Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - April 15, 2008

State legislators passed the Home Rule Act in 1975, and it took effect on July 1, 1976. This gave the structure, functions and financing of counties, municipalities and school districts the power to run it.

In the council-manager form, policy-making powers are vested in the council. A professional manager makes all personnel decisions, prepares an executive budget and implements the legislative decisions and policies of the council. The manager has executive powers that administrators do not.

Part of Home Rule for counties is to decide on their solid waste plans -- how to run it, what should go in it and all the rules and regulations that are a part of any solid waste plan.

The York County Council had a workshop just short of two months ago and talked to all the department heads, council members, staff and management. We all came to the conclusion that communication was key with each other, and the council came to the conclusion that meeting more often with state legislators, city councils and their management, and municipalities was key to being successful.

Columbia does not think the same thing obviously!

There are currently two bills that could possibly affect York County, and it deeply concerns me that no one has been contacted about it. House Bill H4762 is a statewide moratorium introduced by Rep. Daniel Cooper, a Republican of Anderson County.

Bill S1163 is a statewide moratorium on landfill permits. It is still active and was discussed Thursday at the Senate Medical Affairs Committee meeting.

This bill is a landfill moratorium on Anderson County only, which did receive a favorable consent from the only two medical affairs committee members who were left at the end of Thursday's meeting. They stated that they will convey a favorable opinion to the other committee members and have one more meeting to officially vote on it (probably next week).

My concern is that the statewide moratorium will probably get attached to the Anderson County bill.

A few questions/facts to consider: All bills suggest a moratorium until the new DHEC regulations are adopted. All bills have an exclusion for existing landfills and their expansions. I interpret this as saying that the current regulations are good enough for existing landfills but not new ones ... wonder why? No one has ever said what is wrong with the new regulations.

All of these bills have passed first reading and were sent to committee for review quite some time ago. Why hasn't anyone asked the other counties in South Carolina for their opinion on the issue prior to moving forward with them? Seems like they would have invited the counties to have representation at the public hearings.

These bills take away home rule rights from the counties to handle their own waste issues. Basically, the lawmakers are saying, "We know what is best for you, therefore we do not need to ask for the local opinion." That is seriously not a pure Republican point of view. The reciprocal would be if the Senate passed a law that said the counties had no say and that the Senate would decide to put 10 landfills in York County without asking for permission from the local residents. Bet that would get a rise from a few folks.

Paul Lindemann

York County Councilman

District 1

Fort Mill

Keep streets clean sfor Come-See-Me week

What a beautiful time of the year with all the pretty flowers blooming at their peak just in time for the Come-See-Me Festival. Sadly, though, you can drive down most any street in town and see piles of trash and litter everywhere. Where is our pride?

I spent a week in San Diego last month, and I did not see one piece of trash on any street at any time. They use roll-out dumpsters for all their trash, which is what I wish I could convince Rock Hill to use. I came home on a Wednesday, the day after our neighborhood was cleaned and I could not believe the trash piles already out, to lie there until next Tuesday, our cleanup day.

Why can't people have enough pride in our town to keep their trash in their back yard at least until the day before the city picks it up so we could have six days of clean streets?

Since this is Come-See-Me week, so please care enough about how pretty our town is to keep it clean one week. Who knows, maybe folks would then care enough to keep it clean every week.

Dave Angel Sr.

Rock Hill