The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters to the Editor: Strong mayor model needed for Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant Town Council (copy) (copy)

Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie (left) and former Town Council member Joe Bustos had sought to replace the town's contract legal counsel with a full-time, in-house town attorney. Brad Nettles/Staff

The Dec. 23 Post and Courier lead editorial, “Let Mount Pleasant voters decide on strong mayor,” echoes our experience in Summerville.

Town councils like Charleston and North Charleston with strong mayors are not constantly squabbling on

the front pages of the newspaper.

Towns like Mount Pleasant and Summerville have dysfunctional governments that guarantee discord and gridlock.

Summerville has a council form of government similar to Mount Pleasant but had a strong mayor who also acted as the town’s full-time administrator until Mayor Wiley Johnson was elected in 2015.

The lame duck council immediately voted to strip the Mayor’s Office of that authority and the authority to appoint commissioners.

Council turned over administrative duties to a town administrator.

A strong mayor (mayor-council) form of government provides citizens with a single elected official responsible for unifying the views of the other council members and delivering balanced

services to the entire town.

The mayor-council form of government is, in fact, the form chosen for two out of three municipalities in South Carolina because it works for both small towns and big cities.

Mount Pleasant voters should compare the benefits of their current form of government with that of their surrounding neighbors and be given the chance to choose how they want to be represented.

PETER GORMAN

South Magnolia Street

Summerville

Don’t close mall

A great big thank you to Santa and his elves at Citadel Mall. On Dec. 7, we had our grandmom shopping day (all 19 of us). When Santa saw the group he and his elves moved his chair and brought in a bench. It was perfect. We all sat or stood around him and got the best picture.

I really hope they wouldn’t close that mall. We go there every year.

Mary Ellen Babilon

Auld Brass Road

Walterboro

Johns Island buses

Enough is enough.

The time has come for CARTA to inaugurate a new Johns Island bus route.

It should run from Calhoun Street to Savannah Highway to Main Road, over the Limehouse Bridge to Johns Island, south along River Road to Maybank Highway, and then back to the peninsula across the Stono River Bridge and James Island.

Steve Bailey: We can’t pave ourselves out of gridlock. It's time to change the model

Bidirectional travel on this route would relieve increasing gridlock on Johns Island caused by uncontrolled suburban development.

The recent addition of just one lane to Maybank Highway coming onto Johns Island shows how simple solutions can transform our quality of life.

Many view buses with suspicion, but that’s mainly because so few people actually ride them.

They don’t realize how readily their everyday commutes can be simplified, economized and enriched.

Buses full of people take many single-occupant cars off the road, no longer contributing to traffic that consumes and emits matter proven to undermine the Lowcountry’s environment.

This new Johns Island CARTA line, with sheltered benches at every stop and aggressive promotion of the route/schedul, would transform our daily grind as well as enhance Charleston’s reputation for livability and progressive 21st century urban development.

ADAM SMOLKA

Rushland Mews

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Johns Island

School changes

Change is always difficult, but it was finally beginning to look like we had figured out how to get Charleston County schools moving forward.

Yet, now we have a new battle. We have local leaders trying to push us toward what may help students and state lawmakers opposing them, rather than trying to work for the common good.

Editorial: Charleston legislators should do their job, let School Board do its job

It doesn’t make sense why we can’t work together. I thought we were all on the same team, cheering for what is best for our kids and teachers, not our next election.

Change is a difficult thing, but as each of us ponders what is best for our kids and teachers, we keep hearing we are moving too fast.

As an educator, I have had to admit at times that some of my methods could use improvement or change.

We all keep saying we

need to change. But now we want to change but go slower?

Each year another class of young people gets lost in an educational system that does not prepare them for life. Many of them still can’t read sufficiently to make it through the grocery store.

Truly, none of us have all the answers and, yes, we do seem to be moving at warp speed, but perhaps it is because we are in an educational emergency.

Please, somebody, throw out an educational lifeline.

CINDY CLARK

Johnnie Dodd Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

JUUL settlement

Lexington County should reconsider JUUL Labs locating its plant there.

JUUL Labs is set to invest more than $125 million in an assembly facility in Lexington County.

Letters to the Editor: State laws need to prohibit the sale of vaping products

The San Francisco-based company’s investment is expected to help create more than 500 new jobs.

There is controversy surrounding this decision because of vaping-related illnesses and even deaths.

Also, the long-term effects of vaping are unknown.

JUUL Labs has been known to market its products to young people in the past.

Of course, after the warnings from the CDC and FDA, JUUL Labs has done damage control and revamped its website and discontinued youth-appealing flavors.

There are questions we must ask ourselves:

• Can such a company that has used shady and deceptive marketing tactics be trusted?

• Do we really want to have a company that has presented its products as “safer than cigarettes” to children in schools?

• Are we really willing to jeopardize the health of our young citizens for the sake of money?

We must support the ban of these products until substantial evidence shows that vaping products are less risky and harmful.

MARIA URBINA

Oak Island Drive

Charleston

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