Letters to the Editor – October 14, 2015

Angels in Uniform

On Sunday, October 5, 2015 at 11:47 a.m. I drove to the gas station to purchase some gas. When I came outside, I discovered that I had a flat tire.

I proceeded to call someone to come help fix my tire. It was pouring rain, and I was so upset.

Deputy Hayes and Deputy Williams of the Darlington County Sheriff’s Department were outside. Before I could hang up the phone, Deputy Williams and Deputy Hayes were at my car, and offered to change my tire.

I really appreciated that. It warmed my heart that they came to my rescue. They were both very nice, and kind.
Sheriff Wayne Byrd, I appreciate these two fine deputies – Deputy Williams and Deputy Hayes – along with your entire Darlington County Sheriff’s Department.

Patricia Thompson
Darlington, S.C.

Watkins praises city employees

Because we pay taxes, we naturally expect our police and fire departments to be ready 24/7 to make sure our city remains safe. We expect out city administration, the street, sanitation, and water departments to be on the job every day to see that our drinking water is clean and that our streets remain in good repair, our waste water is properly treated, and that our garbage and yard waste is removed in a timely manner. Naturally, we don’t hesitate to complain if our trash is not picked up on time. After all, it is their job. Sometimes, however, I think becomes a little too easy to take for granted the people who serve us.

During a crisis, such as the recent flooding created, most of us witnessed firsthand our city employees in action. They worked tirelessly and valiantly to minimize the damage created by the unprecedented amount of water that inundated the city. Prior to the storm, the street department proactively cleaned drains and worked in difficult conditions throughout the storm to keep them open. The fire and police departments worked day and night to help residents and business deal with the rising water.

Everyone from Howard Garland, the City Manager to Fire Chief Pat Cavanaugh, Police Chief Danny Watson, and Karen Carroll with the Street Department would tell you that they were just doing their jobs, but from my perspective I saw an effort that went far beyond the call of duty. I saw people dedicated to the protection of the people and property of the city they love deliver an extraordinary effort when it was most needed.

I hope that recent events will cause us to stop and reflect on how fortunate we are to have this group of dedicated employees. Perhaps we will henceforth take them a little less for granted.

A BIG thank you to all our employees and staff, as well as those from the county and state who helped us get through this crisis.

Tony Watkins
Mayor of Darlington

It’s hard being involved in politics

I have considered myself to be a staunch conservation in the world of politics. Not only do I believe in the conservative principles, I have stood my ground on numerous occasions protecting those principles.

It was this belief in our country that enticed me to enlist in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (aka medic) in 1969. Immediately after my release in 1973 I got involved in local politics and served on several different boards, committees, commissions and party positions.

It was this belief that put me in front of the South Carolina Supreme Court.

I believe and support individual rights as were outlined in our Declaration of Independence… include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe in limited government and most aspects of government belong to the States vs. the Feds.

I believe in free enterprise.

I believe The United States of America is the greatest country on this earth.

I believe we have taken a wrong turn and we need to reload our global positioning app to get us back on course.
I also believe when something is wrong it is my right, my obligation, to speak up and be heard.

As I listen to the campaign rhetoric of the 2016 Presidential Race I get more frustrated.

I am frustrated at the extremist on the right (the Wingnuts) who are hanging on to the right side of a flat earth by their fingernails so they do not fall off. I’m just as frustrated with those on the far left (The Dingbats) who are about to break their fingernails.

The Wingnuts and the Dingbats are the only candidates I hear people talking about. The Wingnuts and Dingbats are the only people being discussed by the mainstream media.

I keep hearing we do not need this candidate or that candidate because they are so extreme. Folks, then who do you think should be the next President of the United States? Who are you supporting? If you are like me it is too early to make such a commitment.

However, it’s not too early for you to wake up and start taking an active role in mulling through the candidates and narrowing down your choice. While you’re at it, you might consider getting onboard to promote and share your reasons for supporting the candidate of your choice.

Believe me, he/she needs your help.

We need to find someone who represents all the people not just the very rich and powerful. We need someone who is a leader, not a divider.

We need someone who supports and puts the Constitution of the United States into practice not just use the words as space fillers in a speech.

We need a President who can draw the people together, not separate us.

We need someone who realizes the defense of this country (BTW, we are this country) is top priority. Defense from outside military, terrorists and economic.

Every day I get asked who I am supporting for President. My answer is very simple, the one who will meet the above criteria and so far, I am not sure who will earn my vote, my trust.

The only positive thing I can say about this election period at this time is, “Thank heaven we only have thirteen more months of this mayhem.’

Bill Pickle

Author: Duane Childers

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