Opinion

Voting down pay raise was right thing to do

Public officials are often criticized for their actions – or lack thereof in some cases.

Sometimes the criticism is justified. Sometimes it is not.

A recent proposal from the county’s personnel committee recommending a $1,000 raise for each of the seven members of Barnwell County Council sparked an outburst of comments on Facebook after we reported about the proposal in our Feb. 7 edition.

During last week’s regular county council meeting, Councilman Harold Buckmon asked his fellow councilmen an important question. “Do you think this is the right time?”

Council chairman responds to Moore letter

Dear Editor,

In reference to the editorial written by Mr. Tim Moore in The People-Sentinel on February 14, 2018 about Barnwell County Council, there are some points I wish to clarify for Mr. Moore. You are accusing the Council of giving away the hospital and I wish to inform you that some of the council members were not on council at the time you are referring to.

Now back to the hospital – you, Mr. Moore, were on County Council in 1999 and I would be interested to know what you did about the hospital while you were on council getting your $62.50 per hour?

Audits reveal financial health of public bodies

This time of year most government entities are getting their annual audit reports for the previous fiscal year.

While this may seem like a dull and lifeless document, it is actually an extremely important barometer of the financial health of a public governmental body, such as school districts, city and county governments, and economic development commissions. After all, it’s important to know how the money entrusted to these entities by the public is being spent.

Is every penny properly accounted for?

VA patients need volunteers year-round

Dear Editor,

This Valentine’s Day, many veterans who fought to preserve our freedoms will be hospitalized, receiving the medical care they earned, but separated from the homes and communities they defended.

No one should be alone on Valentine’s Day, and with the help of our grateful community, no Veteran has to be.

Citizens in the community can arrange for a visit through our Voluntary Service Office during National Salute week to visit veterans at the Dorn VA and remind them that their sacrifices are not forgotten.

There are still honest people in the world

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the person who found my wallet at the Subway restaurant in Barnwell, and was honest to turn it in to the manager at Subway.

I don’t know the person who did such an honest deed. I wish I could thank them personally.

Also thanks to those at Subway for holding my wallet until I was able to claim it.

I must say there are still honest people in this world.

Thank you all so very much!

Elease Myers

D29 board members finally get their wish

Well, members of the Williston District 29 School Board have finally gotten their wish.

After two years of finagling around the issue, a replacement for the vacant seat on the board will be filled once the April election results are final.

On June 26, 2016, Billy Williams walked out of a school board meeting and announced on his way out that he was resigning. We imagine that he and most folks figured that a replacement would be selected relatively quickly and life would move on.

Shutdowns and divisions hurt everyone

We’ve talked about it before, but a lack of unity in government still seems to be an issue on both the local and national level.

The ongoing saga over the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission/Corporation continues to cause division among many locally. While progress has been made, it’s an issue that continues to divide residents and the parties that are currently involved in a lawsuit.

Impaired driving is heartbreaking for everyone involved

We see the message on billboards, on television and in print. We hear it on the radio. We teach it to our kids through the DARE program. We talk about it as a general topic and most agree it’s preventable.

“It” is impaired driving and the simple steps to preventing it.

While the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive” is a year-long effort, over the holidays there is an uptick in media messages to the public to keep party-goers safe. But, like many New Year’s resolutions, keeping that in mind seems to fade as the confetti falls.

‘Transparency’ bill alllows non-profits to hide funding

The following is a guest editorial.

There is a wolf in sheep’s clothing working its way through our state legislature.

The bill purports to be a transparency bill, but it is anything but… and it will hide how millions of taxpayer dollars are spent.

The wording begins saying any non-profit entity that “received more than one hundred dollars in public funds from a state agency or political subdivision in the previous calendar year or the current calendar year, must submit a quarterly expenditure report to the jurisdiction awarding the funds.”

Being part of solution is a good resolution

A visit to any of Barnwell County’s governmental meetings will find that the public is welcomed and encouraged to particpate.

Yes, there are rules regarding length of time to speak. There are also rules that mean the public can speak but the councils generally do not respond or act on those comments immediately.

But what all those elected government officials really want are solutions.

Timely financial reporting vital for public

Each October, many state agencies – including public colleges and universities – are required to submit to me their financial statements for the previous fiscal year. I use those statements to produce South Carolina’s financial report, which is used by lawmakers, credit rating agencies, and others to assess the state’s financial condition.

Flags reminded beach-goers of the real meaning of holidays

It has been fifteen months since our place was sold on Edisto Island.

I really do miss dear friends there. Hopefully, some miss me, too. However, I have been told time and again just how very much residents and visitors miss seeing our various flags flying atop the 44-foot tower attached to the house.

After Bob Fickling and I wed in 1993, a large spotlight became a welcomed addition to the tower. Our well-lighted American flag would fly appropriately after sunset. This was indeed a thing of beauty, a proud reminder of our love for our country and sacrifices made.

Resolutions for 2018

Resolutions are a way for all of us to take a close look in the mirror at least once a year and decide what we like and what needs to be changed.

And that is the beauty of it - we can change.

We have the power within us to change our circumstances, our surroundings and/or our attitudes. Change is hard so we encourage everyone to take “baby steps” towards their goals. Diets and exercise plans that go full force for the first two weeks of the year may not last. But making small changes each week, adding time or routines, will make success a whole lot more attainable.

Community Soup Kitchen grateful

Dear Editor,

The Community Soup Kitchen would like to say thank you!

It’s hard to express how grateful we are for this community. We are truly humbled and honored by your generosity and support for this ministry.

We wish you and your family a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

The soup kitchen is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the activity center of Barnwell First Baptist Church and is serving an average of 50 meals per day.

One of ‘Cholly’s Boys’ remembers his uncle, Charlie Dixon

In the South and pockets of New England, speakers of English typically drop the post vocalic /r/, making words like paper papuh, water watuh, and Charlie Cholly, as one would pronounce Holly.

As a young man in Barnwell, I would hear people exclaim, "You must be one of Cholly's boys!" And as a good Southern boy, my answer was always, "Yes, sir."

But this isn't a lesson in sociolinguistics; it's a tribute to my Uncle Charlie Dixon who died almost one year ago.

We wish you hope

Christmas is a special time of year!

Houses are lit up with bright lights and adorned with pretty decorations.

The smell of Christmas cookies and other delicious treats fills the air.

Nostalgic movies and songs bring smiles to young and old.

The excitement of children waiting for Santa to arrive is contagious.

Christmas angels mindful of meaning of season

What do you want for Christmas?

It’s a common question this time of year.

Many want the latest gadgets, toys and clothes. You can turn to pages 1-2B of this edition to find out what local youngsters want in our annual Letters to Santa feature. From salamanders and puppies to perfume and the new iPhone X, the list of material presents was long.

However, a couple letters really stuck out to us.

Options and tips offered to celebrate safely

Dear Editor,

Some of the most dangerous days of the year on our nation’s roadways are between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Last year 891 people were killed in drunk driving crashes which is 26 percent of total traffic fatalities during this time (between November 1 through December 31).

Drinking and driving don’t mix. Always designate a non-drinking driver.

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