While S.C. State University’s trustees and presidents who have served over the years shoulder much of the blame for the college’s fiscal woes, let’s not forget who chose those board members decade after decade: legislators, the same people now posing as the saviors with the wisdom to anoint a dream team to oversee the Orangeburg college’s restoration.
While historically black SC State University deserves every bit of criticism it’s getting for its abysmal four-year graduation rate, other SC colleges have similar struggles educating minority students.
What Lexington County sheriff candidate Ed Felix decries as “clubbiness” that leads to cronyism and political patronage within the Sheriff’s Department is simply business as usual in the county’s local government circles.
In the Palmetto State, if you want leaders to reform poorly performing, poorly funded and poorly supported agencies and services, you’ve got to sue. Our republic might be a government of laws, but our state is governed by lawsuits.
There’s something to be said about citizens knowing how elected officials vote on issues, which is why Richland County Council should seriously consider requring roll-call voting. After all, council members are rezoning property, spending money, determining service levels and making policy, all of which affects citizens.
WHILE DECLARING the state of the city “explosive,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin acknowledged that many citizens struggle to make ends meet in our capital city and called on council members and others to help him change that.
COLUMBIA IS no Charlotte. It’s no Atlanta. It’s no Charleston. It’s not even Greenville. How many times have we heard such laments over the years as critics and frustrated residents gave their assessments of our late-blooming capital city?
I EXPERIENCED some of the same emotions many others did in response to the non-indictments in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York. The deaths of unarmed black men and boys at the hands of white police officers conjure up such ugly old memories of a time long gone — when white officers routinely abused black citizens, suspects or not — that those days hardly seem so long gone.
Many of S.C. State University’s problems are self-inflicted — brought on by an overbearing, meddling board and sometimes ineffective administrative leadership. But don’t underestimate the damage that occurred because of the laissez-faire attitude of state lawmakers, who consistently failed to allocate adequate funding and provide oversight.
I knew very little about HIV/AIDS until 1998, when I sat down and began examining information and data and listening to the S.C. HIV/AIDS Council and others. The council, celebrating its 20th year in existence, deserves a big thank you for its tireless work bringing awareness to this epidemic.
While it’s perfectly appropriate for Richland County officials to want a say in determining how much access the public should have to thousands of acres of land in Lower Richland that are being set aside for public use and protection, it’s also a bit funny. The county had an opportunity to purchase and control a portion of the planned preserve — Cook’s Mountain — but made no effort to do so.
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