Letters to the Editor

Beaufort County contractors can get school jobs

A recent letter writer implied that local contractors are excluded from the Beaufort County School District’s bidding process and procurement policies. That is incorrect.

Local contractors are fully able, and even encouraged, to bid on district construction projects. The district places newspaper ads to announce upcoming projects and also holds “job fairs” to ensure that local contractors are fully aware of those opportunities. The majority of firms that attend district job fairs have gotten jobs.

It is accurate to say that local contractors are not “favored” in the bidding process because state law prohibits that. The practical effect of such a practice would be to subsidize local contractors’ bids with tax dollars, thus limiting competition and impartiality, as well as inflating construction costs at taxpayer expense.

We encourage local contractors to attend job fairs, bid on district projects and participate in an impartial and competitive process that produces the highest-quality product at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.

Robert Oetting

Chief Operations Officer

Beaufort County School District


GOP club ad fair to women

On Sept. 26, the Greater Bluffton Republican Club ran an ad in this newspaper to support Judge Brett Kavanaugh and to show the contemptible behavior of some Senate Democrats.

The response was polarizing, since our aim was to elicit a response from voters. However, a recent letter to the editor from a reader deserves a reply. The claim that our ad “denigrates all women” is false. Our club is roughly half women who supported the ad.

We were in no way attempting to make light of sexual harassment and assault. That would be denigrating to women. Our goal was to point out the hypocrisy of the Senate Democrats who had a letter from Christine Ford and concealed it for two months. The concealment was not to protect Ford’s identity either. The FBI could have done a thorough, confidential investigation during the summer. The Senate Democrats waited until the last minute to create a media circus as an attempt to derail Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now this concealment was truly denigrating to a woman: Ford.

But what about other women who were “denigrated,” namely Kavanaugh’s wife, daughters and mother. All these women were “denigrated” by the shameless, scorched-earth tactics of Senate Democrats whose only objective was to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

No, our ad was in no way minimizing sexual assault. However, claims of assault should not be tools of disingenuous politicians to further their deceitful aims.

Mark Balinski


Greater Bluffton Republican Club

Hilton Head Island

My views on Mark Sanford intended as positive

I regret the way McClatchy writer Emma Dumain portrayed my comments on Mark Sanford’s legacy in a story published in Tuesday’s Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

I had told her that I thought it wasn’t fair to measure Mark’s effectiveness in the traditional context of bills sponsored and bills passed — that his iconoclastic approach during his time as governor lead to a change in the political conversation that was ultimately much more important than any incremental/transactional approach would have been.

She took what I intended as a positive commentary and turned it into a negative. I also told her that I thought Mark’s career as an elected official was just on pause and not over, something I sincerely hope is true.

State Sen. Tom Davis


Political signs should not be above the law

We are once again subjected to the arrogance and double standards of the political class.

I admire those who dedicate themselves to the thankless task of political office. At the same time, when politicians and their political party bosses willfully flaunt the law, it validates the low opinion most have of them.

A quick internet search immediately shows multiple references to South Carolina DOT regulations based on state law with regard to the legal placement of political signs. These laws and regulations are so easily ignored by those who make those same laws and expect them to be followed.

For those of us who want to admire public service, this is a stark reminder that today many believe they are above the law.

Anthony DePaolo

Hilton Head Island

How to submit a letter

Send letters to the editor by email to letters@islandpacket.com or letters@beaufortgazette.com.

Or you may submit a letter online.

Letters to the editor must be 250 words or fewer and include your first and last names, street address and daytime telephone number so we can verify the letter before publication.

You are limited to one letter per 30 days.

Letters may be edited for length, style, grammar, taste and libel. All letters submitted become the property of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.