newly appointed director of Health and Human Services, who has been on the job about a month.

"In 49 other states, there is not a budget and control board," Mr. Sanford said. "It's outdated."

Standing in front of about 20 people, the governor explained that things such as spending and government structure have an effect on people's lives, and "they are things that will have an impact on the lives of many generations to come if we don't act now to reform our state now."

Mr. Sanford also brought up the need to reform South Carolina's driving under the influence law.

"This year, about 1,000 people will die on our highways," Mr. Sanford said. "And about 500 of those will be because of alcohol."

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com.

"If your work is any indication, I ought to harvest more ideas here than we have anywhere else."

- Gov. Mark Sanford, on a tour of B&S Machine Tools in Aiken

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