Letters to the Editor

Jasper County fire service agreement raises questions

Is it Bluffton? Hardeeville? Okatie? Beaufort County? Jasper County? Figuring out where we lived when moving to Sun City last month was not easy.

It’s now official: the Jasper County/Hardeeville side.

We love our home and the neighborhood. The taxes, however, are way higher here than in Beaufort County. And I can live with that. But what I can’t live with is government inefficiency and waste.

Within a few days of moving in, we were informed that Jasper County may be ending a shared fire-services agreement with Hardeeville; would build a fire house about a mile away from an existing one; and beef up fire department resources when calls for medical services (EMS) were rapidly outpacing fire calls.

I spoke during the county’s public hearing just hours after our moving truck arrived. The county’s meeting room was packed. But after the council’s vote, I realized that what county officials have long been discussing behind closed doors was about to be a slam-dunk vote. Minds were made up, no matter what would be said to the contrary.

There remains a huge cloud of suspicion hanging over Jasper County’s actions. And only sunshine can lift that cloud. Were Jasper County officials being good stewards of public funds? Was there transparency in the process? Was using a “rainy day” fund instead of capital funds wise?

The Island Packet would do a great public service to determine if the county has acted in the best interests of its stakeholders. A $1.2 million dollar question remains.

Gene Ceccarelli


Hoda Muthana case not complicated

In “Taking a Second Look at the Case of Hoda Muthana,” columnist John Crisp admits that, like many other Americans, he was at first unsympathetic to Hoda Muthana’s plight. Since then he’s had a change of heart and now thinks we should show her unconditional mercy. Conversely, he faults President Donald Trump for remaining unwilling to extend sympathy, indeed, mercy to Muthana.

Crisp makes the valid point that the president routinely reacts impulsively to complicated issues that call for greater consideration. In this case, however, he mistakenly considers Muthana’s plight a complicated issue. It is not at all complicated. She committed treasonous acts and urged her fellow Americans to commit acts of terrorism, distinct from treason.

Indeed, as an American citizen, Muthana has rights to due process in legal proceedings. But with rights come responsibilities. Citizens owe allegiance to our laws, one being a statute that defines treason as levying war against our country or adhering to its enemies, and giving them aid and comfort. Minimum punishment is five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Guilt of encouraging domestic terrorism requires a separate verdict.

President Trump cannot arbitrarily ban Muthana’s rights to due process, nor can she receive unconditional mercy from any source other than a legal authority. Due process entitles her to challenge allegations in a court of law. A guilty verdict would require a prison sentence, one that could show mercy but not unconditional mercy without consequence

David Allen


We don’t need misguided hate against conservatives

So, I was surprised to open the paper and find out, after reading a letter the the editor, that I am racist, want women to die (although it seems to me the left wants babies to die, not the mothers), support hate groups, fear anyone not like me, want health care only to be had by those who can afford it, hate LGBTs and want to take away their freedoms, and denigrate the educated as out of touch. Wow!

This sort of rhetoric is what is dividing this country so right now. We do not need it. The hate on the left is palpable and misguided. I never read or hear of examples of these behaviors conservatives are accused of, just generalized opinions.

Perhaps people should watch or read more than one news source and find out the truth about what is really happening out here. And maybe try to figure out that we are all Americans and that this great country cannot survive if we cannot see both sides of issues and compromise on things.

Marcia Sebastian


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