The winter season will soon be upon the Grand Strand with the usual chilly and cold nights. At last, we will not suffer from the warm and humid nights with the accompanying artificial temperature control of air-conditioning. However, for our normal comfort, the upcoming cold and chilly nights require extra warm blankets to ward off the uncomfortable and unhealthy chilliness that goes along with the drop in nighttime temperatures.
Every winter season there is a sad and unhealthy situation confronting a group of young disadvantaged children residing in the Grand Strand. Unfortunate family circumstances require that they sleep on the floor of their homes at night without the so-called luxury of blankets or pillows. Sadly, the circumstances could be worse in that some of these children must sleep in the family automobile because the family is homeless. These disadvantaged children are not tucked in at night with bedtime stories, prayers, and a soft pillow and under warm blankets or a comforter.
They sleep on the hard floor in the clothes they wore that day covered by newspapers. An outstanding charitable organization possesses the skills to provide aid to these needy children. Donations of kid-size sleeping bags, unused blankets, or cash can be made to the following organiza-tion:
Help 4 Kids
12053B Hwy. 17 Bypass
Garden City Beach, SC 29576
Four years of puerile and disgraceful behavior by both elected and appointed officials of the City of Georgetown have now come to an end.
The cost to the city for the HardiePlank debacle, I calculate, is above a half a million dollars. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was awarded to Jean and Steve Rothrock in a settlement that the city council finally agreed to. The decision was made to take the problem away from the ARB. The other quarter of a million dollars (at least) was used to pay the inept city attorney, who should have stopped the unlawful discrimination against the Rothrocks within a week after it all started.
Besides that, the cost to the city for travel, other lawyers (Columbia to court) depositions, costs of many court hearings and sundry other costs bring shame and dishonor to those who involved themselves in this fiasco.
The discrimination of this case was obvious, hateful, premeditated and immoral.
There is no need for me to write about the beneficence of the Rothrocks. At the council meeting when it was voted that they were awarded the settlement (which was standing room only), the room erupted with applause.
During a deposition the Mayor, Jack Scoville, in answer to questions, used profanity four times in describing Mr. Rothrock. This from "The Leader" of one of the most beautiful, dignified, historical hamlets in our nation.
When the council voted it was a unanimous decision except for the recusing of the Mayor and Page Sawyer (who has shown his personal hostility for the Rothrocks during this entire ordeal). Nether had the courage of their misbegotten prejudice to stand up for what they thought throughout the battle.
Among the other heretics in this saga are Debbie Thomas, Joseph Cave, Brian Clark, Jan Lane and Sally Gillespie, all who have resigned from the ARB. Rene King is still a member and should turn in his resignation immediately.
The denouement of this lurid story is that to try to save face the powers to be after pettifogging in the back room gave not only the quarter of a million dollars but decided to allow the Rothrocks to apply HardiePlank on only three sides of the little house.
This only makes them all a lot smaller.
Kathy Harrelson for Auditor
The primary responsibilities of the County Auditor are to assemble the county's records of real and personal property and to calculate individual property taxes to be paid each year. This important responsibility to the tax payers of Georgetown County deserves to be in the hands of someone who has experience and understands the duties and the relationships this office has with local governmental officials, the S.C. Department of Revenue and the S.C. Comptrollers Office.
Kathy Harrelson, a Georgetown native, has this experience and knowledge. She has worked in the Georgetown County Auditor's office for seven years. Kathy's parents, Miller and Dewey Sullivan have been politically involved in Georgetown for decades. Her husband, Jamie, and her family have a history of dedicated public service in our area and state.
Kathy worked hard to secure the signatures needed to be on the November ballot as a petition candidate, which is proof of her commitment to serve as our Auditor. A vote for Kathy Harrelson as a petition candidate, regardless of party affiliation, will be a vote for someone who will serve our county with the honesty and integrity we deserve.
SC House of Representatives
Mojo endorses Gloria
Our home has been filled with Mojo singing the rock song classic by Van Morrison, "Gloria". Well, Mojo doesn't exactly sing, he barks, G-L-O-R-I-A.
I asked him what was going on. He explained that he had found a congressional candidate he can really get excited about. And she is no dog.
"Well, tell me about Gloria." Mojo asked me to sit.
"Gloria Bromell Tinubu is the American Dream personified," he began. "She was born in Plantersville, not too far from here in what is Brookgreen Gardens. She was the seventh of eight children. Her parents had little formal education. Her dad finished the third grade; her mom the fifth. However, they vowed that their children would have a better life. Gloria went on to earn a Ph.D. in applied economics from Clemson. Since then, she has devoted herself to education and public service.
“As an educator, she has been a tenured university professor and the president of a college (Barber-Scotia, a Presbyterian-related school). As a public servant she has shown that she is not an ‘ivory tower’ academician. Her academic interest in economic development grew arms and legs as she served as a state legislator and city council member.
“And, as a mother and grandmother, she has strong family values. She would agree that, in spite of all the honors she has received, the only thing in life not overrated is being a grandparent."
"Wow. Mojo that is quite a resume. Sounds like just the kind of person we need in Congress. Where is she on the ongoing local issue of the port?" "Not to fear, she will do her part to get the port dredged. She is a work horse, not a show horse. One more thing." Mojo put his paw on my arm. "What really got me excited about supporting Gloria so strongly was meeting one of her high school teachers. She is 88 years old and that is in human years. She burned with pride as she pinned a Gloria button on my collar and asked for my support for her former student. Like I said, the American Dream personified."
"Well, Mojo, she's got my vote. Let’s try that chorus together, G-L-O-R-I-A."
