County Council In
For some time County Council has been working
on the potential conversion of
a debris landfill on Route 903 to a municipal waste
landfill. The project proceeded completely under wraps using the code
name Project December, with Ordinance 1080 being given three readings
at three special meetings of County Council held in December 2010.
Rumors and horror stories began circulating in January and local
residents asked the Indian Land Action Council for assistance in
mounting an effective protest. As a result more than 250 citizens
consisting of residents of the local area and ILAC activists
showed up for the County
Council meeting on 1 February.
County Council took one look at the crowd and went into executive
session, probably without a legitimate reason to do so, to decide what to do. They decided to pacify the
crowd by requiring
a 1 mile
setback requirement for such landfills. The setback
requirement had been set to 1000 feet by Ordinance
1073 on 29 December 2010. A one mile setback is simply a way
of saying that Lancaster County will not permit sanitary landfills
within its borders. The company behind the project was forced to
This is lunacy on
several levels. Even given that the contract negotiations needed to be
kept confidential, nothing prevented County Council from going public
right after the first of the year, explaining the considerable benefits
of the project and the measures that were being taken via the Planning
and Zoning Commission to address the reasonable concerns of residents.
At the 1 February meeting,
County Council could have explained to the residents attending that all
that had been done was to negotiate the financial details of the
project and to require approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Concerns such as setbacks, roads, traffic and the like would properly
be addressed by the Board of Zoning Appeals, not County
Council. A copy of the proposed contract is available here.
Council thus threw away a proposal that would have had considerable
benefit to the county (something like $400,000 per year in trash
disposal cost savings) based on five minutes of paniced consideration. Also
away was the work done by County staff and the company's people at
substantial cost. Whether the project is a good idea or not, the
process is wrong and wasteful of the taxpayers and applicant's money.
Councilman McCullough has issued a document addressing this situation.
This document is a long list of "We were mislead..." and "We didn't
know..." excuses. The plain fact is that County Council did not do its
homework on this proposal, as it has not done its homework on several
other proposals in the last year or more. County Council did not make
any effort to allay the legitimate concerns of residents of the area,
instead allowing these concerns to develop into mass hysteria.
Nearly 80,000 people make Lancaster County their home. Not many have
the time to follow County Council proceedings in detail or to spend the
four hours or more required to actually attend County Council meetings
and speak before County Council. County Council has an obligation to
govern on behalf of all these people, not just those who lobby at
County Council meetings. Governing is not the same as passing
To all appearances County Council is
getting ready to make the same mistake again. They are working on a
Strategic Plan for the county. This work has been done in secret. They
plan to have it completed by 31 March 2011, at which point they will
spring it on the citizens. My guess is that there will be much in it
with which substantial portions of the citizenry will not agree. What
process will be used to get the citizens to buy into this strategic plan? Will there
be public hearings? Will it be possible to submit written comments?
Will County Council listen to what people say or just go through the
motions, as has been the case in the recent past? Will anyone besides
ILAC and the newly formed LCAC be able to get anything done?
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District 16 Seat
The election of
Mick Mulvaney to Congress has left a vacancy in The SC Senate which will
be filled in a special election. There are seven candidates for this
seat, five Republicans, one Democrat and one Libertarian.
will be held 22 February, primary runoff elections on 8 March, and the
special election on 12 April. Candidates and
their web sites are as follows:
Brian Carnes (R) - Indian Land http://carnes4senate.com
Greg Gregory - Lancaster
Rob McCoy (R) -
Wendy Petzel (R) - Fort
Mike Short (R) - Fort
Stan Smith (L) - Fort
Brann (D) - Fort Mill http://brannforsenate.org
Mick Mulvaney, the previous holder of this seat, has endorsed Greg
Gregory for the position. Mr. Gregory, who held the seat for 16 years
before retiring in 2008, has committed to run for another term if
elected in this special election.
Rev. Dennis McCleave
New Pastor for White Oak AME Zion Church
Rev. Dennis McCleave is the new Pastor of White Oak AME Zion Church.
We welcome him to the community and wish the previous Pastor,
Rev. Alan L. Stewart, well in his new endeavors.
Political Party Reorganization Political parties are governed by Title 7 Chapter 9 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
Under the law they must hold County Conventions by 31 March and State
Conventions by 15 May of this year. The organization chosen now will be
in control of the parties until after the General Election in 2012.
Precinct level organizational meetings preceed the County Convention
and elect delegates to the County Convention. Thus anyone desiring to
have any position in political party ledership must first be elected to
a leadership position in the precinct where he/she votes. Dates for
these precinct level elections will be announced in the very near
future, so if you have any desire to influence the candidate selection
process beyond voting in the primary and general elections, you must
keep a sharp eye out for the precinct organization meeting date and
place. This video explains the process further.
Community Development Club will hold a Volunteer
Appreciation Dinner on Saturday February 19 at 7:00 PM. The
will provide the meat, drinks and paper products; everyone please bring a dish to pass. Awards for
volunteers will be presented. See the brochure here.
On Saturday 28 May the Club will hold a
"Big Yard Sale" rather than the "Spring Fling" held previously.
On 4 July the Van Wyck Fire Department will present fireworks at the
Community Center. The Club will sell hot dogs, chips and drinks.
Trustee changes include Barb Broussard replacing Sandy Loresh, who
moved out of the community and Claudia Thompson replacing Dennis Wiese
who was elected Vice President. These terms end in January 2012. Herb
Blainey and Richard Vaughan were elected to new five year terms.
Clarence Witherspoon continues his service as a Trustee.
The next meeting will be on 2 March with
CrimeWatch at 7:00 PM and the Community Development Club at 7:30 PM.
Sheriff Barry Faile
Sheriff Barry Faile has released a report to the
community detailing his accomplishments over the last two years and his
plans for the future. Read the complete
to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The
recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for
food. The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the
agencies serving the needy in Lancaster. If you have food
you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.