To the Editor:
As a longtime Bluffton resident, I am gratified we are attracting a raft of new neighbors. It means we have, for the most part, elected sound leadership and hired good staff.
As we grow, our planning and execution challenges will grow as well. Our population is now around 15,000 and expected to grow to almost 50,000 at build out, assuming our annexation program is more modest than most anticipate. Our current roads are almost at capacity, and parking in the Old Town is problematic. River access demand will increase, as will water quality challenges.
As we welcome more people, the complexity of our problems will also increase. Most council members not only have full-time jobs but also serve on various boards and commissions.
How much time will they have to give complicated issues the proper attention they require? As the size of the town continues to grow, so will the demands placed on our elected officials.
From time to time, we have considered increasing the size of council from five to seven. In my view, it is time to revisit that forward-looking proposal.
In South Carolina, 15 municipalities fall into the category of populations between 10,001 and 20,000. Eight of these have seven or more council members. In the over-20,000 category 17 of 18 municipalities in the state have seven or more council members with the only exception being Columbia, which remains at five.
After the November election, I urge council to revisit this crucial matter.
To the Editor:
A letter that appeared in the Bluffton Sun by a Hilton Head Island resident requires a response by someone who holds the exact opposite opinion. Mr. Earle Everett says that our state has poor roads and bridges, 49th in educational expenditure and fourth highest in teen pregnancies. He laments that South Carolina residents don’t pay enough taxes! He is all for increased gas tax.
According to Sen. Tom Davis, the state is scheduled to spend $1.627 billion on state-responsible roads of 41,454 miles, which equates to $39,248 per mile per year!
There is enough money to fix the roads and bridges. Let us not impoverish working people by increasing the cost of fuel.
There is no correlation between public school expenditure and excellence in education. The U.S. spends more per pupil expenditure than any country in the world, and yet scores below average in international assessment tests. More money is not the answer but respect for learning is.
Teen pregnancy is a manifestation of cultural rot in our progressive, no-consequence society. We have removed God from our schools based on the twisted logic of separation of church and state and our culture is paying a price for it – teen pregnancies, missing fathers, irresponsible family behaviors.
All those that say that our taxes are low, including Mr. Everett and Mr. Warren Buffett, can easily write checks to the government to make them feel good. Please leave us alone who think that tax revenues are more than adequate to run government.