Tuesday, December 8, 2009


GE&P will only post factual information as such. We realize that a lot of people will read this post and say, "There is no way this can be true." But, we can assure you that every word of this post is true and factual.

GE&P has learned that BCW&SA has notified County Council that there is a "situation" with their budget process that will prevent them from providing any numbers for next year's budget in a timely manner. BCW&SA has asked that Council just go ahead with the first reading of next year's budget in April, WITHOUT ANY NUMBERS. Then, Council is expected to go ahead with the second reading in May, WITHOUT ANY NUMBERS. But BCW&SA has assured Council that they will provide numbers no later than a week before third reading in June. Excuse us?

Shame on GE&P for being so skeptical. Everyone knows how honest and above board BCW&SA has been about the Hwy. 311 water project. We all know that all the FOIA requests on the subject have been provided to everyone's satisfaction. We all know all the questions of Council on the subject have been answered. We all know the $2.4 million was spent for a needed project. Right? Right.

Exactly how stupid does BCW&SA think we are? Do they expect us to sign the check and they will fill in the amount at some later date? When pigs fly.

We would invite all to look at the calendar for 2010. If Council should agree to follow this plan, the third reading of this budget would be on the fourth Monday in June. Just by coincidence mind you, the Republican primary is on the FIRST Tuesday in June. Again, just by the strangest of circumstances, the good people of Berkeley County would be called upon to decide whether or not they want to re-elect the supervisor TWO WEEKS BEFORE the budget numbers are made public. Hmmmmmm.

Now GE&P would like to inform the taxpayers of BC of a RUMOR that is circulating around the county. It seems that Fuller Brush Inc. is becoming very interested in the rumor that BCW&SA has been playing fast and loose with CDBG money. In case everyone doesn't know, these funds come, by way of the state, from the federal government. But, don't worry, it's just a rumor. Knock, knock, knock. We're from the government and we're here to help you.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Everyone who is above ground has heard about all the controversy concerning the water line that was installed along Hwy. 311 in 2008.

When scores of taxpayers who live in the area and the media began to ask questions, everyone received the same “party line” from those responsible for installing this water line:

Supervisor Dan Davis contends the Hwy 311 water line was approved by Council in 2003, before he came to office.

Chairman Daniel Davis continued and stated that there were a number of issues with regard to some actions taken by Water and Sanitation over the years. An audit had been ordered and was in process at this time. The audit would include six years of BCWS activities. It was uncertain at what point the audit process was at, but Chairman Daniel Davis certainly hoped to have the results by the end of this year. The audit should answer all questions of concern when completed.

(Regular Council meeting, 6/22/09, pgs. 6 & 24)

Mr. Rogers continued and stated that he came before Council on November 26, 2003, and presented to Council BCWS’s recommendation of its next future projects. The Cross Water Project was one of those projects. It was approved to move forward with the projects.

(Regular Council meeting, 6/22/09, pg. 18)

The first and most important problem with this part of his statement is that there was no Council meeting on 11/26/03. The remainder of his statement strains reason.

Mr. Rogers continued and informed Council of how and where the water stopped on Highway 311. Mr. Rogers stated that he had no idea where Mr. Pinckney lived. As Mr. Rogers rode Highway 311, he reached the point of a wooded area approximately one mile long with one house at the edge of the area. There were also lowlands in there which would be a problem environmentally crossing. Mr. Rogers returned to the engineers and stated that to be a good place to stop running the waterline. That is where BCWS stopped. In was not until three months later that Mr. Rogers found out that BCWS had just passed Mr. Pinckney’s house with the waterline. Mr. Rogers stated that Mr. Pinckney did not have one thing to do with BCWS stopping that waterline where it did. The decision was made after a housing count was completed and reaching the point of the long wooded area with no houses.

(Regular Council meeting 6/22/09, pg. 18)

Mr. Micah Miley, BCWS Engineering Director, stated the timeline at the start of hiring engineers and contractors, as follows:

In 2003, the project was listed as one of the capital projects, as mentioned.

The project itself was referred to as the Cross Area Water Project.

