South Carolina’s Speaker of the House wrote in April that he’d like to fire Santee Cooper’s Board of Directors and change Santee Cooper’s leadership ... if he could.
The reason why was clear enough: “It has become my experience and the experience of House leadership and staff that the representations made by Santee Cooper Board members, leadership and staff are not reliable.”
These words by the House Speaker stands in clear contradiction of Santee Cooper’s defenders who insist that the problems of Santee Cooper’s past are, well, past, because the leadership is “different” now.
Are you tempted to intone, “new boss, same as the old boss”? Perhaps. The new management earned the Speaker’s rebuke at a time when the future of Santee Cooper hung in the balance. If Santee Cooper’s leadership isn’t getting it done when people are actually laser-focused on performance and accountability, what happens when the pressure is off?
Speaker Lucas is not optimistic: “It is evident that Santee Cooper suffers from a broken corporate culture that is deeply ingrained in your leadership.”
Some people say Santee Cooper has changed, and can be trusted to reform itself. Well, look at its behavior this year and the reaction it received from Speaker Lucas.
Santee Cooper has already piled billions of debt on South Carolinians through its unchecked actions. How many billions more will it take before everyone sees it for what it is – and backs a sale to a well-run, accountable and admired investor owned utility. How much clearer does Speaker Lucas need to be?