State of the County to be given over eggs

Dan Davis

ALAN HAWES

MONCKS CORNER -- Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis will talk about how the county is welcoming new industries and adding jobs, despite the challenging economy, in his State of the County address Friday.

Sounds good, but it's not free. Davis is speaking at a breakfast that costs $20 for Chamber of Commerce members and $35 for non-members.

Other elected officials, such as Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, typically give their state of the city addresses in free public forums.

Berkeley County is the only local county to be led by an elected official; Charleston and Dorchester counties have administrators hired by council.

"I do it for anybody that asks," Davis said Tuesday. "I know I'm already booked at the Lion's Club, and I think the Kiwanis Club."

Davis said he's also planning a public forum for his State of the County address in a couple weeks.

"We had already talked about this since the whole issue of transparency came up," he said.

This would be the first year he gave the address in a wider public forum.

Critics have been pushing for more transparency in government, including broadcasting meetings and posting a check register on the county's website. Davis said he's working on those requests.

Friday's charge is for the full breakfast that will be served, and the money also helps pay for other events, Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Elaine Morgan said. Davis doesn't get anything for speaking, she said.

She said she invited Davis to talk because a lot of small businesses are hanging on by their fingertips during this economic downturn and need some good news to keep going.

"Businesses need to know the state of the government," she said. "Jobs are the key to this."

Davis said he may be able to announce more details on a new Boeing supplier that will bring 150 to 200 jobs to Berkeley County.

He also will give an update on the push for new roads that will open up industrial parks off Interstate 26 between Summerville and Jedburg.

"We are in the process of trying to close the deal at Jedburg, which will certainly create jobs," he said.

He also will summarize a recent audit that congratulated the county on achieving the goal of building its savings account to 15 percent of the operating budget, which allows the best rates on loans.

He said he also will give an update on the county's green landfill, which is burning methane gas from decomposing trash for profit.