Two days … Not!
Well it has been one week since the new hands were to be installed on the Town Clock. It was reported to be done in two days.
The person who got all the money to repair it and is in charge refuses to comment! That is very strange and it is mostly taxpayer’s money to boot.
Re: Jamie Sanderson
Trying to make sense out of Jamie Sanderson’s letter that attempted to rake me over the coals is like trying to rake leaves on a hot, windy day. Just when you think you have it in a nice neat pile, along comes another gust of hot air scattering them all over the yard.
Jamie refers to my opinions as “yet another brain cell evaporating letter.” Well, if that is the case then he may be suffering the effects of having read too many. So Jamie, please put on your tin foil beanie because I don’t want you to hold me liable for any further damage.
As far as Nikki Haley is concerned, I don’t know why you threw her into the mix, I didn’t mention her, but I am grateful for her stand against all new taxes. I know that irritates you Democrats. Probably the biggest gust of hot air that you let out was questioning why we voted for Nikki Haley when we knew so little about her. Really? We knew plenty about her — but you voted for Obama? The Editor won’t print profanity so I’ll let that go.
You also mentioned Kevin Ryan, I didn’t, but the one thing that he accomplished was to unseat a 14-year incumbent Democrat who voted lock step with the likes of James Clyburn. It is no coincidence that your quoted “inaction for more than a decade” on dredging the port is at an end. It is due, in part, to Rep. Kevin Ryan getting Vida Miller out of the state house. When the Clyburn, McGill, Miller triad was broken we finally started to get our share.
And then you threw in the Governor’s race in Wisconsin. I really don’t know where that came from, but there goes more leaves! He didn’t win the election? You must have written your letter before the news of his winning not only the first election but also the recall vote one by an even bigger margin. I really don’t care about that because I am not a member of a union in Michigan.
You mentioned the port dredging and I’ll add to that the huge amount of money that it is going to cost us all. Let’s not forget that the reason the Corps of Engineers stopped dredging the channel was because the annual tonnage dropped below their standard for routine dredging. And why did that happen? The steel mill union strikes and shutdowns. From what we read, there may be yet another strike on the way.
Sanderson also writes that voters routinely vote on financial issues that affect them. Well let’s see, when was the last time that you voted on the yearly county budget? How about the $300 million Capital Improvement Project a few years ago? Did you vote on that? How about the budget for the $30 million courthouse? What was your input on that? The list of big decisions not voted on is endless. If you would spend more time attending County Council meetings instead of at home painting strike signs, you would witness thousands of dollars approved to be spent at almost every meeting without a vote by the public. I know, I am there.
There are many things that the public is not informed enough about in order to make a decision, but when something as controversial and high profile as a new tax comes along, County Council shifts the responsibility and seems to hope that it can buy enough votes from the public by adding in payoffs like pools and parks to sway the vote.
Every reputable economist tells us that in a time of recession you do not raise taxes if you expect to stimulate the economy, but yet Georgetown County Council seems to think that we are immune to that.
I am not opposed to bigger libraries. I am not opposed to new swimming pools all over the county with paid lifeguards and cleaning crews and maintenance budgets that grow every year. I am not opposed to paving every dirt road in the county. I AM opposed to doing it under these economic conditions!
Santee Cooper proposed rate increase
I have been reading articles in the newspaper and listening to reports on the radio and television, that the South Carolina Public Service Authority, also known as Santee Cooper, has proposed rate increases effective on Dec. 1, 2012 and again on Dec. 1, 2013.
The August 24, 2009, Santee Cooper news release stated “The Santee Cooper Boards of Directors voted today to enact an overall average 3.4 percent base rate increase beginning Nov. 1, 2009 to offset rising costs of operating and maintaining the utility’s generation, transmission and distribution facilities”. The news release went on to state: “Specifically, the Santee Cooper board approved an average increase for residential customers of 7.6 percent beginning Nov. 1, 2009, which equals an average monthly bill increase of $6.59 for a residential customer consuming 1,000 kilowatt hours a month. Commercial customers would see average annual increases of 5.7 percent, and industrial customers would face average annual increases of 1 percent.”
However, for the average Santee Cooper residential customer, the rate on Nov. 1, 2009 went from 6.32 to 8.88 cents per kWh, an increase of 40.5% per kWh. Santee Cooper also included an increase of 1.00 cents per kWh, for the summer months (June, July, August, September). That increase from 6.32 to 9.88 cents per kWh resulted in an increase of 56.3% per kWh for the summer months.
In the May 21, 2012 news release, Santee Cooper stated “The adjustments are needed to help Santee Cooper meet increased costs associated with new generation, primarily the ongoing V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion, and to comply with new environmental regulations. The proposal would increase rates for customers an average 3.5% in each of the next two years. Under the proposal, a typical residential customer using 1000 kWh of energy a month would see his or her bill increase $5.60 a month in year one, and an additional $8.29 a month in year two.” The Dec. 1, 2012, proposed 3.5% increase will result in a 5.4% increase per kWh.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. According to their 2011 Annual Report, “As authorized by State law, the Board sets rates charged to customers to pay debt service and operating expenses and to provide funds required under bond covenants.” The Board of Directors don’t report to anyone at the State level, so they don’t need anyone’s approval to raise the rates. There is no Public Service Commission to review and approve or deny their rate increases. The only way to control the rate increases, is to the change the 1934 law that established the SCPSA. Only the South Carolina Legislature can make that change and we haven’t heard them say a word about any of these increases.
In the current economy, with so many individuals struggling to make ends meet, every Santee Cooper customer should be as concerned as I am about these increases. And if past history is any indication of what Santee Cooper will do with rates in the future, then we all should start contacting our South Carolina State representatives to get the 1934 law changed.
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