LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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A vote for good governance

In her letter to the editor regarding upcoming referendums, the Chair of the Beaufort Tea Party expressed contempt for the process of government in general, which is the base platform of the Tea Party.

Personally, I appreciate those citizens who offer their time and expertise to serve in government. A sensible approach to governance is to elect the top levels of management and pay attention to the rules governing how they operate. These rules – such as avoiding nepotism and conflict of interest in appointed positions – offer the best approach to efficient governance.

I would not want to see every government position on the ballot, and particularly not those that require very specific skills, like treasurer and auditor. Could we just calm down and decide to trust the county administrator to do his/her job, under the rules, to hire and fire people? This way, if someone does not do a proper job for us, we don’t have to wait for the next election to remove that person from office.

The Administrator will do it in a legal and timely manner. That’s good governance. That’s a YES on appointment rather than election of Treasurer and Auditor in the upcoming referendum.

– Carol Brown, Beaufort

Re: Local Option Sales Tax

On a low voter turnout off election year, Beaufort County Council placed on the ballot the 1 percent Lost Option Sales Tax. Hilton Head and Bluffton leadership are pushing for it. But they are not telling you the whole story.

Under Title 4, the County, “MAY” use the 29% of the tax for the administration of LOST. This means, they can use it for any purpose they choose. This begs to question, why Council held a vote to increase their own pay, during the pandemic, while many of you lost your jobs and homes.

As inflation hits, the amount of tax per item you pay increases. They want to add an additional 1 percent tax? Is County Council “Tone Deaf”?

The poorest get hit the hardest. Those who rent and struggle just to put food on the table. They see no rebate, or rent reduction. In fact, under inflation, they will see a rent increase.

Property owners expect a windfall. They’d be foolish. There is no formula in Title 4 which dictates how the funds are distributed. In fact, as prices increase, the tax you pay increases. In the end, you’ll pay out far more than you recoup in a rebate.

Council wants to change our form of government by taking away your ability to vote for Treasurer and Auditor. Council wants them to be appointed positions. The reasoning is, they can fire them for reason, whereas, it would take an election to vote the person out. Do you trust them?

We have seen past employees/appointments retain their positions under scandal. Any attempt at obtaining employee info for disciplinary issues was met with privacy policies. We can always vote the bums out, but we cannot trust County Council to hold our best interests first and foremost.

Do not relinquish your power of your vote to a bureaucrat and career politician! Vote NO! To Referendum No. 1 and No. 2.

– Ann Ubelis, 

Beaufort TEA Party Chair, Lady’s Island

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