Letters to the Editor

Beaufort County School District excluding local contractors

A Beaufort County School District school under construction.
A Beaufort County School District school under construction. File staff photo

With the school board elections soon to decide the fate of Beaufort County schools, it is of paramount urgency to make the best use of our vote. Our public schools take up the lion’s share of our tax dollars and require attention.

I served on the school board back in the mid-1980s, representing Hilton Head and Daufuskie islands before we had redistricting. As a general contractor, I was the board member liaison between the school board and contractors.

I think that the local contractors should be included in the bidding process and procurement policies of the school district.

In 2011, Beaufort Construction, Patterson Construction, several other local contractors and I met with the former school district administration and superintendent to find out why mostly out-of-county contractors have access to construction opportunities to the exclusion of most of the locals. There were numerous Freedom of Information Act requests for policies and minutes to meetings where the new procurement policies were supposedly voted on by the board. This was unsuccessful.

The local school board has the ability and directive to design policies that are transparent and fair to the taxpayers. Ultimately, our local school board is responsible for local school policy-making and members need to step up to the plate and be accountable. This is the prime directive for the Beaufort County Board of Education.

Please exercise your voting rights in November so that we can make the changes that need to be made.

Bill Beltz

Bluffton

Hilton Head candidates, address this

For me, the important issues regarding the Hilton Head Island mayoral and council elections are these:

Ordinance to eliminate derelict buildings and set standards for the appearance of all properties.

Legislation to stop the proliferation of time shares.

Full transparency of Chamber of Commerce expenses, including compensation packages.

No taxpayer contribution to new arts venue. Let the private sector develop it.

Affordable housing for service employees.

Public transportation, subsidized if necessary.

Develop Mitchelville Freedom Park.

Tax relief for new businesses.

Sewer hookups for those who cannot afford to connect to sewers.

Reduce budget for Chamber of Commerce; maintain tourism at current levels; there is neither need nor capacity for increased tourism.

I would like to see the candidates address at least some of these issues, and not with cautious, equivocal comments, which is what we have seen so far.

Pete Welch

Hilton Head Island

Daufuskie Island can’t have it both ways

Regarding your article about police patrol on Daufuskie Island being scrutinized, it seems to me that some residents of the island would like the police to control the tourists’ behavior but not their own behavior.

In July, the Daufuskie Island Council requested a police patrol presence to address a “spike in visitor problems” while disregarding their own allegedly unlawful conduct. Council Chairwoman Deborah Smith wrote that people who ignore the law are not welcome on the island. Now she is concerned about the police issuing warnings and citations to residents who are accused of violating traffic laws. It would be a form of discrimination for a law enforcement officer to cite the tourists for violations and not the residents.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Howard D. Sassman

Bluffton

Beaufort County needs roads sales tax

Every day, getting on and off Hilton Head Island gets a little harder. The result makes it harder and harder to attract teachers and workers onto the island.

There is only one way to improve this situation: a six-lane bridge combined with corridor improvements to facilitate getting on and off the island. We all need to accept that fact.

There is state and federal funding available if we step up first by approving the proposed one-cent sales tax on Nov. 6. Or we can pretend that the traffic conditions will get better on their own. Good luck with that.

Jim Collett

Hilton Head Island

Beaufort County being run by morons

It is very disheartening that beautiful Beaufort County is being run by a clutch of morons.

Carol Anne Thompson

Hilton Head Island

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