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Letters to the Editor

by | October 5, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: October 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm

What to do about violence problem
Dear Editor:
I recently read a statement issued by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department entitled “Violence is Not the Answer.” I don’t know whether the statement was issued in connection with the recent Stop the Violence rallies held after yet another shooting, but two points caught my eye: supervised activities and community service programs.
Ideas specified included: (1) “Supervised Activities: Give kids a place to go after school. Staff activities with responsible adults who work with kids on homework, in games, in arts and crafts, etc. Children tend to get in less trouble when there are adults around and watching.”; and (2) “Community service programs: Get kids involved in giving back to the community. If they’re responsible for cleaning up, they will be less likely to mess them up later. Teach children the value of providing service to others and model your commitment to the neighborhood when they’re present.” (I would think the department should ask that a commitment to the neighborhood be shown whether the children are present or not.)
In previous letters I have submitted to both weekly Walterboro newspapers, I have posed the question: Has it dawned on anyone that perhaps one of the reasons that Walterboro and Colleton County have so many problems with gangs and gun violence is that there are no outlets for many kids to spend their time after school (or when they are not in school.) I know that some will say that Colleton County already has a recreation center, but how many kids who need these types of activities and programs live near enough to the recreation center to be able to take advantage of them? Food for thought: the sheriff’s department release states “It’s going to take all of us working together as a whole on one mission to combat, reduce, and eliminate gang violence, gang crime, and gang warfare.”
A number of people have entered the upcoming races for sheriff and Walterboro City Council; do any of them have ideas or plans to try to do something/ anything to combat the violence in the city and county and what about those who are not up for re-election? If you Google the terms (gang violence and gun violence) sadly you will find stories of injuries and deaths stretching back for more than a decade.
If you would like to attend a Walterboro City Council meeting to pose these questions in person, you will have to request (in writing) to be placed on the agenda the week prior to the meeting. The City Manager will determine if you may speak — and your remarks must be related only to items already on the agenda (how you can do that when the agenda has not been set is beyond me.) Why can’t a member of the public come to the city council meeting, sign up to speak during a public comment portion at the end of the meeting — just as you are allowed to do at a Colleton County Council meeting?
And why do Walterboro City Council and Colleton County Council meet on the same night — so no one is able to attend both meetings? Each council meets once per month; wouldn’t it make more sense to hold these meetings on different nights?
I hope city council directs the city manager to add a “public comment” portion to its monthly meeting; if you agree, tell a city council member. And ask council members of both the city and county whether either council could move its meeting to a different night.
No matter what — vote in the upcoming elections in November. Someone in your past has either fought or struggled to gain that right.

Carol Black
Walterboro
and Alexandria, Va.

Agencies
responded quickly to requests
Dear Editor,
Sometimes in life when things do not go as we’ve planned, it is very easy to register a complaint, and in most cases, justifiably so, because there are some people who see their jobs as mundane and “business-as-usual” and exists only for a paycheck.
Not so when I recently had the great pleasure of requesting services from two agencies in Colleton County. The experience I encountered with the Colleton County Public Works Roads and Bridges and the S.C. Department of Transportation is worthy of the phrase I’d learned in one of my executive leadership courses by John C. Maxwell: “A Leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
My first contact was the SCDOT where Cassandra Grant cordially answered the phone and directed me to Adam Bishop. Bishop listened intently about my request to widen the ingress/egress point from Bennetts Point Road onto Wood Duck Lane. Bishop then explained the “shared responsibility” of his agency with the county’s roads and bridges department and referred me to William “Bill” Washington.
My phone call to Washington was answered similarly by Helen Bowers, who seemed to take a personal concern that my request was routed to Mr. Washington in a speedy manner. Later that day, Carla Harvey, an engineer, called and asked if it was an urgent request because several resources were already committed to storm debris removal. I was satisfied with waiting. However, the very next day, while returning from an orthodontist appointment, the roads and bridges crew had already arrived at Wood Duck, cleaned the ditch, extended the culvert, placed limestone type rocks and were ready to depart. That was quick! They said the director “wanted us to come down and knock it out.” Washington exemplifies what it is to be a true leader, leading from the front!
In a few short days, the SCDOT folks came and applied asphalt black top. The technician stated, “Cassandra wrote ASAP on the work order so we are here to get it done!” Mere words cannot express my sincere appreciation for the road crews and their “customer-focused” approach to getting this request met for us here on the farm.
The reason for my request to widen the narrow ingress/egress access into Wood Duck is our tree farm, SS Hamilton Farms, is adversely affected when we are hosting guests and tours. As recently as April 2019, we hosted a busload of 16 youth along with chaperones and we had to lay telephone poles in the ditch to accommodate buses. Also, the Great Lakes Leadership Academy from Michigan (35+) could not enter our farm property and therefore had to park the bus almost a quarter-mile away. Likewise, when I bring in excavators or dozers to work on the farm, again we must unload and drive the machine up to the main side because the width of the entry from Bennetts Point road into Wood Duck did not readily accommodate certain trailers. Not so now.
Since my retirement from DoD and my enrollment in the Sustainable Forestry Land Retention (SFLR), I’ve become a certified tree farmer and voted District Tree Farmer of the Year (2016). I’ve been appointed by the Legislative Delegation as a Colleton representative to the S.C. Forestry Commission Advisory Board and last year was voted as the Advisory Board’s vice-chair. In June I served as a tree farm judge in Wyoming and Washington State. I am an at-large candidate of the board of directors for the Forestry Association of South Carolina, as well as a board member of that association. I am a member of the Woodland Operating Committee for the American Forest Foundation (Washington, D.C.), as well as a nomination committee member of the newly formed Lowcountry Landowner Association representing Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
We are especially proud to call Colleton County our home.

Respectfully Yours,
Joseph Hamilton
President,
SS Hamilton Farms, LLC
Green Pond

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Carol Black

    October 6, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Mr. Hamilton also served on the board of the Colleton County chapter of Habitat for Humanity while I was chairman over a decade ago–at a crucial time when we had to kick-start the organization after a period of inactivity and finish a house. Joe says he and his family are proud to call Colleton County their home; Colleton County should be proud to have them.


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