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Four year terms should be shunned, not endorsed
Column by the Editor
posted August 7, 2008
COLUMN – The Edgefield County Council is
once again floating the lead balloon of four year staggered terms for
county council seats in a referendum this November. Obviously the
majority of the council, who has served almost two decades each, is
getting old and facing election every two years is becoming more
difficult each election. It also shows that Chairman Monroe Kneece,
Vice-chairman Willie Bright, and County Councilman Norman Dorn, who
have been turned down on this issue more than once, can’t take no for
It is odd that the council would bow to the pressure of a few
well-placed individuals for yet another referendum that would benefit
them, but sued to stop a legal petition requesting a referendum when it
went against their unpopular ambitions.
Well respected resident Bob Ramsey spoke
at the public hearing on the
issue Tuesday night and said that if a “wholesale” replacement of the
county council took place it would be a disaster for the county.
According to Mr. Ramsey, industries and corporations look at the makeup
of the local government in the process of finding a location to
establish a new plant or facility. If a majority of council members
could be overturned in a single election, these companies would move to
more secure government bodies.
Well, the government that works best works best when held responsible
often at the local level. If the House seats for the State and US
Congress can run every two years for office, so can our local county
One would also have to conclude that the only thing standing between a
“wholesale”, or majority, of county councilmen being replaced this year
is the re-election of embattled county councilman Norman Dorn. It could
be reasonably construed then that Mr. Ramsey would then have to prefer
county councilman Norman Dorn is re-elected to prevent this “disaster”
from befalling the good people of Edgefield County.
Everyone knows how much intelligence councilman Norman Dorn brings to
the table and that any multi-million dollar corporation would jump at
the chance to negotiate a deal with him. Yet, evidently, Mr. Dorn is
the only thing standing between us and certain “disaster” this coming
In no way am I belittling Mr. Ramsey’s opinion, his credentials in big
government and the process in Washington DC are impressive and he has
the wellbeing of the county at heart. He has good intentions. But many
wars have been fought upon good intentions.
I agree with Mr. Ramsey in one respect, corporations and industries do
look at the makeup of our local county government when choosing where
to locate. A majority of these members have been in power for almost 20
years and this county has lagged behind in almost every category of
progress under their leadership.
Perhaps removing what is not working and replacing it with those more
knowledgeable could be a good thing, not devastation. To an extent I
could say that “if it is not broken do not fix it,” but the progress
Edgefield County has been able to achieve over the past 20 years under
their leadership has been negative, not positive, and why settle of the
status quo when we could move forward under new leadership?
Sure the county council can claim they have brought new jobs to the
county at a snails pace, but count up all the jobs that have been lost
under their leadership and we are facing the economic devastation that
our current leaders have brought us. And replacing them would be
Excuse me if I do not want to sign on to securing longer tenures of
office of those responsible for our current situation. I would say that
is proof we need a “wholesale” overhaul of our elected leaders, not a
protection of them.
Mr. Ramsey also stated that it would take a newly elected county
council member a year or more to learn the job. If that is true, then
the person offering him or her self for office is not qualified to run
in the first place.
I always thought we elected qualified candidates, not trainees. I never
saw a campaign sigh that read, “Elect me, I am a fast learner” during
When I vote for a candidate I expect them to be capable of doing the
job the day they are elected. Sen. Shane Massey sure did not sit around
for a year waiting to be taught how to be a senator when he won the
special election, he hit the ground running as a senator.
I expect no less from my local elected officials.
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JAM Straight Customs
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