An environmental impact document was completed, as required by EPA, because there was an EPA portion of water to Cross schools project. In that document, BCWS looked at all the paved roads in the Cross Area. It was included into the scope of the original

project, as there was a plan in place to evaluate all paved roads in the area.

June 2004, the project was still listed in the capital projects.

June 2005, BCWS requested qualifications for engineers to design the project.

January 2006, Council approved entering into a contract with Engineering Resources Corporation (ERC) for the design services of the project.

The contract between ERC and BCWS included the original map of the Highway 311 Project with the Cross Area Water Project as down Highway 311 to where it stopped.

February 2006, BCWS held a pre-design meeting with ERC, and minutes of the meeting reflect that the same scope of the project down Highway 311 to where it was currently terminated was in the project.

March 2006, the engineer began surveying down along Highway 311 for the project.

October 2006, plans were first submitted to BCWS from ERC.

March 2007, second revisions with BCWS comments were submitted back.

July 2007, the permit was submitted to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), reflecting the number of services and scope of project as originally conceived. March 2008, construction for the project was advertised for bids.

April 2008, County Council awarded the construction project for the entire Cross Area Water Project, including Short Cut Road and some others, along with Highway 311, for a total of cost of $2,240,000.

(Regular Council meeting, 6/22/09, pgs. 18-19)

Unfortunately for Mr. Miley, there is no bullet for Council's approval of the project.

Now that we have all enjoyed the fairy stories, lets look at the actual facts.

In the fall of 2008, GE&P attempted to go through the proper channels to obtain information on this topic. We submitted FOIA requests to both BCW&SA and to Berkeley County government. We received literally reams of information in reply. The big problems were that few of the documents we received contained information pertinent to the Hwy. 311 Water Project and none of our questions were answered by any of these documents. We re-submitted our request. This time we were informed that the information we requested was going to cost us money and a lot of it.

GE&P likes to play games as much as the next person but we soon tired of this game. We decided to take a different approach to secure the information we wanted. All information here in contained was obtained from the following sources: Minutes of County Council meetings, located on the BC web site, summery of CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) for the past five years, provided by COG, (Council of Governments) BCW&SA Capital Improvements Projects lists, BCW&SA Five year Surveys, BCW&SA budgets, BCW&SA bond issues, and copies of the actual contracts awarded to construction companies installing the various water line projects within the Cross area. Since GE&P had no cooperation from either BCW&SA or BC government, it has taken many months to accumulate these documents.

The way the BCW&SA is supposed to operate is quite simple. Every year, they come to Council with a list of proposed projects. Council listens to the presentation and, after much discussion, decides which projects will be approved. Then one list (Capital Improvements Projects list) is compiled for water projects, one for sewer projects, and one for landfill projects. The approved projects are first on each list. There are other projects listed for consideration at some later date but only the approved projects should be pursued. The unapproved projects are referred to as “the wish list”.

This approval process is the first step in getting any project done. After the initial approval of a project, BCW&SA must return to Council for approval at every major step of the process. BCW&SA must receive approval to apply for the CDBG, (Community Development Block Grant) the contract for engineering and design, and the contract for the actual construction of the project. Also, every major project must be assigned to a bond. When the rules are followed, Council approval is required throughout the process. Now, let's see what the official BC documents reveal about how the Hwy. 311 water project was handled.

At the meeting of the Water and Sanitation committee on 2/10/03, there was an extensive discussion as to which proposed water projects should be approved by Council for the 2004 Capital Improvements Projects List. Many members of Council and members of staff expressed preferences as to which projects should take precedence. Mr. Steve Davis was the chairman of the Water and Sanitation committee at that time.

Supervisor Rozier stated with water projects, BCW&SA can fund about $3,700 per house; and $3,900 plus for sewer.

Mr. Hehn stated that was a break-even point.

(pg. 6)

Supervisor Rozier stated they did not take water to communities that were not surveyed about wanting water.

(pg. 18)

Mr. Jennings stated Projects 1-8 is what he proposes for water. He stated

that 9-17 are projects they have been requested to price and analyze.

