A recent letter to the editor proposed that the town use local option sales tax money, which according to the referendum approved by Charleston County voters in 1991 should be used for property tax relief, to instead hire consultants, purchase property easements and construct sidewalks.
The residents of the Town of James Island pay 54 mills to the James Island Public Service District. While that is less than is charged by the City of Charleston, it is more than is paid by residents of Folly Beach or Mount Pleasant. The people of the town deserve property tax relief.
Since the town was reincorporated in 2012, we have completed a conceptual study for a sidewalk along Camp Road from Fort Johnson to the end of our jurisdiction on Mellichamp Drive. We are working on the project in phases. Construction of the first segment, from Fort Johnson to Dills Bluff, is slated to begin soon. The town just funded the design work for phase 2, between Dills Bluff and Secessionville Road.
The town held discussions with the City of Charleston, including members of City Council, at the James Island Intergovernmental Council meeting, regarding extension of the project through city jurisdiction, which includes the segment from Bishop Gadsden on to Riverland Drive.
The city and town representatives agreed in concept. While the town offered to provide an ample match of town funds to complete the entire project with half-cent transportation sales tax funds, the City of Charleston had no funds for matches for sidewalk construction.
However, the City of Charleston made the construction of a sidewalk along Camp Road from Folly Road to Riverland Drive a high priority request for half-cent sales tax transportation funds.
The town sent a letter pointing out that it was part of a larger project to complete the sidewalk from Fort Johnson to Riverland. If that is not approved, we will continue to work with the City of Charleston to complete phase 3 of the full project. I apologize if I have not kept the letter writer or Bishop Gadsden fully in the loop.
Town of James Island
The recent exposé on our current S.C. Secretary of State, Mark Hammond, and his "commuting" style borders on the worst kind of fiscal abuse. For him to claim that "there's never a time he is not Secretary of State" because he has his cell phone with him is akin to paying for Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott to fly back and forth to Washington, D.C., every day.
That would be a waste of our taxpayer dollars. Our senior representatives know this and don't take advantage of us - surely not to come home to South Carolina just to sleep in their own beds.
From what I understand, Mr. Hammond's job is administrative. Does he really need to be out among the people conducting business?
And something else about that three-hour commute back and forth to Columbia from Spartanburg where he lives: It seems to me that he should be in the office taking care of business, not in the car driving.
Mr. Hammond needs to bite the bullet and find a place to live in Columbia closer to his office. If he didn't want to live where he works, he shouldn't have asked for the job.
I have no children, but I certainly have no problem with my tax dollars supporting education. Those students very well could decide things that affect me in the future.
What I do have a problem with are my taxes - local, state, federal - being used to save, refurbish and establish bulkheads on beaches around rich people's houses, namely Wild Dunes and Folly Beach.
If you are smart enough to be rich, you should be smart enough to know that if you build on sand, you will end up in the sea. Don't expect us low- and mid-income people to save your multimillion-dollar house.
Mother Nature always wins.
Instead of giving a May 6 Rose Garden speech, President Obama spent the day giving interviews to local and national weather broadcasters. He spoke with them about the link between climate change and extreme weather.
This is in conjunction with the National Climate Assessment which was recently released, confirming that human-induced climate change is already occurring across the nation.
Water is becoming scarcer in dry areas. Heat waves are increasing in intensity, as are wildfires and floods. Even the heightening severity of seasonal allergies is linked to climate change.
These are not disparate events. We are under a siege of our own making.
"Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the National Climate Assessment says.
We must change business as usual or face the consequences, which would include the destruction of downtown Charleston, as Lindsay Koob discussed in his 2007 piece, "Under the Sea."
We need policy changes at the national and international levels to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
The revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend is a start. This legislation would place a fee on fossil fuels the moment they enter our economy. That money would be returned to all U.S. citizens equally.
Businesses and individuals would be encouraged to seek alternatives to fossil fuel in order to lower their fees, and foreign nations would be pushed to pass similar legislation. Countries that do not charge an equivalent fee would pay that fee upon importation; countries that do charge the fee would import freely.
This type of legislation has the endorsement of scientists and economists. It has found support among both Republicans and Democrats.
I urge Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott as well as Rep. Mark Sanford to support a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend. We must work together to preserve our land, air and oceans. The revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend is one way to do that.
Citizens' Climate Lobby
Having heard about the VA hospital in Arizona, I feel strongly about pointing out how grateful we are to have the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston.
My Marine husband went to the VA clinic when insurance premiums and deductibles went sky-high.
He has been examined and analyzed from head to toe, with more appointments than he can keep.
A hospital is not a building, it is the staff, and we hope the Arizona staff stays there.
H. D. FroEhlich
Teal Marsh Road
Headlines in The Post and Courier concerning the human condition are beginning to have an effect on me.
We are a peace-loving people along with most people around the world, yet we cannot find a pathway to peace. Many human beings are masters of innovation and invention, but we cannot block the hackers, protect our privacy or find a lost airplaine.
Years ago Americans were able to land men on the moon and yet we continue to have difficulty getting rid of our trash in many cities.
We can build walls and conserve energy but we cannot address our environment problems effectively or control flooding.
Immigration problems, fiscal problems, and debt problems seem overwhelming at times.
Understanding that many of these challenges are global issues, we can only have faith and hope that our children and grandchildren can do a better job of solving these issues than we have.
I feel we should give them all a big hug.
North Adger's Wharf