When it comes to politics, there is no shortage of topics to write about, ponder, or even discuss with a neighbor over a glass of sweet tea. I’m not even bringing national politics into the equation; I am talking about local and state politics.
Think about it. We have daily discussions about gas taxes, Hilton Head National rezoning, May River pollution, traffic, drugs, crime, economic development, business licenses, education funding, budgets, unfunded mandates, millage rates, road funding – the list goes on and on.
On any given day, I can be in conversation about business licenses and be pulled away to discuss someone having an issue about trash centers, or a dog running wild.
As a County councilman with a little more than 90 days under my belt, I believe things are moving along nicely.
The attitude on Council is different from this time last year. There are disagreements, but not to the point where one doesn’t speak to the other for not “voting my way.”
One must, and I mean must, have some thick skin. But after a vote, we move on to the next thing – and there is always a next thing.
Hilton Head National property rezoning is taking up a lot of the time for the three council members on the development agreement sub-committee, and we all appreciate them putting in their time.
Other council members and I have been attending the meetings just to stay abreast of the situation.
We are listening and extending perspective, but we are also letting this process work itself through the sub-committee.
Another topic of interest is state General Assembly. The business license reform bill has been pushed back to committee, where it will most likely die this year.
Hopefully, they will take it up next year, as this is a pressing problem that’s only going to get worse before it gets better.
I am fighting for small businesses, especially in the service sector, who are getting tired of the exorbitant costs of business licenses and fees.
There needs to be a system in place that makes South Carolina a business-friendly state.
Fixing our roads and bridges is paramount. I could go on and on about my feelings toward what I believe is a corrupt State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) system, but I will save that for another day.
I will say that while I do not wish for any new taxes, the overall “gas tax” is not the problem; how our taxes are being spent IS the problem.
How the money is appropriated is a death stake to South Carolina.
It is time for reform period, once and for all.
If reform is not undertaken, our roads will continue to crumble. Existing policies are, in fact, killing this state … one road at a time.
Michael E. Covert represents District 7 on Beaufort County Council. firstname.lastname@example.org.