The controversy over how the new executive director of the Charleston County Airport Authority was selected continues.
I served on the board of directors of the airport for six years. I chose to resign in protest over the way in which the matter was handled by the board. My concerns, and those of many others, center around:
• The lack of prior notice of the position coming open.
• The hurried selection of a sitting board member without an open nationwide search.
• The fact that the applicant had no educational degrees, work experience or professional designations in airport management.
• The size of the compensation and benefit package.
• Provisions in the employment contract that allow the new director to remain in public office for almost one year and to continue to conduct other outside business activities while employed at the airport.
The question now before the board and the community is whether this decision should be allowed to stand.
There are a number of possible ways that these issues could be addressed:
• The board could decide to reopen the matter, rescind the employment contract and conduct a nationwide search.
• The Charleston County legislative delegation could introduce legislation to reconstitute the board and its bylaws.
• Board members or a citizens group could ask outside counsel, the South Carolina attorney general or the state courts to examine the actions to determine whether the bylaws of the airport and applicable state laws were properly complied with and whether any of the members who voted on the matter were not qualified to vote because of conflicts of interest or were dual officeholders
This is an opportunity to do the right thing for the right reasons and for the betterment of the airport and the community. Do we have the strength of leadership and political courage to do it? I sincerely hope so.
Waterfront Plantation Drive
Chef Mike Lata’s op-ed about the proposed wine tariffs (“Wine tariffs pose risk to Charleston’s vibrant restaurant scene”) is a bit of undeserved hyperbole.
He believes that tariffs on French wines will imperil the vitality and livelihood of the Charleston restaurant scene.
“If 100% tariffs are imposed, say goodbye to affordable, delicious wines by the glass." They would “halt the dreams of ... intrepid entrepreneurs,” Mr. Lata writes.
He gives scant recognition to the U.S. wine industry that can compete head-to-head with any wine in the world. Great (and less expensive) wines are made not just in France but in the U.S., Australia, Chile, Germany, Austria and Italy.
Surely, Charleston restaurants can survive on substitutes for stratospherically priced French Burgundy and Bordeaux.
President Donald Trump has proposed retaliatory tariffs on French luxury goods because French government subsidies allow Airbus to unfairly compete with our Boeing for airplane sales.
Our president is successfully leveling the playing field so that American companies can compete with overseas producers, which is long overdue.
South Magnolia Street
We sleep safe in our beds because brave men would do violent things to those who would harm us.
S.C. Highway 61
5G needs research
I am writing as a 47-year-old breast cancer survivor to voice a concern shared by hundreds of Charleston residents regarding new 5G antennas being installed in our communities.
Areas of concern include reduced property values, security, safety, privacy, civil liberties, negative health impacts, aesthetics, increased energy consumption and effects on the environment.
The wireless industry insists none of these concerns is valid.
Even if concerns about 5G are unfounded, before we blindly begin installing hundreds of transmitters in our city, we owe it to ourselves to wait until all health and environmental concerns have been thoroughly addressed.
Our society has certainly suffered immensely from industries claiming their products are safe (tobacco, asbestos, Vioxx, Oxycontin, Roundup). Let’s not repeat those injustices.
Let’s not let infatuation with 5G technology compromise our health and safety. Thorough testing needs to be done.
Or let us endorse wired technology. Not only is it cheaper to go wired versus wireless, but ethernet is more reliable and secure and will outperform Wi-Fi in data speed, signal quality, network expandability and device adaptability.