Letters to the Editor

How the private Greater Island Council on Hilton Head helps the public

The Greater Island Council supported a sales tax referendum to fund road and bridge improvements along this approach to Hilton Head Island.
The Greater Island Council supported a sales tax referendum to fund road and bridge improvements along this approach to Hilton Head Island. Staff file photo

I am writing in response to a recent letter to the editor that criticized the advocacy of the Greater Island Council in support of Beaufort County’s 1 percent sales tax referendum in 2018.

The tax will raise $120 million to fund county transportation projects, including critically necessary improvements to the bridges and gateway corridor that will allow residents, visitors, and employees to drive more safely and quickly to and from Hilton Head Island.

In my view, that is a huge win for the island and for the entire region. Importantly, a good portion of that tax will be paid by visitors, which is very appropriate.

The Greater Island Council of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton was actively and openly in favor of the referendum, together with a broad cross-section of community organizations and most of the voters.

That position on the referendum is consistent with the Greater Island Council’s long history of thoughtful study and support for significant community initiatives. As an active member for more than 20 of those years, I have personally witnessed the good work of the group.

The Greater Island Council is a private organization of informed community advocates with diverse opinions and backgrounds. It is not connected to town or county government, and it maintains independence in its thoughts and positions. Similar nonpartisan groups exist across the country to advocate for long-term community improvement.

I sincerely believe that our democracy benefits when citizens stay involved, learn the facts, and act in good faith.

Jack Alderman

Hilton Head Island

Amend the Amendment to guarantee ‘freedom FROM religion’

Your Saturday paper contains numerous ads for a wide variety of religious services, making it clear that freedom to practice the religion of your choice seems to be thriving.

At the same time, we have numerous states passing very restrictive laws in regard to individual rights — rights that were also guaranteed in our founding documents. These laws, driven by some few religious organizations, attempt to impose their belief system on the population as a whole. They justify their actions by taking advantage of the poorly written First Amendment that provides for freedom of religion.

What that Amendment failed to do was provide the rest of us with “freedom FROM religion.” Given their awareness of the Crusades, the Salem witch trials and many other atrocious activities committed in the name of various religions, the Founding Fathers should have seen a need to clearly address future religious intrusions. A simple addition to the Amendment would have clarified the issue for all future generations:

“At the same time, no religion has the right to impose its belief system on any other religion or on any individual who does not share in those particular beliefs; nor do they have the right to attempt to impose their beliefs through involvement in political or civil discourse.”

Those few words would have clarified the roles and obligations of both government and religion and defined the limits of each in imposing on the rights of others.

Richard Wallace

Hardeeville

Why use plastic bags on the newspaper?

I am writing to piggyback on the recent letter with elementary school children questioning reusable plastic. In my 12 years as a subscriber, I have long wondered why your paper does not offer hard plastic newspaper holders that could affix to a mailbox. I am hard pressed to find a way to reuse the bags surrounding my daily paper.

Marilee Willey

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.

Letters will be accepted only if they are typed into the body of an email, not sent as an email attachment.

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