Mark Bonsall (copy)

Mark Bonsall. Provided

In response to a recent letter praising the hiring of a new Santee Cooper CEO, I am amazed that nobody has questioned this strategy.

Does it not seem strange that two high-level administrators would be brought in at outrageous salaries while the General Assembly is determining whether to sell the utility?

What about the fact that one of the reasons for hiring a new CEO and deputy CEO is to convince the General Assembly not to sell Santee Cooper?

Where else in the world would it make sense for a public utility to lose billions of dollars and have the state legislature invite offers for a sale, but then allow its board to hire administrators for hundreds of thousands of dollars to convince those same elected officials not to sell?

Good plan, gang. I think we can all sleep better tonight.


Doldridge Street

Daniel Island

Background checks

Why has the Senate refused to pass background checks that were passed in the House?

According to Politifact, 90% of Americans support universal background checks for all gun sales. In light of the two recent mass shootings, something must be done.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Tim Scott will not get my vote if they don’t step up to the plate and do something.

Additionally, they need to use their power as senators to curb the racist rhetoric. Stand up for righteousness and for equal rights for all.

The senators have a diverse constituency of many different races, religions and types of people. If they lead by not sowing divisiveness but by embracing diversity, it will help stop white supremacy and racist shootings in this country.


Tall Oak Avenue


Homelessness costs

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, one chronically homeless person living on our city streets costs taxpayers an average of $35,578 per year.

At an average of five ER visits per year, it doesn’t take long for the homeless to rack up large medical bills that will eventually have to be underwritten.

I have spent a decade serving the homeless in Charleston and have never met a more compassionate individual than Sandy Tecklenburg.

She spearheaded the opening of the Homeless Resource Center last year and has helped more homeless people off the streets of our city than any person I know.

In May, Charleston City Council unanimously voted to audit Mayor John Tecklenburg’s office over an accusation (by a rival mayoral candidate) of “misused city funds” for, wait for it, printing his wife’s name and phone number on the back of his business cards.

The additional expense in question? A whopping $10. The cost of the audit? An estimated $50,000 and counting.

What a shame that we as a culture have become so contentious that we would grill our own mayor in advance of an election over business cards.


Sans Souci Street


Stand up to hate

What is going on? Can we not condemn anyone, even the president, when he departs from our values and voices slogans similar to what Nazi and KKK members think? I am appalled and am speaking out against this sort of rhetoric. Can’t everyone who is of like feeling write and stand up for one’s country? All of it, not just the white part?


Coming Street


SC pension system

In the July 28 Post and Courier, the editorial staff wrote “A vision for South Carolina pension system reform in 2020.”

Although editorial staff members are well-intentioned, they couldn’t be more wrong with their approach to South Carolina’s state pension system.

South Carolina’s state pension system is in good shape, and over the last couple of years, lawmakers have been making full payments into the system. If lawmakers decided to close the state pension system to new hires, as the editorial suggests, they would be making the same fateful mistake that other states and municipalities have made in the past.

Michigan, West Virginia, and Alaska have all, at one point, closed their pension systems to new hires. Not only did the unfunded liability of their respective pension systems worsen, but recruitment plummeted and they had a hard time retaining qualified state employees.

In Palm Beach, Florida, and Branford, Connecticut, these municipalities made the same mistake and saw their public safety officers head for the door to seek employment in other departments with better benefits.

Things got so bad in these states and municipalities that West Virginia, Palm Beach and Branford reopened their pension systems to retain quality employees and relieve their operational budgets.

South Carolina lawmakers should not repeat the mistakes of other states and cities by closing the state’s pension system to newly hired public employees. By continuing to make employee and employer contributions, the pension system will continue to stabilize.


Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Executive Director

National Public

Pension Coalition

16th Street Northwest

Washington, D.C.

No first use

On July 31, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Democratic presidential candidates about a “no first use” policy for the United States.

Instead of referencing the fact that the majority of Americans, like myself, support the United States adopting a policy that states the U.S. will never use nuclear weapons first, he used a pro-war frame, erroneously claiming “no first use” ties the president’s hands.

The reality is that this policy for the United States would simply state the U.S. will not initiate a nuclear war. Right now, arms control treaties that reduce the amount of nuclear weapons in the world are falling apart, and a whole new generation of new nuclear weapons, ones more likely to be used, are being built. We’ve never been closer to a miscalculation that leads to nuclear war.

That’s why Americans and the media should be pressing every presidential candidate to commit to not use nuclear weapons first.

The world’s deadliest weapons will not go away unless we work to make it so. Today, 74 years after the first use of nuclear weapons in war, it’s more clear than ever that we must do more to prevent the use of these dangerous weapons and re-energize the public movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.


Cheswick Lane

Mount Pleasant

Impressive debt

In regard to an Aug. 5 Post and Courier letter on paying down the national debt: You must appreciate what a trillion means.

The example of raising $1.7 million in 10 months sounds impressive, but compared to trillions, it is minuscule. One million seconds is 12 days: one trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

The $22 trillion in national debt spread over the U.S. population is $66,885.70 for every man, woman and child. If each U.S. citizen visited Harris Teeter every day and left a whole dollar, it would require 183 years to retire this debt, even if wasn’t growing by billions each day.

This huge debt, which we must pay interest on, is much more likely to reach its tipping point before the climate ends us.


Downing Drive