Last year, we at VUI criticized the Department of Social Services under then Governor Mark Sanford in the wake of missteps that led to a child being placed in a dangerous home that resulted in that child’s death. We called for resignations and reform. We got little satisfaction.
We at VUI hope things will be different under Governor Haley and her supervision of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The LLR, as it known, is responsible for inspecting rides such as the one in Spartanburg County that malfunctioned and left people injured and a child dead recently.
Various published reports make clear that the inspector from the LLR charged with inspecting the miniature train that crashed did not do his job. Allegations are that the inspector filed a completed inspection report without actually finishing the inspection. What strikes us is that the inspector worked in an atmosphere in which he seemed to think that such could got be gotten away with.
A few days later, the good folks from Corinth Baptist Church in Gaffney had a church outing at the park in Spartanburg County that the miniature trained operated within. Think about it. There was probably laughter and good times being had and a fun ride on a miniature train awaited. Then, tragedy struck. A terrible accident struck, leaving injured people and little Benji Easler, the son of the Corinth pastor, dead.
When we move past the sadness of the loss of a child, the outrage about the incompetence of state government takes over. The Department of LLR is a Governor’s cabinet agency. One can not blame the structure of state government in the old arguments on the tragedy. No RINOs did that. An agency under the Governor of South Carolina failed to do its job.
Now, to be fair to Governor Nikki Haley, her head of the Department of LLR has only been on the job for a few weeks. But, firing the inspector alone will not do. Any Governor worth his or her salt should fire anyone associated with the alleged false report filed for creating an atmosphere in which an inspector believed that such could be gotten away with.
Frankly, even those of us who believe in limited government believe that state government has important functions. The most important is protecting the public. Inspecting amusement park rides so that families can enjoy them safely is an essential function of state government. When families suffer so after having faith in their state government deemed such a ride safe, then all those in the chain of command are responsible and should be held accountable.
For far too long in South Carolina, essential functions of state government have been way too political. Friends and family of those in power, including those who claim to be for “reform” get passes when the folks that they are supposed to supervise make tragic mistakes. We at VUI do not care whose toes get stepped on. A good family is mourning the death of a child because state government failed them. Heads should roll, so to speak.
The Department of LLR is under Governor Haley. As such, VUI demands and expects Governor Haley to do the right thing and fire everyone involved in the chain of command that led to the alleged false inspection report that made those good people from Corinth Baptist Church think their state government had deemed safe the amusement ride they got on. Anything less from Governor Haley is unacceptable and will be deplorable.