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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: Writers sound off on election issues, taxes

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ballot drop box.jpg (copy)

Poll worker Robert Jackson places absentee ballots into the secure box at the North Charleston Coliseum as voters watch from their cars after dropping them off on Friday, October 16, 2020. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

Vote for housing

“Affordable housing” means housing that costs less than 30% of your income.

We’re a long way from that in Charleston, where rentals average $1,300 a month and minimum wage workers earn about $1,200.

Housing costs are forcing many to leave old neighborhoods and travel greater and greater distances to work.

Employees and local businesses leave while traffic increases and daily life is more of a struggle.

Rather than a community where all have opportunity, Charleston is becoming a high-end destination for the wealthy.

Charleston County voters can address this problem on our ballots.

“Housing Trust Fund and Mill Levy” Questions 1 and 2 would establish and fund a Local Housing Trust Fund, similar to funds created by other cities including Greenville, Savannah and Charlotte.

The property tax increase is small: If you’re fortunate enough to own a home worth $200,000, for example, your tax will increase $16.

Because the Lowcountry will function better with shorter commutes and more workers available to serve our industries, it makes pragmatic sense to increase affordable housing.

For many, it’s also a moral and spiritual imperative.

As longtime members of First (Scots) Presbyterian Church and the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, we feel called to care for our neighbors, to bear one another’s burdens, to love one another as God loves each of us.

That’s why we’re voting yes on these two questions. Please join us in making the Lowcountry a better place for everyone.

JULIA EICHELBERGER

Travers Drive

Charleston

and BETSY MARTIN

Smith Street

Charleston

(The letter also was signed by four others.)

King St. recovery

The Oct. 18 Post and Courier article, “Vacancies from pandemic and riot on Charleston’s King St. could affect rents,” highlighted the struggles of King Street businesses.

Certainly, the pandemic impacted King Street, but we are encouraged by an uptick in shopper traffic and interest among national retailers.

King Street is not dead. Rather, the vibrant resurgence of this shopping hub should receive national attention for adding back jobs and growing the local economy.

As a bellwether for retail activity, consider the parking lot at George and Society streets. Customers are typically shopping in the historic district.

While traffic slowed in the spring and summer, the first half of October has been very strong, approaching pre-coronavirus ticket levels.

Retailers are checking out available properties. Our firm has signed two restaurant leases in the past 60 days. Established retailers are commenting on the uptick of shopper traffic. Local retailers are asking to host pop-up shops in vacant spaces during the holidays.

The Apple Store reopened and has been very busy. It’s an example of a King Street retailer continuing its pre-coronavirus successes, while implementing extra precautions for its patrons.

We remain extremely optimistic about the King Street economy.

It’s easy to drive or walk down the street and notice the businesses that have left and worry that every business on King Street is doomed.

But I’m here to tell you this will be the one street that bounces back before any other market across the country. And I’m sure my fellow retailers feel the same way.

JOSHUA SCHAAP

Managing director

Charleston Commercial

Bramson Court

Mount Pleasant

Scott’s leverage

In light of recent developments, I want to make clear my thoughts on several matters.

Sen. Tim Scott has considerable leverage as the only black Republican U.S. senator in our country.

Having supported Sen. Scott financially and verbally, I believe he is in a position to emphasize the urgent need for the president to accept the results of the election; the need for him to retract his unflattering comments about those of us who have served in the military; and, finally, the need for all of us to face up to the threat of global warming.

I believe I am not alone in expressing these thoughts.

JOHN WINTHROP

North Adger’s Wharf

Charleston

Vote for Bowers

I was quite surprised to learn that East Cooper residents, including Mount Pleasant, the fourth largest city in the state, have no representation on Charleston County’s Soil and Water Conservation District Commission.

Of the five current commissioners, four live very close to each other on James Island and the fifth lives on Johns Island.

That seems a bit skewed to me.

With all of the rampant growth in Charleston County, it is imperative that the issue of conservation is not overlooked.

It is time for other parts of the county to have a say in the conservation of the Lowcountry’s beautiful natural resources.

That’s why we need to elect Joe Bowers this November.

Joe grew up in rural Charleston County, with the Francis Marion National Forest as his playground, he graduated from Bishop England and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Citadel.

He served for four years on the Charleston County Constituent District 1 School Board and works in educational advocacy.

He has a strong record of fighting for what is right and knows how to work with both sides of the aisle to get things done.

He stands ready to work to improve our water quality, protect our coast and wildlife, support local farmers and increase public awareness.

Please join me in supporting Joe Bowers in this election.

MARYANN A. DUNHAM

Hobcaw Drive

Mount Pleasant

Vote for Armstrong

I’ve not been known to work for or support Republican candidates. After all, I’m a former member of the Democratic National Committee and former chairman of the Charleston Democratic Party.

Well, that streak is being broken as of this election season.

I am wholeheartedly supporting and endorsing Julie Armstrong for Charleston County clerk of court.

As an attorney, I’ve been able to appreciate how professional, efficient and nonpartisan she has been in running the office for 28 years. And, she’s a kind, genuine and honest person.

So, there are plenty of positives to explain my going for this Republican candidate. But there’s another side to this.

The Democratic candidate, Dan Gregory, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has run twice as a Republican for register of deeds in Lexington County and again in 2018 here in Charleston County.

He’s recognized that the present trend is Democratic candidates start out with a natural advantage in countywide races in Charleston County.

Not only is Mr. Gregory running as a Democrat, but he’s also running as the Libertarians’ candidate.

It’s not really possible to find any alignment of the ideologies associated with those two political parties.

This deep blue Democrat shouts from the mountaintop: Vote for Republican Julie Armstrong for clerk of court.

WARING S. HOWE JR.

Broad Street

Charleston

Election ads disgust

The election ads appearing on the television make me wonder if I should even vote.

I want to know exactly what each candidate plans for our future, not hear them blame each other.

They are all acting like children.

BETTE HELGESEN

Sweet Myrtle Circle

Mount Pleasant

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