The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled unanimously earlier this month that “a ballot referendum proposing bonded indebtedness must contain a single question for each proposal to which voters can respond affirmatively or negatively.”
That Supreme Court opinion held that because Dorchester County Council did not state parks and libraries as two separate questions in its 2016 referendum, the referendum results were unlawful.
During 2016, I requested my state senator, Paul Thurmond, to seek an opinion from the state Attorney General on the legality of the wording of the Dorchester County bond referendum.
The Attorney General stated, “a court would likely determine neither the Constitution nor the General Assembly intended to give county council the authority to combine multiple separate issues for bond issuance into one referendum question.”
Council and staff comments about this opinion were that “everyone has an opinion,” and that the referendum would go forward without change.
During 2018, I made a motion before Council to place the libraries and parks referendum before the voters again, with two separate questions on the November 2018 election ballot. Inexplicably, my motion failed to receive a second from any council member for discussion.
If council had allowed these two questions to be voted on separately last November and they had passed, funds for libraries and parks immediately would have been available.
During mid-2018 litigation costs defending the lawsuit amounted to $50,000-plus to the county, which also will likely have to pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs, resulting in total legal costs to the county in the $100,000 range.
Council made a mistake in proceeding with the 2016 referendum.
I apologize to voters for my failure to convince County Council to own up to its mistake as well as for increased project construction costs and rising bond interest rates if these items pass in a new referendum.
Several council members continue to place blame on the courts and appellants for delaying the “will of the people.”
They fail to recognize that all must obey the law, that the minority has legal rights that cannot be overridden by a majority and that they, as elected officials, are obligated to comply with the law.
I will vote to place the libraries and parks referendum containing two questions during the county election cycle in 2019 before the voters of Dorchester County.
As a result of the successful lawsuit, in the future all local governments will have to separate questions on referendums about bond funding so that each item fails or succeeds on its own merits instead of due to being linked with one or more other items.
Dorchester County Council
Now I know what constitutes a loser cover page for your paper. The cast of “Southern Charm” on the front of the May 9 Charleston Scene.
Old Castle Loop
Imagine, if you can, that everyone who lives in Mount Pleasant was injured, maimed or wounded, blinded, crippled or disfigured.
Try to comprehend the anguish of their pain and the depth of their suffering.
During World War II, Charleston was the homeport for hospital ships that brought back 75,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines from the European and African campaigns, according to the book, “Hospital Ships of World War II,” by Emory A. Massman.
These were the fathers, sons, brothers and husbands, sent in our name to defend freedom and liberty, to defeat dictators and end genocide.
They performed heroically the task given to them by the United States and returned having served and sacrificed unselfishly. It was here in Charleston where a thankful nation sought to repay those gallant warriors by treating their anguished bodies with the best medical care the country had to offer.
Doctors and nurses labored to heal; shipyard workers and citizens donated blood; volunteers wrote letters home; and chaplains prayed. The Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District is where all this happened.
Who we are as a people can be found in the lessons we teach our children. The historic district was established to serve as a place where future Americans could come to learn from what will always be known as the Greatest Generation.
Now, imagine again, that 50 years from this Armed Forces Day, May 18, your grandchildren are deprived of this history because the state chose to tear down the historic district and instead build a train track.
Popperdam Creek Drive
Point well made
R.L. Schreadley’s article in the May 11 Post and Courier was well-written and to the point. Our elected representatives need to get on with the business of our country and the world.
Donald Trump was not my first nor second choice for president, but he is the president now.
The Mueller report is available for Congress to review. If members insist on investigating something, maybe they can look closer to home. Investigate why members of Congress have different medical insurance than other federal employees.
Bridges and highways need work. Investigate who dropped the ball with this. Politicians have debated immigration reform since Nixon, and still no progress. Investigate that.
Investigate why our teachers are so underpaid.
Investigate how to calm the people of the Middle East. Check on China building islands and military bases in the South China Sea. How about North Korea?
Investigate and get all the answers on how we let Russia and China continue to control North Korea.
How about Central and South America? Got it, elected officials? It’s time to move on and get to work.
In a May 11 Post and Courier column, R.L. Schreadley attacks Democrats for their actions in regard to the Mueller report, but he uses false statements.
The most obvious is his claim that the released version contained 99 percent of the whole report. As anyone can see, the released report has large portions redacted, leaving only about 90 percent visible.
Schreadley falsely states that the attorney general offered the “complete report” to senior congressional Democrats. He did not. The AG offered a “less redacted” version, under restrictive guidelines.
Schreadley repeats the common Trump-supporter statement that Mueller found “no evidence” of collusion. There was much evidence. Mueller just concluded that “while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”
Finally, Schreadley likens Mueller to Inspector Javert from the Victor Hugo novel “Les Miserables.” Javert went on a relentless campaign chasing a man accused of stealing a loaf of bread. Mueller, by contrast, was tasked with investigating Russian interference with the 2016 presidential campaign and the many connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian interests.
Russian interference was real and substantial. Robert Mueller is a well-respected Republican. Schreadley sadly cannot accept that Mueller’s extensive investigation of matters of high national security interest was absolutely necessary.
Whispering Marsh Drive