Letters to the Editor – July 20, 2016

Public plea to the Mayor of Darlington

As a voter, citizen and business person in Darlington I wanted to take a few moments to air a concern that I have regarding the apparent lack of cohesiveness, team work and mutual respect among certain members of the city staff.

I was recently made aware of and listened to an audio recording whereby the Mayor stated, in public, that “…the City Manager and the Chief of Police, they ain’t on my side” and further “I’m trying to get a Sheriff in there, I can go to that helps me out when there’s a situation.”

I am VERY concerned that such public statements are irresponsible and undermine the very institutions that she has sworn to support and which are required to function in ourder to maintain the peace, order and operating effectiveness within our city.
While I hope that we do not face any significant tragedies like the ones we saw in Dallas and other places over the weekend, I worry about how Darlington would handle such a situation when it comes time to pull together and trust one another? Under such circumstances how could the mayor stand up beside the Police Chief and City Manager and show solidarity, maintain calm in the community and restore order when such clear examples are circulating in the media displaying her mistrust and disrespect for those in charge?

I am bringing thie subject up in hopes that the air can be cleared and that a mature, professional relationship can be established between the Mayor and the city management team and that their ability to discharge their duties for our citizens and the business community will not be futhre denigrated.

For me, this process starts with the mayor. It is my request that you

1: Publically apologize to the Chief of Police and the City Manager

2. That you unconditionally affirm your support for them in their current posts

3. Explan what you meant by the City Manager and Chief of Police “not being on your side”

4. Explain why a City Mayor would need a Sheriff that she could “go to that helps me out when there is a situation”

I feel that these actions by you would set the appropriate leadership example for our city.

George Knapp
Darlington, S.C.

[Ed note: A video of Mr. Knapp’s presentation at July 12th City Council meeting with response by Mayor can be found here:

Help needed for Darlington Animal Shelter

It’s terrible that it sometimes takes a tragedy to bring attention to a need or injustice. Our little Darlington Animal Shelter experienced tragedy on July 11, when lightning struck a kennel and killed two dogs, as well as causing property damage. We desperately need a new facility for our shelter to adequately serve Darlington County and the many animals in need. Visit the shelter if you haven’t been there. Shelter staff do so much with so little, with help from a core group of volunteers. More is needed. We can do better. Visitors, staff, volunteers, and animals need to be safe in a functional facility.

Marion County recently received a generous donation of land/building for a new animal shelter from Anderson Brothers Bank. Does Darlington County have caring donors like that? Is a bond referendum appropriate to fund a new shelter? Are there vacant commercial/industrial buildings that owners would consider donating?

Support a new shelter by communicating with your elected officials. To offer other help, attend the next meeting of the Darlington County Humane Society on August 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hartsville Memorial Library. Monetary contributions for shelter improvements can be made at www.youcaring.com/dchs-rescue-600872. Lastly, spay and neuter to help reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals.

Connie Ford
Darlington County

Author: Duane Childers

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