Letters to the Editor

As goes Sea Pines, so goes Hilton Head: Vote ‘yes,’ and do even more | Letters

10 free things you can do in Sea Pines (after you pay the gate fee)

The gate fee gets you into Sea Pines Resort. But what can you do without shelling out more cash once you get there? Check out these 10 free things to make the most out of a day pass at Sea Pines.
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The gate fee gets you into Sea Pines Resort. But what can you do without shelling out more cash once you get there? Check out these 10 free things to make the most out of a day pass at Sea Pines.

As a Hilton Head Island Realtor for 43 years and someone who has long advocated for the controlled growth of our island, I’ve been following the ongoing referendum debate in Sea Pines with great interest.

The fact is, whatever decision is made, it will have a long-lasting impact not just on Sea Pines, but on the entire island. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 43 years, it’s that whatever direction Sea Pines goes, the island generally follows.

The proposed referendum as presented will make an impact in righting the ship at Sea Pines, where there is a budget shortfall. It will go a long way, but I believe that it will not go far enough.

In Palmetto Dunes, we not only have our annual assessment of $1,800, which has allowed our community to spend on infrastructure, lagoons, and many enhancements made by the property owners’ association. In addition to the annual assessment, Palmetto Dunes collects a 0.5% transfer fee on every real estate transaction, as do several other communities on the island. This fee is typically paid by the buyer as an investment in the community.

Sea Pines continues to set the standard and serve as the trend-setter on Hilton Head. I urge you to vote “yes” to approve this referendum and help Sea Pines continue to set the bar for all of us and continue the quality of life that we all enjoy living on this special island.

Philip A. Schembra

Hilton Head Island

Defeat of Sea Pines referendum would be a bad deal for all parties

The Sea Pines Critical Needs Referendum should be approved! Here’s why:

Sea Pines’ annual residential property assessment (currently $1,078 for an improved property) is $300 to $700 lower than residential assessments in Hilton Head Plantation, Port Royal, Palmetto Dunes, Indigo Run and Palmetto Hall, even though Sea Pines has the highest maintenance needs: 60 miles of community-maintained roads, 5 miles of beach with roughly 50 beach paths and boardwalks, 15 miles of bike/leisure trails, and a 600-acre forest preserve.

Our residential assessments are low because almost half of CSA’s funding comes from gate fee revenues and assessments/fees paid by the resort and other commercial entities. Gate fees are the biggest factor, and they wouldn’t be there without resort/commercial endorsement.

This referendum requires all funding sources to contribute to the overall increase. A gate fee increase is already in place. The resort’s annual assessment rate would increase 50% starting in 2020. A 42% increase in residential assessments would not be in full effect until 2022. Increases for other commercial entities are consistent with this general pattern.

Defeat of this referendum would be a bad deal for all parties. Needed maintenance of roads and drainage systems would be deferred. The cost of catching up with those needs would mount. Traffic problems at the gates would remain unresolved. And there’s no assurance that further negotiations would produce a “better” version.

If, once again, a minority of property owners succeed in defeating the negotiated recommendations of their own elected officials, Riverstone could decide to sell the resort. Riverstone’s 14 years of outstanding performance are unmatched by any prior resort owner.

Let’s count our blessings and approve this referendum.

Norman Harberger

Hilton Head Island

CSA board unfair on Sea Pines referendum

The Sea Pines referendum is rigged.

How can it not be when the CSA board will only share voter contact info with the “yes” side; uses its resources (paid for by all parties) for calls, mailings and brochures; and has instructed the law firm counting the ballots to regularly report back with a vote tally and the names of individuals who have not yet submitted a ballot so they can follow up directly with calls.

The board has repeatedly failed to act in the best interests of all the residents of the community, and with the referendum they have again shown their true colors.

Paul Jurist

Hilton Head Island

Let us know about the Beaufort parade

I am the adjutant of your local Marine Corps League detachment with a mission statement that states:

“Members of the Marine Corps League join in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving traditions. Promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service. Effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy. Voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen, Chaplains, and former Marines, FMF Corpsmen, Chaplains, and their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.”

As a detachment, we have participated in every Memorial Day and Veterans Day parade in Beaufort since our chartering in January 2004. However, since Dr. Elijah Washington stepped down, we have never been notified of, or invited to participate in, the parade. We used to be summoned to a pre-parade meeting at the Beaufort National Cemetery, where we would “sign-up” for a position. When we became aware that there was a parade this past Memorial Day, it was too late to organize a detail. Whoever is organizing these events, please get your act together.

Bernard H. Eveler

Beaufort

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s context was clear: A classic example of demagoguery

A recent letter defended the way U.S. Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar referred to 9/11 and its perpetrators. It also claimed that the mainstream media took her comments out of context.

“Some people” and “something” are appropriate words when referring to unknowns. In Omar’s case, they were entirely inappropriate because it was not merely an unknown something that happened, it was the most deadly attack on America in its history. Even the Pearl Harbor tragedy did not claim as many lives, and in the case of 9/11, nearly all of the victims were civilians. Furthermore, it wasn’t merely some people who did it; specifically, it was Muslim terrorists. Omar chose to ignore those facts and leave out those details.

Of course, all Muslims should not be blamed for 9/11 and, in fact, most Americans did not blame them. If this were not true and Americans were a vengeful people, Muslim-Americans would have suffered greatly at the hands of the vast majority of Americans, they being non-Muslim.

In America, people of all faiths, races and nationalities live in peace if not entirely in harmony. Although our country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, values and principles, all religions are welcomed and practiced here under the protection of law.

Contrast that with Somalia, Omar’s native land, where discrimination and endless hate-filled atrocities take place, especially against minorities, including Christians whose only crime is that they practice a faith other than Somalia’s official religion (Islam). Omar’s claims are a classic example of demagoguery.

David Allen

Beaufort

The purpose of high standards

I just finished a book on the qualities of leadership and loyalty.

Although we may not agree with all of this author’s leadership decisions, his aspirations for himself and his organization are quite commendable. His plan was to drive leadership into every corner and every conversation within his organization, developing people of integrity and decency, confident but humble, kind but tough, transparent, seeking meaning in their work. In short, demand and develop ethical leaders.

Each chapter begins with a quotation that defines that chapter’s content.

Chapter 5, “ The Easy Lie,” begins: “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, until at length it becomes habitual, he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world believing him. The falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time, depraves all its good disposition.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Chapter 13, “Tests of Loyalty,” begins: “ Friendship, connections, family ties, trust, loyalty, obedience — that was the glue that held us together.” — Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno.

Chapter 14, “The Cloud,” begins: “If honor were profitable, everyone would be honorable.” — Thomas More.

My point? No one is perfect. In pursuing a more purposeful life, we may be challenged and stumble, yet, setting high standards while striving for personal improvement and integrity are enviable goals for all of us.

The book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.” The author, former FBI director James Comey.

Earle Everett

Moss Creek

The name game

Whatever happened to Tom, Dick and Harry, let alone Herb? There’s not a single one of ’em in Hilton Head Christian Academy’s accomplished and attractive 45-member Class of 2019, with all their pictures in a recent Island Packet. Nor a Bill, Ted or Peter, or even a John.

The same — or almost — holds for the girls as well, with only one first name being repeated. And those two are the commendable valedictorian and salutatorian, both committed to enhancing Clemson University’s reputation.

Whoever first said the time’s are a’changin’ sure got that right.

Herb Zimmerman

Bluffton

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