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Features : Letters to Editor Last Updated: Sep 25, 2013 - 9:26:35 AM

Letter to the Editor - September 26, 2013
Sep 25, 2013 - 9:25:50 AM

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The Day Daniel Island
Lost its Moral Compass
It was a Thursday just 2 weeks ago when concerned area residents gathered for a Q & A on a difficult topic of being annexed into Charleston County. Most Q & A meetings have questions and answers.  Not this one.  For a meeting and a movement that seemed so amazingly organized in a 'short time', there were few questions forthcoming.
Most troubling was the statement very early on that this is for Daniel Island and the speakers are not concerned with our friends past the bridge by Blackbaud.  Further a map was included in the pass out defining Daniel Island.
It was too bad that the bigger point was missed. We are not defined by some lines on a map. We are much bigger and better than that, I hope. We should not put together a plan that causes pain to our friends and neighbors.
The only question that did get answered was the cost, $100,000. This will be paid for by the P.O.A. The promise of no increases misses that point also. If the P.O.A. has $100,000 to gamble, then our homeowners’ dues could have been reduced, so we are paying for this. Couldn't this money have been taken out of the Community Fund?
For our school teachers on the island, we would be telling them, hope Berkeley County has another job for you, or you can apply to Charleston County if you want to. But the stability that this principal and staff have fought to bring to our kids will be lost. Not a great thank you for all the hard work over the past years.
The other issues that were mentioned also had no answers forthcoming.
We actually had our own 'Nancy Pelosi' moment when it was said you have to sign the petition before we can answer your questions.
A few calls to the school boards, the election board and some insurance companies could have answered or at least furthered the discussion. Destination of high schoolers for Charleston County would be known, so says Charleston County. The election board says it keeps the names of petition signers on file as favoring annexation.
It seems strange that we are being asked to jump to a new county that has 'lower taxes', until they have to pay for a new school; possibly higher insurance rates; no money for new schools to be built; but maybe more ability to kill bugs!
Who will really benefit from this move?
What we provide the media was the terrible sound bite of 'seceding' with all of the connotations that provides, and that was the lead on TV and print the next day.
Any important issue can be and should be discussed. A discussion involves sharing of information. A plan should be developed that reviews how it would affect all persons involved, no matter what the address.  
What we don't want is to take an issue, cloud it with fear and lack of information, risk dividing our residents and leaving the media and a map to define who we are.  
Daniel Island and its residents are far better than that.
Greg Turner
Daniel Island
Is annexation a vendetta
against Berkeley County?
Before I begin, let me come completely clean. I am a candidate for Berkeley County Supervisor, therefore I am very interested in Daniel Island, not only as a community, but as part of the Berkeley County family. As I sat in the auditorium of Bishop England High School, I had the opportunity to talk to the residents of Daniel Island and was struck by a few things that deeply concerned me that need to be questioned.  
First, did members of the Property Owners Associations (POA) have the opportunity to vote whether their dues were going to go towards hiring a legal team to start the process of looking into annexation?  And did members of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association (DINA) know that their board was looking into annexation? Two, if a vote was passed, how many people voted out of the total membership?  If a vote was not taken, who made the decision to pursue annexation?  It seems to me when the word “Neighborhood Association” is used, who are we talking about exactly? Many of the residents of Daniel Island that were in attendance didn’t even understand what the meeting was about, or its objective. They were informed that a legal team had been hired to explain the process, but the actions of a petition means that the process has begun, possibly without approval of the association’s membership. Since the legal team didn’t have any answers to the "mystery questions", why have a Q&A?  I am concerned that something else is driving this question of annexation. The POA leadership and the DINA president needs to come clean on what exactly their roles were in bringing up annexation for Daniel Island.
If signing the petition to start the process of answering these “questions”; I am still not clear on who is asking. Is it the DINA president or members of DINA, the POA leadership or both?  As an outside observer, this meeting of DINA and the POA raised more questions on the motives of the leadership then the need to be annexed out of Berkeley County.  
I am suspicious that there is something greater going on with a very small group of people on Daniel Island using DINA as cover for a greater cause. These questions truly need to be explored and answered. If what I was hearing on Thursday night that this whole process can cost upwards of $100,000 and that the POA would be stuck with the cost, should not sit well with Daniel Island residents. It would seem to me that the DINA president and the POA leadership needs to put it to a vote of the memberships, if they even want to pursue annexation. At this point, money has been spent of the POA members with or without their permission to do so.
Also, I would like to know what contact the DINA president or his legal team has had with members of Berkeley County, Berkeley County Schools, Charleston County, Charleston County Schools and/or the City of Charleston.
This begins to look like less a Berkeley County issue then some sort of vendetta against Berkeley County by someone and they are using Daniel Island residents as pawns. Something in all of this is just not adding up and it is the obligation of Berkeley County Government officials to get to the bottom of it.  
A greater question is, at the end of the day, if this passes and Daniel Island residents see an increase in their taxes being in Charleston County, who is accountable? Finally, if you want true tax savings, try to annex out of the City of Charleston. Something tells me that Mayor Riley would fight Daniel Island residents in court to stop it.  
Jerry E. Beckley, II
Candidate for Berkeley County Supervisor

It seems that the library parking lot is used by parents picking up children after school.  Given the limited number of spaces, the library has a sign posted at the parking lot entrance that CLEARY indicates its use is for Library patrons only.  That sign is totally ignored on a daily basis as evidenced by car motors running in a full lot around dismissal time in the afternoon.  Those of us trying to park to go into the Library in the afternoon have no spaces.  Those parents who ignore the sign and park in the library parking lot to pick up their children after school are teaching their children, by example, that one can ignore those rules that are inconvenient.  Society agrees to have rules and rules help to insure order, only if people agree to abide by them.  So when parents are upset their sweet child doesn’t obey their rules, they should look no further than themselves for why that is.
Yesterday I approached a woman who had parked in the library lot and had run over to the school to pick up her child.  The parking lot was full of other parents; however, this one was immediate.  I asked why she didn’t obey the sign.  Her response was ‘I am so sorry.  I only park here once a week to pick up my child after school.’  What logic is that?  Once is more than what is permitted.  Are they dense?  Cleary not, they just consider themselves above such trivial matters and privileged.
Those parents who choose to ignore the rules inconvenience others, residents who in deed have need of the library.  The police will make a surprise visit.  Perhaps the police fine will shed some light.  WHEN PICKING UP YOUR SCHOOL CHILDREN, QUE UP WITH THE OTHER PARENTS NEXT TO THE SCHOOL OR PARK WHERE IT IS PERMITTED.  DO NOT PARK IN THE LIBRARY PARKING LOT.  THAT MEANS YOU!
Alana Knuff
Daniel Island
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