Delegations have a transparency problem: let’s fix it
Legislative delegations in South Carolina have a serious transparency problem.
As it turns out, an alarming number of counties are missing basic information about legislative delegations on their websites. In fact, some counties don’t mention them at all. Citizens can’t hold their elected officials accountable if they don’t know what’s happening, and when it’s taking place.
Here’s what you can do to help change that:
1. Find out what information your county website offers about your legislative delegation. The Nerve has already examined 12 county websites and posted the results here. If your county isn’t on this list, you can find your county website using this link. From there you can see whether any delegation information is available online.
2. If your county website doesn’t provide basic information, ask them why! Chances are your county website will be missing some important information – like a list of delegation members, a calendar of upcoming meetings, meeting agendas or minutes. Call or email your county and ask them why this basic information isn’t available online (contact information should be readily available on your county’s website).
3. Let us know what they say. Once you hear back, email us at email@example.com. Let us know who you spoke with and send us their response – and if they didn’t respond, we want to know that too.
In the meantime, we’ll be tracking which counties take steps to improve their online transparency and will publish those results (including the responses you get) as they roll in!
To understand what makes legislative delegations so powerful, and how that power affects you, read our report here.
County website updates (as of 11/5/21)
- Saluda County – Added a dedicated webpage for delegation info. The page includes a list of delegation members and their email addresses, in addition to contact information for the delegation office administrator. The page lists the date of the next delegation meeting (December 3, 2021), however it does not include past meeting minutes or an agenda for the next meeting.
- Pickens County – The site appears to have been updated to include a more complete list of the boards and commissions under delegation control, not just those with current vacancies. Minutes from the delegation meeting held in July were also added.
- Horry County – The Horry County Legislative Delegation administrator was contacted about adding additional information to their website, which currently lists some, but not all, of the boards and commissions under the delegation’s control. The administrator informed the caller that the delegation would have to give its approval before the site could be updated. If you live in Horry County and want greater local transparency, don’t hesitate to contact your state House and Senate member! (If you aren’t sure who that is, you can find out here.)