Plan for growth
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., and recently went back to visit the city, which many see as a shining example of new economic opportunity. Forty years ago it was a much different story.
I watched closely as a combination of factors crushed the local steel industry with union labor and environmental regulations hastening the inevitable downfall. An unfortunate consequence of this accelerated economic demise was that opportunities to retool the workforce and the necessary community support systems were limited.
Twenty years ago, Charleston's local naval base and shipyard closed. Regional leaders came together to focus on economic development, with Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties and their corresponding chambers of commerce creating the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which has worked very effectively to reposition and market our local assets.
These efforts took advantage of our community strengths (such as the port and our work ethic), and 20 years later these strategies are paying off in a growing number of high quality jobs, with Boeing as a prime example.
While we are very fortunate to be in this position, the continued evolution of this outstanding opportunity is tempered by the need to sustain it.
We must continue to pro-actively commit resources to educational and transportation improvements so that local workers of this generation can benefit, and traffic doesn't snarl the success as our community evolves.
Barry P. Whalen
Right a wrong
The Kiawah Town Council is pursuing an annexation of nearby Freshfields, presumably to increase its fee base and to accommodate the new developer. Pursuant to this process, Kiawah's 2005 development agreement is being amended and its term extended. These events offer the town council an opportunity to remove a financial albatross from the shoulders of all Kiawah homeowners.
Buried in the legalese of the 2005 development agreement is a provision, section 16 (f), which has potentially significant financial consequences for all Kiawah homeowners. Should Captain Sam's Spit be developed as planned, this provision will allow the developer to convey to the Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA) all related infrastructure improvements (roads, utilities, revetment) for perpetual care by KICA.
The problem is that KICA, the town's sister organization and holder of all of Kiawah's public infrastructure, can't afford to meet its existing required capital improvements. Last January, in a letter to Kiawah homeowners KICA's chairman said that KICA has not had sufficient revenues to meet its infrastructure expenses in five of the last seven years and that anticipated expenditures will continue to exceed revenues for at least 10 more years.
It takes little imagination to appreciate the implications of section 16 (f).
The developer builds out the Spit and the liabilities and obligations related to the Spit's infrastructure are conveyed to KICA. A major storm hits South Carolina resulting in significant damage to the infrastructure of the Spit. KICA has insufficient cash and reserves to cover the multimillion-dollar rebuilding required. Kiawah homeowners are hit with major assessments to cover the significant costs and to rebuild KICA's reserves.
This should not happen and does not have to happen. The Kiawah Town Council can protect the Kiawah homeowners by amending the 2005 development agreement to prevent the developer from transferring his liabilities and obligations to the homeowners of Kiawah. Responsible members of the Kiawah Town Council need to let the Kiawah homeowners off the hook now.
I knew John Graham Altman from my early days because he was a close friend of my uncles and father. He used to hang out at a place called Lambrakos Restaurant near East Bay Street and I would run into him all the time.
We never discussed politics, but in those days every elected or appointed official was a member of the Democratic Party.
In later years he became the outspoken politician that he is remembered as, but I always knew him to be a passionate advocate for his positions, a kind and gentle person and a true gentleman. He will be missed.
Nicolas C. Lempesis
E. Ashley Avenue
Along with the majority, I voted to defeat the Dorchester County sales tax increase. I did so for one primary reason: County Council's basic approach to problem solving is, “Where do we find the money?” Its focus should be, “How can we be more efficient stewards of the taxpayer's dollars?” If council ever wants me to vote yes for increased taxes, they need to do a much better job of cleaning house and communicating their achievements.
Plantation House Road
I was enjoying the Nov. 3 Post and Courier when I stumbled across the South Carolina tally on page A-12. Every one of our state's representatives voted to exempt banks from rules requiring them to separate their taxpayer-insured business from derivative trading. In fact the U.S. House passed it by a wide margin, and it was approved by Republicans and Democrats. This is a big deal.
Our banking system is going right back to the behaviors that caused the last financial crisis. If you think your readership doesn't care about such things, please think again.
I would like to see more coverage on issues like this. I'm not surprised this wasn't on the front page, but I am surprised it wasn't even mentioned.
Wisteria Wall Drive
There was a Veterans Day parade in Charleston on Nov. 3. I attended the parade, and I think it was an affront to the veterans and should be an embarrassment to the City of Charleston.
I would like to know why it wasn't held on Nov. 10, which is closer to Veterans Day. And why wasn't the parade's route down King Street?
The parade itself was very nice. Congratulations and thank you to all veterans who took part.
Paul N. Mack
For term limits
Hooray for the writer of the Nov. 6 letter touting term limits. I have been advocating this for 30 some years. It's the quick and easy way to fix all the problems with Washington.
Congressmen who go there for a limited time would concentrate on doing what is in the best interests of the public, instead of worrying about raising money for their next re-election bid. They would know that they would be returning to their home states to live under the laws they pass.
Let's make sure that everyone we elect in 2014 will agree to put through this legislation. Remember — term limits for 2014.
As a shameless tree hugger I would like to reflect on the fine lead editorial concerning the Angel Oak in the Nov. 9 Post and Courier.
Preventing urban sprawl and development from encroaching on this national treasure is more than a local issue. In my view it is an important challenge for the entire country.
Much of our land settled in the 17th and 18th centuries cannibalized our most important farmland, particularly along its coasts. Many trees were destroyed and potential farmland was devastated with each passing year.
Saving the Angel Oak's territory is vital for its own sake; the ripple effects should be an inspirational reminder for our fellow countrymen.
North Adger's Wharf