(pg. 19)

The Cross Water Project containing the Hwy. 311 water line was #16 on the CIP list Mr. Jennings proposed. It was #21 of the 21 projects listed on the 2003 Capital Improvements Projects list for water projects. It was #28 on a list of 30 on the 2004 Capital Improvements Projects list. Again, the projects on the Capital Improvements Projects list that had not been approved by Council were referred to as the “wish list”.

As a result of the 2/10/03 meeting, a Special Council meeting was called for 3/06/03. At this meeting, the final list of water projects was put to a vote. The Cross Area Water Project was NOT on the list. The following excerpts from the minutes support this fact.

It was moved by Council member Spooner and seconded by Council member Fish to approve the 2004 Water Improvements in the amount of $1,760,000;Shulerville/Honeyhill, $4,200,000; Cross Schools, $3,265,000; Telemetry, $55,000; and the Sangaree Water Project, $440,000, for the total amount of $9,720,000 that would result in no increase in water rates. (pg. 2)

Council member Steve Davis offered an amendment to the motion that the following projects be included: Spier’s Circle; Swamp Fox; Umbria Road; United Drive; and Oakley Road Water Projects. (pg. 2)


Upon call for the vote on the amendment to include Spier’s Circle, $174,500; Swam Fox, $1,370,000; Umbria Road, $753,250; United Drive, $1,635,900; and Oakley Road, $350,600 for a total of $4,284,250 and a $1.84 water rate increase, the motion on the amendment failed with 6 “Nays” and 2 “Ayes. (pg. 8)

It was moved by Council member Steve Davis that East Church Street Water Project, $651,500; McCrae Drive, $189,200; Alvin Water Project, $1,160,000 for a total of $2,000,700 for a water rate increase of $.86 be included with Council member Spooner’s motion; seconded by Council member Pinckney. (pg.8)

Amendment #2

The vote on the second amendment to include East Church Street Water Project, $651,500; McCrae Drive, $189,200; Alvin Water Project, $1,160,000 for a total of $2,000,700 for a water rate increase of $.86 the motion failed with 6 “Nays” and 2Ayes.

(pg. 8)

Main motion

The vote to approve the Projects included in Council member Spooner’s motion,which were the 2004 Water Improvements in the amount of $1,760,000; Shulerville/Honeyhill, $4,200,000; Cross Schools, $3,265,000; Telemetry, $55,000; and the Sangaree Water Project, $440,000, for the total amount of $9,720,000 that would result in no increase in water rates passed by unanimous voice vote of Council. (A copy of the motion with the prepared list of Water projects is attached hereto and by reference is made a part hereof.) (pg. 9)

The Cross Area Water Project was NOT approved by Council in 2003. The Cross Area Water Project, containing the Hwy. 311 water line, remained on the Capital Improvements Projects List until 2005. Every year, it was at or near the bottom of the “wish list”. After 2005, the Hwy 311 Water Line Project is not mentioned in the County Council records. The Hwy. 311 Water Line Project was not mentioned in the 2005 Bond Issue. It was not mentioned in any of the subsequent Capital Improvements Projects lists. It was not mentioned in any of the BCW&SA budgets. It was not mentioned when the $2,240,738.29 contract with McMahon for the Cross Area Water Project was presented to the Public Works and Purchasing Committee in April, 2008. Mr. Caldwell Pinckney, then chairman of the Water & Sanitation Committee, moved to approve the contract. It was not mentioned when this same contract was presented to the full Council for approval later in April, 2008. However, the Hwy 311 Water Line was included in the contract text, a document that was not made available to Council before or after the vote. The first time the Hwy. 311 Water Line Project became public was when McMahon began putting the pipe in the ground.

When the residents of Hwy. 311 and those in Cross proper received letters from BCW&SA advising them of the mandatory tap-in requirements, there was a thunder of protests. These taxpayers banded together and flooded the Council chamber at the 6/22/09 Regular Council meeting. The main complaint of these taxpayers was that they were never asked if they wanted or needed this water line. The second complaint was that they were being forced to tap into the line. The third complaint was concerning the expense of connecting to the water line. The fourth complaint was the fact that there were so few possible tap-ins that water would have to be wasted by dumping it in the ditches to keep the water in the line drinkable. All agreed this would be a terrible waste of taxpayer money.

