Letters to the Editor – September 13, 2017

Madam Mayor and Aldermen respectively,

I address you in this public forum to openly applaud and exhort you, Darlington City Council, for finally taking a long awaited, muchly welcomed, and an appreciated, brave, positive and progressive step forward to position our beloved Pearl in a way that will assure the entire citizenry, – all 7,000 plus of us – will eventually benefit from the $1.9 million seed investment you are presently sowing into the City of Darlington’s recreational infrastructure!

This is quite a big deal considering this unsettling era of the new resident in the White House, – an avowed CEO who has expressed a desire to “make America great again”!

I submit this exhortation and appeal to all citizens near and far, imploring all of us to help CEO DJ Trump meet his aspirational goals! We, as citizens of the U.S. Of A., should want nothing but success for our serially challenged and embattled CEO, as only and uniquely ‘we the people’ are constitutionally empowered to do! You, Darlington City Council – specifically, as the anointed representatives and stewards of our collective interests, can assist CEO Trump by effectively demonstrating, as you are doing on the local level – how to successfully reach his “make America great again” vision. One community at a time – and from the bottom up!

We, in Darlington, are in a unique position to show real and inspired ‘leadership – from the bottom up’, because our present situation informs us that ‘gone are the days’, at least temporarily, that smart and effective leadership will now come from the top down!

This is just the new reality of our times and we might as well face up to it!

CEO Trump is more committed to deconstructing ‘the American experiment’ of self-government that ‘we, the people’ have struggled for the past 241 years to make ‘more perfect’!

In short, I am suggesting that you, City Council, by your informed as well as favorable actions, have already committed to priming Darlington’s aspirational ‘economic development’ pump with the proposed infusion of $1 million plus in future hospitality tax revenue! That is a bold statement that you are serious about doing something, and quite unlike preceding Councils that have had the same opportunities, but did not possess the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing!
I, as one of the 7,000 plus ‘average’ citizens, am in complete agreement with the proposed targeted expenditure of funds – thus far!

However, I believe you can be even more specific and progressive in your planning by formally including – on the front end – the original Central ParkSouth (CPS) economic development aspirations into the overall recreation enhancement strategy!
“Shovel readiness” is the gold standard when entertaining contemporary tax-centric supported projects. If ever there was a ‘shovel ready’ project, the 20 years delayed original CPS proposal, if done in part or in total, is the apparent poster child of shovel ready!

I do not say this because CPS was/is my idea, but rather because no matter what your politics is or where you see yourself in the changing demographics, CPS is just the right and appropriate thing to pursue determinedly!

Nonetheless, everything that has been sought so far, in light of the bond measure as proposed by Rec. Dir. Lee Andrews is sorely needed, but the centerpiece of CPS, the proposed and updated Lil DIR (Darlington Inter-Community RacePark), if pursued with forthright diligence, will ignite a synergy of positive growth in the Central Business District and do more to advance economic development in north downtown/ physically UpTown Darlington than all the failed attempts of the several past Municipal administrations in total!

Darlington, SC

Author: Duane Childers

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