I read The Sun News every day from cover to cover. Some articles are better than others. However, the articles and columns about South Carolina politicians and the comments from their constituents are the best.
I have been visiting here for almost 10 years. Now that I live here, I’ve gotten a completely different view of the world according to ... pick a politician.
The state government is almost non-functional, from the governor (no matter who has that title, not just Nikki Haley and Henry McMaster) to local council members and mayors.
Look at South Carolina. No money for crumbling roads, education or new employees. They afraid to raise taxes on the wealthy, but they keep piling on the fees and “specialty taxes.” Tax the fat cats and you'll have more than enough; getting re-elected would take care of itself. Oh yeah, pay a decent wage and you'll fill all those open jobs!
Look at Horry County, fighting with Myrtle Beach over paid parking. We have two law enforcement agencies, two of this or that. It’s a waste of money and inefficient. Combine the sheriff and police departments and move on.
How about Horry County School Board? What a complete joke. Not only do they get paid, but they gave themselves a 60 percent-plus raise. They do business with themselves and are not honest about new construction projects. Talk about the wolf in the hen house. We need to remember them at election time.
And now my favorite, the local grifters, from the city manager to the city engineer, they seem not to understand their own laws and ordinances, especially if it rubs a major contributor the wrong way. The ordinances are very clear, yet they have their own interpretation and declare “that's the way it is.” They don't even go back to take a look at preliminary submissions of what was approved; they just rubber stamp stuff and let the buyer beware.
There is no protection for the individual because the attorney general's office is pretty dysfunctional. You send in a complaint, get a form letter back, and then nothing.
All in all, it's a pretty sad state of affairs. The average worker is just above minimum wage and all the government employees wait for handouts if there are any funds left over. Maybe they need to have some bargaining power and public support?
You can never get ahead that way. You are always catching up. Just like our politicians, they are always just catching up with other states. And “privatization” is not the answer. All that does is make some politicians' friend wealthy.
This state needs a shake up, from top to bottom. Call your state representatives and tell them what you think. Don't let them dictate their policies to you.
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.