BCW&SA had its troops assembled and ready to try to defend its actions but their statements did not always agree with the official County Council minutes. Similarly, Mr. Jennings' and Mr. Miley's statements did not always agree.

Mr. Jennings stated that there were several projects dealing with the Cross Area in getting water to the Cross schools. There was no formal community-wide survey of interest. There were substantial and repeated conversations with County Council. In mid-2000, BCWS sold two very significant bond issues to undertake a number of water and sewer projects. The Council in office at that time was briefed in great detail and understood what projects were going to be constructed, where the lines were going and where the money was coming from. (pg. 21)

Mr. Pinckney's choice of words did not exactly reflect those of a person who had no vested interest in this project. Also, if there are so many people who cannot afford deep wells, ($4000 piped to the house) how will they afford the tap-in fees, the hydrant fee, the cost of running pipe from the road to their houses, and the cost of plumbing their houses to accommodate the increased pressure of public water service, when there are no grants for Hwy. 311?

There are citizens who do not need the water, because they have deep wells. It is good that those citizens have been blessed with the ability to afford those wells, but there are a lot of people that cannot afford a well and desperately need it. (pg. 17)

Council Member Callanan questioned if the Cross Area Water Project was several projects together.

Mr. Miley responded that the Cross Area Water Project is one project, designed and constructed together with multiple roads. Highway 311 was one of the roads the waterline went down. (pg. 6)

Council Member Callanan stated that he was elected to Council in 2007. The list Council Member Callanan had did not show Highway 311 on it. Council Member Callanan questioned if Highway 311 was a major component in the Cross Area Water Project.

Mr. Miley responded that to be correct.

Council Member Callanan questioned why Highway 311 was not on the list.

Mr. Miley responded that he did not know why it was not on the list.

(pg. 21)

Council Member Callanan questioned if there was an effort to have a waterline from

Holly Hill to Lake Marion.

Mr. Miley responded that to be correct.

Council Member Callanan questioned if that waterline came down from Holly Hill,

reached Highway 176 and touched toward the end of Highway 311.

Mr. Miley responded that to be correct.

(pg. 22)

Council Member Callanan stated that it would have been more economically feasible to tie Highway 311 into that once it was in place, because it would be financed by grants.

Mr. Miley stated that the grant project, which was moving forward at this time with the Lake Marion Project, is scoped to install a booster pump station at the intersection of Highways 311 and 176. It also included a second feed up Highway 311 to make that connection there. (pg. 22)

Council Member Callanan questioned if the County applied for grants for the Highway 311 project.

Mr. Rogers responded that several requests for grants were submitted. Highway 311 was in part of the overall project. Grants were applied for, but grants were not received.

(pg. 22)

Council Member Callanan questioned how it is determined who gets funds and who does not?

Mr. Rogers responded that the state would require BCWS to have a project which BCWS designated as a grant applicant. At least 51 percent of the entire project would need to be low to moderate income in order to be competitive for a grant. (CDBG) Every single road within that project would have to be at least 51 percent for that particular road from the grant project. Mr. Rogers continued and stated that a CDBG was not applied for Highway 311.


Council Member Callanan asked why a grant was not applied for that work.

Mr. Rogers responded that three grants had already been secured in Cross, and BCWS had to address other parts of the County.

(pg. 23)

Well, Mr. Rogers, were grants for Hwy. 311 applied for or not? In fact, of the CDBG awards to BC in the last five years, only two were for Cross, one for the Cross Water Line in the amount of $412,633 and one for the Northern Cross Water Line in the amount of $673,893. If Mr. Roger's explanation of which projects qualify for CDBG assistance, and the Cross Area Water Project is one big project, as Mr. Miley responded to Mr. Callanan's question on page 6, how did some of the roads named in this project end up listed on the CDBG report supplied by COG as receiving grant money? CDBGs are project specific and non transferable. If we were members of COG, we would be checking into where all this grant money is going. And why did Mr. Martin make the following statement?

The original budget for the Cross Area Water Project was $3.8 million. A CDBG grant

for $1.5 million was utilized for completion of the project for a savings of $795,620.

