Lee Bussell has taken a liking to pennies. He’s gone from backing Richland County’s “Transportation Penny” to aiding Lexington County’s “Penny for Progress” effort.
And I’m sure Lexington County leaders pushing for County Council to place a proposed penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase on the ballot in November are hoping Mr. Bussell is a good luck charm. Mr. Bussell, a public relations consultant, is part of a panel working to determine the package of projects that would be paid for by the estimated $35 million that would be generated annually for the eight-year life of the new capital improvement sales tax proposed for Lexington County. While road improvements are expected to dominate the list, others such as buildings, parks and other things also could make the cut.
Mr. Bussell has been here before, so to speak. As chairman of the board of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, he was a key leader in getting the business community and others to support the effort to get Richland County voters to approve a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase in November 2012. Richland will collect a little more than $1 billion over the next 22 years to fund improved bus service as well as to construct roads, bike paths, sidewalks and other transportation-related projects.
No doubt, Mr. Bussell will be of great help in wading through the hundreds of projects proposed in Lexington County to determine which ones should be priority.
But don’t believe for a minute that Lexington County leaders aren’t counting on — and drawing on — his experience in putting together the campaign that helped the “Transportation Penny” become a reality in Richland County. I sure would be.