Looking ahead at our state in four years

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Integrity is the essence of everything successful.

-Richard Buckminster Fuller

Certainly, the biggest news out of Monday&8217;s inaugural festivities in Montgomery was the swearing in of Governor Bob Riley into his second term.

But if you are looking for signs of just how much better our state will be four years from now than it is today, look no further than the inauguration of Shelby County&8217;s own Beth Chapman as Alabama&8217;s Secretary of State.

The office of Secretary of State has been an embarrassment to the state during the past four years under the direction of Nancy Worley; high turnover rates, suits filed by former employees and by the U.S. Department of Justice for not meeting the federal deadline to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, also known as HAVA, lead a laundry list of less than stellar benchmarks.

Look for Chapman to quickly reverse that trend.

Chapman, who will inherit law suits not brought to conclusion as of Monday, will be sorting through plenty of baggage from the past for some time to come.

But, as she works these issues to conclusions over the coming weeks and months, we can have faith that Chapman will be building momentum for a successful term.

Certainly Alabamians can expect Chapman to lead her office with the integrity and honesty that rarely leads to lawsuits and embarrassments.

The work ethic and passion for public service Chapman has embodied throughout her career will be cornerstones of her new administration and she will assemble a team that reflects those values.

Those that know Chapman best say, she is more excited and prepared for the challenge ahead than any she has faced before; if that is true, who knows what the inauguration will look like four years from now.

Congratulations, Secretary of State Chapman; the folks back home are mighty proud of you and wish you the best of luck in your service to our state