(Water & Sanitation meeting 5/18/09 pg. 6)

If we could be so bold as to ask just one more question, why, when the taxpayers complained about the Hwy 311 water line costing almost $2 ¼ million, did Mr. Miley argue so vigorously that that sum was the cost of the entire Cross Area Water Project?

(Regular Council meeting 6/22/09 pgs. 18 & 19)

Council Member Fish stated that he had a copy of every budget from 2004. In the 2004 budget, Council identified a wish list. Some of the Cross Area was #28, and on that list, Highway 311 appeared. It also appeared in the subsequent year of 2005. At that time, Council Member Fish stated that it was his recollection that it was talked about, as information came out with regard to the Cross Water Project. Highway 311 would be fed when the lines came back down Highway 176 and then onto Highway 311, because it was not economically feasible to place a waterline on Highway 311 until it was time for the Lake Marion Water Project. From budgets 2005 and on, the list was the same except that Highway 311 came off that list. It never appeared again after 2005. Council Member Fish stated that he did not know how Highway 311 got back on the list.

(Water & Sanitation meeting 6/22/09 pg.24)

Chairman Daniel Davis stated that all questions would be answered upon completion of the external audit of BCWS. This project was started in 2003. The project had been engineered and ready long before January 2007 when he took office. The previous Council had approved that project all along the way.

(Water & Sanitation meeting 6/22/09 pg. 24)

Anyone who can read and comprehend the English language will know that the Hwy. 311 Water Project was never approved by Council.

Any person who claims any intellectual integrity will see the Hwy. 311 Water Project for what it is, a behind the barn door political payoff. The County Council minutes are full of contradictions as BCW&SA spokespeople try to justify this expenditure. At least 6 County Councilmen,who were on Council in 2003, clearly indicate they were not aware that the project was under consideration and they would never have voted to approve it.

Early in 2009, several councilmen called for an audit of the Hwy. 311 Water Project. The scope of their inquiry is narrow. They want to know when the Hwy. 311 Water Project was approved. They want to know who approved it. And they want to know where the money came from to pay for it. By some strange coincidence, Mr. Dan Davis ended up on the audit committee. He proceeded to add areas of inquiry to the audit that have absolutely nothing to do with the Hwy. 311 Water Project. All together, now.....”SMOKE SCREEN”.

The audit was originally supposed to be completed by June 2009. Well, in June it was discovered that, purely by accident mind you, somebody had forgotten to send the letter of engagement to the auditor. Ooops, delay. As a result, the audit couldn't be completed until August or September. Then, at the 6/22/09 Council meeting, the Supervisor let it slip that he hoped the audit would be completed by the end of the year. He probably got a complete update on the audit's scheduling during his two hour closed door meeting with the auditor. By the way, the signed letter of engagement lay around the county office building for another month before it went out. Ooops, another delay.

Is there any chance that this audit is so involved and complicated that it may not be completed until after the 2010 primary?

The facts are there in the public records for all to see. No amount of creative explanations, no amount of denials, and no amount of down right lies will change the truth. And, the truth is that the Hwy 311 Water Line Project was never approved by Council. The taxpayers are on the hook for this project in the amount of $2,240,738.29 because the pipes are in the ground. But, the citizens of Berkeley County deserve to know who is responsible for this fraud.

At least it's not like this fraudulent project is unique. GE&P is in the process of gathering documentation on two other BCW&SA water projects that are equally egregious.

UPDATE: GE&P has learned that 28 households have tapped into the Hwy 311 water line. Is it not a coincidence that there are, also, 28 houses in Pinckneyville? Remember, this water line requires a minimum of 400 tap-ins to operate efficiently. Is it another coincidence that a dump timer has been installed on the hydrant at the end of the water line just past Mr. Pinckney's house? You don't suppose BCW&SA plans to dump water in the woods, do you?

Thursday, September 24, 2009


GE&P read with great interest the Post & Courier article yesterday about the new "Strategic Plan" for Berkeley County offered up by the supervisor. According to Mr. Dan Davis, he has wanted to implement a "strategic plan" in BC since he was first elected supervisor three years ago. Funny, this is the first GE&P has heard of this plan and we have a few questions.

