Letters to the Editor – August 24, 2015

Reader cautions Darlington County Council on administrator choice

Once again Darlington County Council has managed to fumble and trip over their responsibility where the county administrator is concerned. I wrote this publication shortly before Mr. Arrington was hired to express my concern that council needed to tread carefully in selecting someone that had significantly more experience than Mr. Arrington possessed at that time, someone that would have interest in moving the county progressively forward and the ability to cope with the county’s pressing needs.

I can only speculate at this juncture but it seems that Mr. Arrington did not possess those capabilities but was only interested in padding his resume. One area that I personally contacted Mr. Arrington about was spraying for mosquitoes. His only response was that he was having conversations with the director of environmental services and I never heard from him again nor have we seen any positive outcome from those supposed conversations.

Let’s hope that county council takes a more in-depth approach and comprehensive vetting process for the next administrator. We can’t afford to get this wrong again. We are standing still while other counties and communities are on the move, prospering, building, and laying the groundwork for the future.

If there are members of council that find the business of the county too daunting or mundane, my I suggest that they step aside and allow someone with energy, ideas, purpose and forward thinking to take those seats so the county can start the business of moving forward. There is opportunity for this county to be known for more than just an annual NASCAR race.

Darryl K. Stapleton
Darlington, SC

Where Does The Buck Stop

President Harry S. Truman was by most accounts a successful President. He also was the ultimate decision maker on when and where to drop the Atomic bombs that effectively ended the War in the Pacific that my grandfather fought in, and thousands of Americans lost their lives in. This was a decision he did not take lightly, but President Truman lived by a motto that someone in the political structure in the City of Darlington needs to adopt, The Buck Stops Here.

It is my opinion that people, or specifically residents of Darlington, do not expect for the city to magically turn around overnight. But what people want is a person to stand up and take responsibility for the problems. To say this is my job and this is my plan, or this is my job and this is why it’s not working, but this is my plan. Rather than that, we currently have a group who would rather shift the blame and not take the reins. If you talk to a group of citizens they do not know with whom the buck stops. Is it the City Manager who is rarely heard from? Is it the Mayor who is heard from usually in an angered voice but who seemingly wants to pass the buck? Is it the council, a mix of old and new who just wants to say they inherited the problems?

Keep in mind that when President Truman assumed the role left by Roosevelt he essentially had no idea the Manhattan Project existed, let alone the strategies FDR was using in the war. He inherited a country at war and reeling from the death of the only president many people had ever known, but the buck stopped there. If Council is in charge then it should stop with them and not be passed on to another via excuse.

My suggestion to whoever decides to stop that buck would be to become more effective. I would suggest a weekly column in the paper to keep people informed, people want to know what’s happening with that buck. That is why you are in a position of leadership. Hold a monthly town hall at the gym. Answer peoples questions as best you can. Let them know that buck has stopped and this is what you are planning to do with it.

Keep in mind the back side of the Buck Stops Here plaque that was on the President’s desk. It simply says, “I’m from Missouri.” As I am sure you all know Missouri is the show me state. It means show me you are not passing the buck. People do not mind a leader who tries and fails, they despise a leader who does not show they are trying and this is what is happening in Darlington.

I ask all who is reading this, where does the buck stop?

Michael Weatherford
Hartsville, S.C.
(Formerly of Darlington, S.C.)

Author: Duane Childers

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