The Van Wyck News

Volume 3 Number 4 The Web – Based Newspaper of the Van Wyck Community            20 March 2011
Sheriff Barry Faile

Sheriff's Department Achieves Accreditation
       The Lancaster County Sheriff's Department has been accredited by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Council. The accreditation was presented at a luncheon of 17 March by Wayne DeWitt, Sheriff of Berkeley County and a member of the Board of the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association, a sponsor of the accreditation program along with the South Carolina Police Chief' Association. Accreditation provides an independent means of assuring that the Sheriff's Department is operating to the highest standards in law enforcement. The accreditation process required two years and must be renewed every three years. Sheriff Faile and the men and women of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department deserve our congratulations and thanks for doing the work required to achieve this honor. They are the eleventh of forty six Sheriff's Departments in South Carolina to achieve this level of competance.  
Congressman Mulvaney
Congressman Mulvaney to Speak on US Budget
 Congressman Mick Mulvaney, member of the US House Budget Committee, will speak and answer questions concerning the Federal Budget at 6:30 PM on Thursday 24 March 2011 in the Stevens Auditorium at USCL. The meeting will be in Town Hall format. Everyone is invited.

County Council Adopts
Strategic Plan

    At its meeting on 22 February County Council adopted a Strategic Plan for Lancaster County. County Council has been working on this strategic plan in secret for some time. The Strategic Plan can be viewed here.  All county departments have been directed to use this strategic plan as guidance in their planning and decision making.
    The Strategic Plan itself is a mouthful of platitudes with which there can be little disagreement. The devil, as they say, will be in the details. One thing is very clear; County Council did not follow its own guidelines as presented in the Strategic Plan during the six month period it took to develop the Plan. Despite the call for transparency presented in the Strategic Plan, those six months saw some of the most deliberate hiding of Council activities in recent memory. Also it is not clear that County Council plans to make the provisions for honesty and integrity in County government retroactive. The County attorney shared an office with a lobbyist for an entity with business before the county during the landfill situation, yet still serves. Council members accepted a boondoggle trip from an entity with business before them and plan apparently to do nothing. It is almost as though County Council is offering up the Strategic Plan as an apology for past behavior and asking to be forgiven, promising to do better. Are we ready for that?
  One thing is for sure - something as significant as a Strategic Plan for the county should have been developed out in the open, with ample opportunity for public input. It was not. County Council worked in secret for months and then adopted the Strategic Plan without any input from citizens at all.
    The Strategic Plan is a lengthy document; we will look at it in more detail in coming issues. Those with comments are welcome to make them; send me mail.


AJ State Park
    Andrew Jackson State Park celebrated the 244th anniversary of the birth of President Andrew Jackson on 19 March with a large party. The party included free admission to the park, demonstrations of Colonial cooking, candlemaking, woodworking, music, weapons and more. Those who came had a great time (below). Those who missed out should mark their calendars for next year.
Alex Lambert

Special Election 12 April
    A Special Election will be held on 12 April to fill the SC Senate seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney on his election to Congress. Registered voters in SC Senate District 16 can vote in their regular polling place from 7 AM to 7 PM in 12 April. Absentee ballots are availaible; for information go here.  Candidates on the ballot and their websites are as follows:
Greg Gregory - Republican
Keith Brann - Democrat
Stan Smith - Libertarian
Community Development Club
    The Van Wyck Community Development Club plans a Spring Fling/Big Yard Sale for Saturday 28 May 2011. Dennis Wiese will chair a committee consisting of Barbara Wiese, Jan and Herb Blainey, Richard and Linda Vaughan, Betty Broome and Jane Massey to plan this event.
    Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to Jane Massey and Kelly Bishop at the meeting on 1 March. 

Lancaster County Development Report
    In a report to County Council dated 1 December 2010, Deputy County Administrator Jefferey Natal points out that the county incentives program intended to attract new business to Lancaster County has largely failed to achieve its objective of providing jobs to Lancaster County residents. The complete report can be viewed here.

Feeding the Hungry
Donations 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 that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.

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