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Features : Letters to Editor Last Updated: Apr 15, 2014 - 5:26:04 PM

Letters to the Editor - April 17, 2014
Apr 15, 2014 - 5:25:26 PM

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Voice your opinion
on Annexation
We have been getting increasingly concerned about the annexation process, including the possibility of an assessment and other adverse financial impacts. The recent letter to the Daniel Island News about the annexation process by Greg Turner raises clearly the numerous issues that concern many Daniel Island residents.   
We are writing this letter to echo the concerns raised by Greg Turner and, in the absence of a scheduled DINA or POA meeting, have our voices heard.
We have heard many facts, a great deal of speculation and numerous opinions. What we have not heard is a candid discussion about the status of the annexation process presented by the POA and elected leaders of DINA. We, therefore, request a meeting be scheduled with sufficient time allowed for both brief presentations and Q&A and strongly suggest that the meeting be open to all residents of Daniel Island, because all will be affected by the final decision. Furthermore, DINA membership will have to vote on the final recommendation so all DINA members need to know the issues and concerns of our Daniel Island neighbors.   
The POA and DINA were given only 30 days by the Annexation Commission to commit to the request for incremental funding, the reason for a possible assessment, so time is of the essence.
If you too have concerns about annexation, please write to the Daniel Island News to express your opinion.
Bob and Sandra Jacobs
Daniel Island

DINA President speaks about
Over the last few months I have tried to take a back seat to our annexation commission and let the state appointed group have their due process. I have watched, listened, and read about all the legislative changes and costly “old school” surveys that this process would require. I’ve seen how our “unbiased” pro/con commission only has one local proponent on board because opponents disagreed and swayed the rules that we understood. I’ve listened to ominous threats from legislators threatening to kill this process if it ever gained any steam. I’ve heard about certain Berkeley County officials giving this annexation movement no credible threat. All the while, waiting for Charleston County who I was told had such great intentions and ideas for Daniel Island, to come to the table to engage our residents. That was the whole point of 750 residents signing the petition right? The law stated we had to get that petition completed so that we could have the two counties fairly evaluated by the people who live here. HERE, on Daniel Island. Not in Columbia. Not in Monks Corner. Countless hours of volunteer time by residents so that we could once and for all put this debate behind us.
Unfortunately that hasn’t happened. Charleston County only appears through news articles with statements that give absolutely no confidence to any thoughts of changing counties. It’s been six months since the petition was filed and we have not had one open forum with CCSD or anyone for the “other side” of the river. I’m not a political person, and I certainly don’t care for the politics that seem to have gone down here. I’m just a dad, a parent, and a husband, who felt we were not being represented very well. And I wasn’t alone.
But all is not lost. I think we have learned a great many things here, and scored some important victories. First off, and most importantly in my mind, the BCSD has recognized and publicly stated that our K-8 school should remain on Daniel Island. Plans to build a pure middle school and ship our 6-8 graders down the road have changed and with the assistance of another volunteer crew of concerned parents, the Clements Ferry Rd corridor will have a similar opportunity for a successful school. Secondly, REPRESENTATION for what we provide to Berkeley County has also improved.  From our volunteers, to our resident representatives, I feel like we have the attention of Berkeley County now more than ever.  With the help of Tim Callanan, the importance of Daniel Island to Berkeley County has been made public record.  It is my hope that with the added growth and development along the CF corridor, that attention will also be paid to the areas connecting Daniel Island to the rest of that infrastructure.  Lastly, between taxes and insurance costs, I’m not sure we would be doing ourselves any favors.  Health insurance is cheaper in Charleston, home insurance is more expensive.  Property taxes might be better, but the special assessments that have been alluded to would certainly hit us pretty hard in the short term.  For a fairly minimal fee paid by the POA we saved our schools, and got the attention of some people that really weren’t paying us much notice in the decision making process.
I’m not sure I can say for sure this issue is put to rest but we can certainly see over the fence a little more clearly now. I think Berkeley County brings a very strong argument to the table for STAYING Berkeley County, and I think they might have done themselves an injustice trying to stop this movement before it started.  I signed and was in favor of the petition not because I wanted to leave, but because I had questions.  Questions that I was told couldn’t be answered without a significant population in agreement, and we had that.  Since filing, Charleston County has done nothing to earn my vote, and a subsequent vote based on current information would most likely be in favor of Berkeley County.  Unfortunately I don’t think it will ever get to that point because of the fear and costs partially created by the proponents of the change.  Coming up at our next DINA meeting on May 6, I will be asking for a vote from our members to “halt or proceed” with this process.  So please join us if you can, May 6 at 7pm Holy Cross Church.  We don’t have the final say in how POA funds are spent but I think our voice will be heard, which in the end is really all we ever wanted to accomplish.
Dave Williams
Daniel Island

Follow the Traffic Sign Rules
Perfect example of people choosing to save their own time and energy at the expense of everyone else's safety!  I see this all the time when pulling into the ESAC gym...a car blocking the crosswalk, idling right next to a Do Not Park sign...just so they can save a few steps to the ATM!  I have seen so many near accidents, bikes included, at this very spot.  I would invite a roving policeman to sit on a bench and ticket at will.  Maybe it would make people think twice before an unfortunate accident does occur.
Jeb Barton
Daniel Island
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