Last week in this space, we praised the Fort Mill Police Department and the York County Sheriff's Office for their efforts to keep a growing population safe. We also promised to spread the love around to include the City of Tega Cay.
The peninsula city, which promotes itself by offering "The Good Life" and backs it up by offering an array of parks and other recreational facilities, is making another progressive move to stay ahead of growth.
Admittedly behind the times in some areas, Tega Cay officials are installing new software that will allow residents to pay city bills online. In addition to the convenience this offers residents, it also will allow the city to make more efficient use of staff. Currently, it takes two city employees two days keying payments into the old DOS software. If 80 percent of customers choose the online option as expected, this will free up city staff for other important work and save taxpayer dollars by cutting down on the printer paper needed to process the bills the old fashioned way.
For those who care, this is also a more environmentally friendly way to do city business.
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This back office change is only the latest example of what the city offers. As more young families move in, Tega Cay has responded by expanding youth sports opportunities and participation reached a record level in the past year. Golfers and tennis players have top shelf facilities - a new tennis pro with a long list of fresh programs for all ages recently came aboard - and those who enjoy boating, fishing and water skiing have settled in the right place.
With the opening of a new community center, residents have a meeting place and event venue any municipality would be proud of. Scenic walking paths that will eventually be connected to the Carolina Thread Trail invite those who seek low impact exercise and a chance to commune with nature.
We could go on and on.
From first-rate recycling, to filling potholes, recreation programs and public safety, the little city that's not so little any more deserves credit for meeting the demands of growth.
Smoking in cars with kids
A bill headed to the state Senate would make it illegal to smoke inside a car that has a child 10 years old or younger inside. We think that's a good idea.
State Senator Mick Mulvaney (R-Indian Land) disagrees. Mulvaney argues that it's not government's job to tell people how to raise their kids and said he sees the bill as an unnecessary intrusion into private citizens' lives.
While that's a fair argument in some cases, this is not one of them. Clearly, it's unhealthy for a child to be exposed to second-hand smoke - especially in such close quarters as a car. Some people would consider that a form of child abuse. Few people would be against authorities stepping in to prevent a child from being exposed to other harmful substances, such as alcohol, or being beaten. Although parents who smoke around their kids may not have the same intent as parents who beat theirs, the result is essentially the same.
Mulvaney and others who oppose the bill should ask themselves if it's wrong for government to demand the use of seat belts and child seats. Clearly, the answer is "no."