Several months ago, I raised questions about the way in which the Charleston County Aviation Authority hired a new executive director, proposed a number of ways to properly address the issue and asked if the Airport Board, the Charleston County legislative delegation and the public had the strength of leadership and political courage to do what was right in this situation.
To my knowledge, nothing has been done.
This is disappointing, particularly when we consider all of the illness, suffering and death caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial hardship it has placed on our community and especially on the airport and those who use it and do business there.
If you add up the salaries to be paid to the new executive director, the in-house attorney and his assistant, and the public relations director, the total is more than $800,000.
To that you must add another 30% for health insurance, retirement and other benefits, so the actual total is over $1 million.
I believe a qualified executive director could be hired for $150,000 to $200,000 a year, a well-qualified law firm could be put on retainer for $120,000 a year and the public relations post could be filled for about $75,000 a year or eliminated.
In other words, the airport could function and be well-served for about $400,000 for these three functions instead of $800,000, and there would be a proportionate savings on benefits.
The bottom line is that about $500,000 per year in salaries and benefits is being wasted.
In my previous letter to the editor I suggested three ways to address this situation:
1. Board action.
2. Legislative changes by the legislative delegation.
3. Seek an opinion from the S.C. Attorney General on possible conflicts of interest and dual office holding by board members.
All of these remedies are still available, but I have an additional suggestion. The entire legislative delegation is up for reelection this year with party primaries set for June 9.
Candidates should be asked whether they support what happened at the airport and, if not, what they would do if elected to address these issues.
I strongly encourage voters to ask these questions, carefully consider the answers and vote accordingly.
Waterfront Plantation Drive
Salute to nurses
Once again, nurses are called upon to excel in dire circumstances. They are truly earthly angels.
When Japanese troops invaded the Philippines in 1941, nurses were eventually captured there and put into a prison camp along with U.S. troops. They were there until liberated three years later. Even in that camp, nurses excelled in doing what they do best.
Now, nurses nationwide are working in stressful and dangerous times. Many thanks to these nurses from a heartfelt nation.
BETTY L. WILLIAMS
Voters need answers
With primary day just 20 days away, I find it hard to believe none of the Republican candidates for the 1st Congressional District has seen fit to post their positions on Vote411.com.
As a former political candidate, albeit not a winning one, I found this forum to be very helpful in the exchange of ideas.
I sincerely hope these candidates avail themselves of this opportunity and don’t ask the voters to believe the PR we will receive in the mail and on TV.
Also, it might behoove U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to respond, as his three opponents have.
JOHN W. MATTHEWS
Legends Club Drive
Good job, mayor
My friends and I and acquaintances would like to thank Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg for the wise way the city’s stay-at-home order has been handled, and the deference the mayor has shown to the medical community.
People have been self-distancing and many have been wearing masks when in public facilities. This has enabled “essential” businesses to continue to operate.
We hope that this caution will continue and people will think of others as we navigate our way through this ongoing ordeal.
Once again, thanks to Mayor Tecklenburg’s outstanding leadership, Charleston can be hailed as a model city for others to emulate.
Editor’s note: This letter also was signed by Charleston residents Molly Thompson, King Street; Catherine Jones, Montagu Street; and Richard Donohoe, King Street.
Classes too large
Molly Spearman, state schools superintendent, said in the May 13 board meeting that we might not be organizing schools on an alternative schedule in the fall.
She said that we should just have all the students face forward and sit as far apart as possible. This is without reduced class sizes. With many classes having 30-plus students, just staying “far apart” is not feasible.