Vote ‘yes’ on referendum

The Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire Rescue does a great job protecting lives and property.

However, a growing — and aging — population are putting a severe strain on our Fire/Rescue Department.

There will be a Referendum held on July 16, 2019 in both Georgetown and Horry Counties to ask for voter approval of a 5 mil increase. Even increasing from 14 mils to 19 mils, our tax would remain significantly lower than the Fire/Rescue tax millage in surrounding jurisdictions. The requested increase represents an average tax increase of just $ 25 to $ 35 per year on an owner occupied $ 200,000 home.

The District currently fields three Paramedic Ambulances along with an Engine Company and/or a Ladder Truck out of 4 stations. Nearly every day, all three of these Medic Units are busy handling calls at the same time, requiring us to request medic units from Midway Fire as well as Horry County Fire, both of which have their own increasing needs. As you know, when it comes to emergencies, every second counts. This millage will provide a 4th Medic Unit for the one station that does not currently have a Medic Unit, thus lowering response times and helping us to continue to provide the top notch service you expect and receive from us.

Please vote YES for this much needed funding on July 16, 2019.

Patrick J.Walsh

Member, Board of Directors Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire District

Santee Cooper doesn’t get it

I’m convinced the Santee Cooper leadership just doesn’t get it. They have saddled the utility and ratepayers with $8 billion in debt, with interest accumulating at $1 million a day, and ratepayers are facing skyrocketing rates to service the debt. But instead of financial belt tightening, they continue to engage in excessive spending as though there is no problem.

A $16 million golden parachute retirement package for ex-CEO Lonnie Carter, over $500,000 in executive bonuses, nearly $1 million so far for $475 an hour criminal defense attorneys for current and former executives, $250,000 a month for Wall Street investment bankers, and $20,000 for a public relations firm to combat self-inflicted negative news stories, are examples of recent Santee Cooper excessive spending – all paid for by ratepayers.

Reforming Santee Cooper or managing it out of its huge debt is just not an option. It’s an entrenched government-owned bureaucracy that needs to be sold to the highest bidder to protect ratepayers.

Dick Richards

Murrells Inlet