The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Mojo
Gloria Tinubu for Congress
It isn't often that a candidate, for any political office, runs to serve all the people. We have one with Gloria Bromell Tinubu. Gloria is reaching out to all voters in the newly created 7th U.S. Congressional District. She has reached out to businesses, seniors, working people, retirees, and the young people of our District in order to demonstrate her dedication and commitment in serving all the people. I don't know of any group that Gloria hasn't reached out to unlike her opponent. Gloria truly understands her job will be to represent 100 percent of the people in the S.C. 7th District — not only 47%.
Hi, my name is James E. Sanderson, Jr. I graduated from Hartsville High School in 1971. Hartsville has always and will be a very special place to me. I met my wife Julie at Coker College. I moved to Georgetown in 1974.
The labor movement here in South Carolina is under attack and leading the charge is Governor Nikki Haley. Gloria's opponent is being supported and endorsed by the Governor. This clearly is an indication that Gloria's opponent will be supporting her agenda against the fine working people of South Carolina. Clearly the working people need to support someone that supports them.
My membership and I don't make above $200,000. Therefore, we will need to support someone who will be supporting us and who we can relate to. Gloria Bromell Tinubu supports the labor movement and won't go to Washington, DC to take away that right. Gloria won't back down. Gloria doesn't support giving corporations tax breaks for sending jobs overseas. She strongly supports “Made in America”. Gloria supports women to be paid same as men doing the same job. Gloria supports helping college students with college loans. Gloria supports Social Security and Medicare. She won't support any measure that eliminates these programs for the seniors. These aren't entitlements. The people paid for these programs.
Gloria Bromell Tinubu isn't for sale. Look at what she has been able to accomplish in her campaign for Congress. Gloria won the first primary then won the run-off against Preston Brittain. I was supporting Preston in both of these races. Gloria has proven that she cares more about getting elected so she can help people than being used by people with money.
I am asking you to please do some research on both candidates for the newly created 7th Congressional District and I know you will join me and all my labor friends in supporting and voting for a true person for all the people — Gloria Bromell Tinubu. Gloria is a proven leader.
James E. Sanderson, Jr.
Sanderson is president of Local 7898 of the USW.
Georgetown County impact fees
County Council is at it again. Now they are trying to confuse us by tying the impact fee issue that was passed three years ago to the recently proposed referendum to add a one-cent sales tax in the county. By voting 5 to 1 to repeal the impact fee they are suggesting that it is not needed anymore because of the anticipated passage of the one-cent sales tax. Don't let them get away with this bait and switch. These are separate issues and they should be left that way.
For years, all across this country, impact fees have been assessed on new development; and these fees have been successful in allowing for growth while at the same time lessening the burden on individual taxpayers who have historically had to foot the bill for public services such as access roads, sewer and water tie-ins; and the added need to provide additional public services such as police and fire to these new developments. Bottom line: If a system of impact fees isn't in place the individual taxpayer has to pay increased property taxes for such amenities.
I was impressed when the county wisely enacted their impact fee three years ago. To witness efforts by the development community ever since to get rid of it is not a good deal for the individual taxpayer. The major fallacy that new development equals new revenue is due to the hidden costs of that development. The simple fact is that the taxes paid by people who move into these developments do not offset the increased cost of services to those developments that local government must assume.
An economic study, for example, for eleven southern New England towns concluded that for every dollar of new revenue generated from a new residential development means that local government charged with providing new and expanded services spent an average of $1.14.
Impact fees paid by developers and new residents who move into those developments serve to ensure that the folks who already live here don't have to bear the added tax burden.
The next time a developer complains about having to pay a relatively small impact fee in comparison to their overall investment and revenue potential, you as an existing property taxpayer might suggest — better them than me.
The developer makes an investment and gets a substantial and well-deserved return on that investment. As part and parcel of that economic model they should also be responsible for funding the hidden costs of their venture; e.g., the increased costs to local government for the services that they will have to absorb.
Do you want to pay more taxes? Do you want to grow county government? Those questions will be answered by Georgetown County voters on the November 6th sales tax referendum.
Georgetown County now spends $62.5 million per year. The proposed new sales tax would impose $5.5 million of additional taxes per year. A 9% increase.
To sell the new sales tax, a list of projects will appear on the ballot. The list was politically designed to gain support for a new sales tax. But most of the projects were already part of the county's capital improvement programs. So the important projects will be built whether or not a new sales tax is approved.
Is it fair?
Thomas and Elizabeth married shortly after graduating from high school and within a few years had two young children. They also have an old car which is always breaking down at the most inopportune times. Thomas works hard at a plant located fifteen miles from their apartment, making $10.87 an hour.
By working as much overtime as he could get and not taking a vacation, he made $29,400 last year. Medicaid for the kids and food stamps for the family help, but it is still tough to pay the rent and all the other bills. Gas has doubled over the last few years and food prices are up. He would like to buy a later model car, one with better gas mileage, but he can’t seem to save enough after all the bills are paid.
Elizabeth has told Thomas that his FICA tax is likely to go back up 2% next year, which would mean $587 less to spend that year. Thomas realizes that $587 is more than he makes working all week.
Now he has learned that there is a referendum on November 6th to raise the county sales tax from 6% to 7%, and the county estimates that he will pay an additional $250 in sales tax each year if this passes. Thomas knows that this could take over half a week’s pay out of his pocket.
It just doesn’t seem fair to Thomas and Elizabeth that they will have to pay such a large proportion of their income in new taxes while they are struggling so hard to make ends meet. And you know what? I don’t think that it is fair either, to make all the Thomases and Elizabeths in Georgetown County pay such a large amount of their income for more ball fields and bigger libraries.
Vote no on the sales tax increase on November 6th and give the working poor in Georgetown County a break that they have earned.
Lance A. Duvall, MD
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