Enquirer Herald

Bright spots

The news business sometimes gets a bad rap for only reporting negative stories. Many a reader and letter writer has asked "why don't you report on something good in the community?"

It's a fair question. One of our duties is to bring to light corruption, malfeasance and other unsavory facts of life in a modern, open society. But we also must not lose sight of the myriad good things happening at the same time.

So with that in mind we'd like to extend some well deserved kudos to a few worthy recipients this week.

The members of the York Fire Department have done a bang-up job in the last several years making the entire York Fire District a much safer place. The department, which receives most of its funding through the taxes we all pay, has proved to be a solid investment for property owners in the district.

It was recently informed that it had achieved districtwide Insurance Services Office rating of 4, down from a split rating of 4/6 earned in 2005. That means anyone in the district that lives or owns a business outside of the network of fire hydrants in the York area will likely get a reduction in property insurance premiums in June when the rating takes effect.

Insurance companies rely in part on an area's ISO rating when setting rates, and generally, the lower the ISO rating, the lower the insurance premium.

The lower rating came not only through the hard work and training of the firefighters in the department, but also through taxpayer investments in equipment and vehicles.

While we decry wasteful government spending on programs that don't work as much as the staunchest libertarian, we believe there are some things only a government can, or should do. Public safety is one of those things. With the tangible return on the investment taxpayers have made to the York Fire Department in the form of lower insurance rates, we hope everyone in the district agrees it was money well spent.

We'd also like to congratulate the chorus programs at Clover High and York Comprehensive High. The Clover Choraliers just won the 4A High School Choral Festival, the York Comprehensive High Concert Choir tied for fifth at the event that saw 33 choirs compete. Clover has won the event six times.

High marks for local schools are nothing new. The schools in York County are among the best in the state, which is no accident. The communities we live in believe in our schools, and the tax money we invest in them pay great dividends. More of our students go on to two and four year colleges than in many other areas of South Carolina.

The dedicated faculty and staff in both the York and Clover school districts consistently turn out students ready to face new challenges and build a better future.

Education is another area where we feel the government has a role to play, and, at least in the cases of the York and Clover school districts, has done a good job.

Of course there is always room for improvement, and we hope both school districts, the York Fire Department and all other government entities strive to get better. If they don't we'll be here to report on it and let you hold them accountable.

We just hope that neither public education nor public safety will suffer much locally because of Gov. Mark Sanford's refusal to go after federal dollars that are available for both.

The editorial opinion of the Enquirer-Herald

is reached by a consensus of a board consisting of Community Publications Director Patricia Larson and Editor Jonathan Allen.