Geoff Pender: Creeping bureaucratic sprawl continues

The vast, creeping bureaucratic sprawl of Mississippi’s agencies, boards and commissions is like the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann broached the subject again last week. He was talking to hundreds of business leaders from across the state of the need to consolidate or eliminate many of the state’s 206 agencies, boards and commissions. They are run by some 1,800 appointees and they regulate everything from acupuncture (yes, there’s a board for that) to veterinarians.

“With our state government, we have created what you wouldn’t create if you were running a lemonade stand,” Hosemann said. “We have accountability issues. You pick up the paper and you see bad things are happening. Almost in every instance, that flows from the boards, how we structure our state government.”

The danger is — heck, the reality is — that many of these autonomous little agencies or boards, usually comprised of non-elected folks who work in that particular field, are too cozy with the people they are supposed to regulate. Or, they become little potentates and help their own businesses or buddies with regulatory or policy decisions.

Clarion Ledger
1/10/15