Tuesday, October 2, 2012
This country needs more prayer in school, not less.
For those that stayed through the entire five hour Planning Commission hearing regarding Sunbelt Ventures’ big box proposal, and personally witnessed the motions set forth regarding the big box store proposal, there is no confusion as to the outcome of the 4-1 vote.
The Planning Commission transcript makes this fact completely clear: Marvin Neal: “The motion is that I recommend we go with staff recommendation with the, with the without any exceptions to the Overlay Zone for Waccamaw Neck. That’s what I’m recommending.” (Applause) Brian Henry: “Is there a second to that motion?” Glenda Shoulette: “Already have a second.” Brian Henry: “We have a motion and a second. So basically what we’re doing and I’m not speaking for Marvin, I’m basically saying the only modification that I’m seeing unless you see other implications of this, that’s (sp) he’s basically saying to remove that portion; “that the rendering of the main building is conceptual but shall meet all possible overlay requirements”, period. Which essentially says 45,000 square feet.” Glenda Shoulette: “Not to exceed 60,000.” Brian Henry: “And not to exceed 60,000. Comply with the overlay ordinance. Sorry. That’s what he, that’s his motion and that’s a second. Is there any discussion on that motion? Hearing no discussion, all in favor of the motion, raise your right hand.”
I ask everyone to review the transcript for themselves, and write a letter to County Council; we the citizens of the Waccamaw Neck wish them to uphold the Planning Commission vote. The vote was clear, and the remaining Don't Box The Neck attendees of this meeting applauded the vote. If you left the hearing early, before the vote was taken, please make your opinion clearly heard. Don’t Box The Neck is not confused as to the outcome; and are pleased that the Planning Commission crafted a decision which allows the Pawleys Plaza to be redeveloped while upholding the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor Overlay Zone ordinance. We support this decision. The ordinance withstood this test. This hearing should serve as a warning to big box stores in the future — that they will not prevail on the Waccamaw Neck.
Don’t Box The Neck
No to sales tax
On Nov. 6, Georgetown County voters will say yes or no to a $40 million sales tax hike. Actually, the tax increase is likely to be more than $44 million over the next eight years – at least $5.5 million each year.
The county budget is currently $62.5 million a year, which includes the payment on county debt. If the sales tax is approved, the county gets a minimum of $5.5 million more tax money to spend each year for 8 years. And that doesn't include the $26.5 million that they plan to borrow and spend in this fiscal year. We have a spending problem, not a taxing problem.
We're being told that we need the $40-plus million sales tax to pay for $5.5 million of the cost of dredging. We can pay for our part of dredging by adjusting priorities; I just mentioned we're going to borrow $26.5 million; adjust priorities and pay for the dredging first. Now is not the time to be raising taxes by $40 million-plus.
Truck vs. bike
On this Sunday [Sept. 30] at around 3 p.m., my brother and I were riding our road bikes on the loop around East Bay Park. As I rounded a corner, a gray GMC pickup truck driven by Branden Hockenberry of Georgetown went by me in the oncoming lane. Hockenberry, an individual in the passenger seat, and another individual in the bed of the truck were yelling incomprehensibly at me.
My brother, John, was about a hundred yards behind me and Hockenberry crossed far over into my brother’s lane and ran him off the road.
When my brother caught up to me and told me what happened, I told him to call 911. We expected that the truck would be gone and, without having the plate number, nothing could be done beyond a routine report.
But then we saw the truck return and park next to the recreation center. While my brother was on hold with police, I rode over to get the plate number and was met with juvenile insults by the individuals who had just assaulted my brother.
When the police officer arrived, we told him our side of the story before he went ahead to collect information from Hockenberry. In the police report, Hockenberry admitted to the circumstances but said that it was my brother on an 18-pound bike who crossed lanes to engage in a game of chicken with his two-ton truck.
No charges have been filed. It would be a difficult case to prosecute because it’s my brother’s word versus Hockenberry’s and his passengers’. However, in the process of trying to run my brother down, Hockenberry also nearly ran over two women who were enjoying a Sunday walk together.
If these women were to come forward and share their story, the balance of evidence would shift. They can contact me at email@example.com.
A chance for a change in the 7th District
For years the majority of politics in this state and its elected officials on the national scene have been of the conservative Republican persuasion. They claim that they are job creators and represent the party most concerned for the plight of all our citizens. They have touted the idea that they have a commitment to education, protection of women and they say that they want us to be healthy and safe.
The facts indicate otherwise.
In the areas of rate of poverty, of diabetes and obesity and rate of violent crimes and domestic violence our state ranks at or near the top. In the areas of high school graduation rates and expenditure per pupil South Carolina ranks at or near the bottom.
Now, along comes Tom Rice. He is cut from the same cloth as a lot of the folks who have been responsible for the dismal showing outlined above.
As Horry County Council chair he has championed “Project Blue,” the code name for a big economic development project that was headed for a quick and non-transparent approval until some unsettling details came to light. Rice was not only letting the deal roll along without much question, he was the main driver of the effort.
His lack of objective oversight with considerable public risk (one condition was that the county would buy back a $7 million building if the project went belly-up) is troubling to say the least for a person in his high profile position.
The voters in the newly formed 7th Congressional District have a real choice. We have an opportunity to shed the promises not fulfilled of the powers that have been in place for too long.
Gloria Bromell Tinubu offers a viable alternative to the citizens of the 7th District. As an economist and educator, Gloria knows we must create jobs and invest in our schools in order to restore the American dream; and she is capable and energetic enough to fight to do just that.
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