Starnes should resign; town business tainted
I applaud the Fort Mill Times for the July 9 editorial regarding Fort Mill Town Councilman Ken Starnes' residency controversy.
The Fort Mill Town Council could have handled this situation in a more straightforward manner. Some councilmen did the right thing and sought Mr. Starnes' resignation. I hope they do so again.
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The editorial also correctly pointed out that Starnes' participation in the vote on the question of his resignation was wrong. In its news article, the Times quoted the chairman of the S.C. Ethics Commission that indicated it was more than likely a violation of the law for Mr. Starnes to do so.
It was heartening to see that the editorial also reminded Mr. Starnes that he still had the opportunity to resign. I suggest that is the right thing to do.
Most disturbing about this scandal is Mr. Starnes' attempt to frame this issue as a personal matter. Let's get one thing clear: no one except Ken Starnes has mentioned one word about his personal matters or family. It simply does not concern us and it is not one bit relevant to the issues at hand. I ask him to stop using it as a shield to hide behind.
By his own admission, Mr. Starnes has lived in Tega Cay since last summer, long before he filed for re-election. The 2008 York County telephone directory even lists him at his Tega Cay address. Yet he filed re-election documents listing his Fort Mill address while actually living in Tega Cay.
He now says he received some sort of legal advice before doing so, giving him the OK. Really? Then why has he failed to release this to the public, despite repeated calls to do so? More importantly, why wasn't this made public before the election?
Mr. Starnes cites the S.C. Municipal Association as a source of his legal advice. Folks, the Municipal Association is a non-authoritative body made up of dues-paying members, simply a chamber of commerce for politicians that stands by its members.
By not sharing his out-of-town residency or his so-called OK to do so, Mr. Starnes kept vital information from voters. He kept us from making an informed decision, essentially undermining the town's electoral process. I have no doubt this was kept from us deliberately.
The law is clear: a candidate must be a resident of the town. Not a pseudo-resident, but an actual resident. Seven months after the election, Mr. Starnes made no effort to move back into town - until it was made public, that is. But then, why bother moving back if he "got the OK," as he says?
Mr. Starnes was not qualified to be on the ballot; therefore, he is not qualified to be on the town council. The election was tainted, and so is the business the town council has conducted. It shall continue to be as long as he remains on the council.
Sumner Street Fort Mill
Thank you for your helpfulness
About three weeks ago, on a Sunday, my husband and I drove to your lovely town from the mountains of western North Carolina. We are considering your area for relocation.
Not knowing where to look or how to get to your area's different developments, we stopped by the Fort Mill Police Department for some suggestions and directions. I approached Officer "Boat" Boatwright, who was just leaving the building. After explaining our purpose for the stop, he said he not only knew some really nice places but would show us the way. We followed him to several lovely places, including his own new home and neighborhood.
I just wanted to say a public thank you to this extraordinary officer for his friendship and helpfulness. He was a beautiful reflection on your town and the hospitality of its people. We are now more than ever thinking of relocating to Fort Mill. Once again, thank you, Officer Boatwright.
Dr. Joy Kervin Clyde, N.C.
Rename the recycling center
When featuring John Mantle's inane blather each week, I didn't think your editorial page could be any worse. But perhaps Jeff Shrewsbury will be remembered for taking this page from annoying to unreadable. His chronic complaints and child-ish populist rants are as predictable as they are poorly written. The angry diatribe against the Baxter community (Fort Mill Times, July 16, 2008) is the latest example.
Since he is so upset that the recycling center on Hwy. 160 West was renamed, perhaps the loyal Fort Mill Times readers can do him a favor and begin a petition to rename it again: "The Shrewsbury Dump" would be a fitting tribute for one man's legacy of wasted paper and ink.