Health care, tax reform, the protection of children, game and fish management.
These are a few of the issues the voters of York County have on their minds as Gov. Nikki Haley arrives tonight for a town hall meeting at The Magnolia Room in Rock Hill.
It is Haley's second visit to York County since she was sworn in as the state's first female governor in January. She visited the AbitibiBowater paper plant in Catawba last month.
The Herald asked its readers what they would ask the governor if they got the chance.
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Here's what we heard:
"The fishing industry has taken a really bad hit. The coast lines are empty, no boats, no workers. Fish are washing up dead. Do you think it is from the Gulf oil spill? The fish caught here in the states are regulated and the fish from overseas are not, why? Second, drilling off the S.C. coast for oil. Would she as governor approve or oppose that idea? Third, growing fresh water fish inland. (Would she be for) lifting bans on growing fish of all kinds and permitting them with regulations/inspectors?"
- Scott Hunt, Indian Land
"I would like to know what Governor Haley's ideas are concerning providing economical and quality health care to the people of South Carolina. Given the governor's stance against a national health care system, I would like to know how she would deal with the issue of providing health care to people with pre-existing conditions.
- Joe Hill, York
"Gov. Haley, I would like to ask that you consider having the (Department of Natural Resources) regulate fish and game without regulations having to go before the Legislature. Take for example the current attempt at changing the regulations on how many antlered deer can be harvested, and trying to put into effect some sort of tagging system that will enable better controls on deer counts within the state. S.C. is well behind other states in managing fish and wildlife due to legislators getting into business that they have no business in."
- Mike Singer, Clover
"Why does the state maintain a property tax structure that is the single biggest cause of our revenue problems? I rent apartments to people of modest means who have to pay $88 per month just to cover the county and school property tax bill on their home. I also own and farm land near Rock Hill for which I paid $10,000 per acre and on which the monthly property tax cost is only four cents per acre. How do we justify that?"
- J. Spratt White, Fort Mill
"I have recently learned that if the Department of Social Services opens a case concerning abuse or neglect of a child, that they are not required to check any other states for prior DSS cases concerning the parent or children. If I want to volunteer with children I have to have a national background check. Why don't parents and people suspected of abuse or neglect have to have a nationwide check concerning DSS cases? What can be done about this to protect S.C. children?"
- Angie Black
"How many state-supported bureaus or departments or committees does S.C. have? Is it possible for the governor to appoint a 12-person oversight committee to volunteer 20 hours each in state service to examine the mission statement of each bureau, list the date of implementation and the number of persons employed within each of those departments and the individual annual budget? A report would be issued to the governor, newspapers and politicians."
- Peg Arko, Rock Hill
"There are special license plates that Korean War veterans and Vietnam War veterans can use to show that they proudly served their country during these conflicts. To me, these are not vanity plates. They represent sacrifice to guarantee that we, the American people, can retain our freedom. I have no objection to paying the regular registration fee to use these plates. I do, however, think it is very poor judgment on the part of the state of South Carolina that an extra fee is added on every two years to give veterans who can prove they served on these battlefields the privilege of using the plate. What will you have the Department of Motor Vehicles and/or Legislature do about it?"
- Alex Y. Bishop, Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force (retired), Rock Hill
"Purchasing and up-keeping our public school bus operations on a statewide basis affords the lowest pricing through bidding on the widest scale basis available. If S.C. government will not responsibly establish "one times the cost" for a healthy busing system for our children, why would anyone impinge it upon local districts or contractors, which would cost taxpayers "two and one-half to three times the cost?"
- George Hampton, Rock Hill schools transportation director
"What is the governor doing to promote business and growth in this state? Is she planning to decrease taxes to small business or allow the unemployment tax to more than double? Also, is she planning to cut elected officials including her salary and staff, or just keep cutting benefits to those really in need? Are we going to continue on the same downward spiral, or find creative ways to stimulate our economy and employment?"
- John Lewis, York
"What plans do you have in place to ensure equal opportunity in education for children who are less privileged from a socioeconomic perspective?"
- Roy Collins Jr., chairperson, Education Department, Rock Hill NAACP
"What are your plans to plug tax loopholes and other special interest tax breaks, as well as a complete revision of our antiquated tax code? Giving a sales tax break for guns and ammo sales is just one example of how insane our approach to taxation is."
- Edmund J. FitzGerald, Rock Hill
"Do you agree that the S.C. Children's Foster Care Review Board should not fall under the umbrella of the Department of Social Services, but instead move to the newly created Department of Administration to allow the review board to continue its important mission of providing independent review to identify barriers, gaps in service, and areas of concern that affect permanency for foster children?"
- Dorothy Dixon, York County Foster Care Review Board, Rock Hill
Some questions have been edited for clarity and conciseness.
Want to go
What: Town hall meeting with Gov. Nikki Haley
When: 6:30 tonight
Where: The Magnolia Room at Laurel Creek, 4017 Laurel Creek Drive, Rock Hill
Who: Open to the public