2012 is an election year and is scheduled to be the Year of the First
Responders. The reason for this is that County Council members seeking
re-election cannot afford to be labeled anit-first responder. The
Sheriff, Fire Service, EMS and 911 services can get virtually anything
they ask for in an election year.
A belated happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there. We have a great
deal to be thankful for in this great nation, especially the lives of
all those who have made what we have possible.
I apologize for
the long delay between issues. I was out of town for a while, have been busy working with issues at
the state level and, frankly, there is little going on in Van Wyck
between Halloween and Christmas. We are are also redesigning the website in preparation for the 2012 election year.
The Sheriff and EMS people will
additional staff and equipment, particularly to staff the new Edenmoor
EMS station, and there will be a major effort to consolidate the County
and City of Lancaster 911 systems.
The 911 consolidation will involve the purchase new equipment. A push
will be made to obtain equipment
capable of using GIS data and accepting 911 calls via text message and
the Internet. There are as yet no standards for using GIS data or
accepting information from the Intenet, and the FCC issued a notice of
its intention to set such standards only in September 2011. Standards
are thus a couple of years away, and it is premature to purchase
equipment asserted to be able to do this.
There is also a move to have all calls to County
telephone numbers come to the 911 center on the odd chance that an
individual will call the County phone number with an emergency message
rather than call 911. This would require a substantial expansion of the
911 staff without a corresponding reduction in County staff.
The second thing that will be happening is a wholesale attack on the
Southern Panhandle zoning in the name of jobs. There has been a
misguided effort going on in County Council to redefine the B3 (General
Business) zoning classification and while this effort is going on there
has been a moratorium on zoning changes north of Rte. 75. This
moratorium was lifted at the 24 October Council meeting by a coalition
representatives from the southern portion of the County (McGriff,
Honeycutt, Cole and Carter) on the basis that a lot of businesses would
like to move into the area, mainly restaurants, and this would
mean jobs for Lancaster County residents. This would
return to the patchwork zoning that has resulted in so many problems in
Indian Land. The real need, which Council has consistently refused to
address, is an updated Planned Land Use map.
Another matter that may come up is a
proposal to impose
a 1 cent per gallon tax on gasoline and use the revenue to resurface
and pave roads in Lancaster County. This is similar to the Pennies for
Progress program in Rock Hill. The Lancaster County Roads and
Bridges Department will spend about $2.5 million during CY
2011 – 2012 filling potholes. The Lancaster County Transportation
Commission will spend about the same amount paving roads using gasoline
tax money received from the state. The LCTC is independent of County
government; its members are appointed by the Governor on the
recommendation of the county legislative delegation. Last year the
LCTC repaved the road in front of the planned dormitory at
USCL. It would seem that there should be a way to get the LCTC to
better address the County's need for paved roads without invoking a gas
tax to set up a separate program within the County.
Santos "I got it!"
Halloween Party Success
The 2011 Halloween Party held 29 October at the Community Center was a
success for young and old alike. Games, rides, popcorn, candy and hot
dogs combined to provide a fun, safe alternative to door to
"Trick or Treat" Halloween fun in this rural community.
1 December - 7 PM - Bluegrass at CDC
6 December -
7 PM - CrimeWatch
6 December - 7:30 PM - CDClub
10 December - Noon - Christmas Parade
11 December - 4:30 PM -Lighting the Way
16 December - 7 PM -VWPC Bluegrass
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.