(Before and after his election, GE&P thought we heard Mr. Davis say all he wanted to do was to change the form of BC's government and that he would only serve for one term.)

What are Mr. Davis' new and improved plans for bringing new industry and new jobs to Berkeley?
With only a little over a year left in Mr. Davis' term, isn't it a bit late to begin devising a plan for the success of his tenure? Just asking.

According to official records, the previous administration secured $8.5 billion in industrial and job creation investments for Berkeley County. During the same time period, 43,000 new jobs were created in Berkeley County. Has anyone seen the numbers for the present administration? (Remember now, you cannot include any projects that were initiated by the previous administration, such as Google, Dupont, etc.) Well? We're waiting.

Are we to understand that, at this late date, Mr. Davis plans to "keep citizens informed and handle complaints..." and to bring to his administration "integrity, being truthful, ethical and honest..."? If we could be so bold, why has it taken this supervisor three years to conclude that these elements are vital to the success of any administration?

GE&P could offer one suggestion that could address these two areas of Mr. Davis' new plan and, in so doing, could save time and work. The new "public information service" and the "core values initiative" could be combined by simply observing the existing FOIA laws. During the previous administration, when GE&P needed or just wanted information, all it took was a phone call to the supervisor's office. Any information and/or documents requested were provided without protest. No FOIA request was needed. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience with the current administration. Even with a FOIA request, all requested information is not always forthcoming.

In the article, Mr. Schurlknight is quoted as saying, "I'm going to take the high road on this." Mr. Schurlknight, what does that mean? We'll make it simple by offering a multiple choice.

A. I will continue to do as I am told.
B. I will continue to support a Democrat leading a Republican Council.
C. I'm still holding out hope for an equestrian center in Moncks Corner.
D. I didn't understand the reporter's question and this was all that came to mind.

We digress.

In this article, Mr. Davis said he had implemented such a plan when he was the administrator in Hanahan so GE&P decided to check out his results. According to Hanahan officials, the city had a $2 million surplus when Mr. Davis took office. When Mr. Davis left office, the city was carrying a $3 million deficit. If we compare the budget of Hanahan to that of Berkeley County and convert that figure to a percentage and then compare the results of Mr. Davis' efforts in Hanahan to equivalent results in BC, GE&P has but one more question. How would THAT work for you, taxpayers of Berkeley County?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


GE&P has seen a lot of strange stuff in the world of politics but nothing as strange as what we saw today. Let us put it very straight from the shoulder. When we witness a far left-wing person like Pat Caddell publicly agree on a major policy issue with a far right-wing person like Glenn Beck, the world must surely be coming to an end.

Mr. Caddell agreed with Mr. Beck that Obama is organizing a radical, communist, socialist infrastructure within our federal government. They sited the fact that Obama has appointed avowed communists and socialists to his inner circle. These "czars" have initiated programs that would destroy talk radio and allow Obama to "take control" of the internet should he deem it necessary. These are only the latest of their ideas. Some of these "advisors" also wrote the health care bill which includes federally funded abortions, compulsory coverage, and end of life counseling.

Mr. Caddell stated he has been deluged with calls from other Dems who are concerned with some of the activities of Obama. They are concerned that his radical policies are going to completely destroy the Democrat party. Many of the callers are up for re-election in 2010 and are concerned about the reaction of their folks back home.

So, take heart, Conservatives, it looks like the rats are beginning to desert the sinking ship.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


GE&P attended County Councilman Caldwell Pinckney's 7th District meeting last night. The meeting was well attended by a cross section of District residents.

Mr. Pinckney followed an agenda that addressed various issues that are impacting the taxpayers of Berkeley county. He conducted the meeting very fairly by giving his take on each issue and, then, soliciting questions and comments from the audience.

He began by discussing the recent reassessment and explaining how the process works. Several attendees were concerned that their October tax bills would be higher than last year's bills. Mr. Pinckney explained that property owners could appeal if they disagreed with the reassessed value placed on their property.

Mr. Pinckney encouraged the attendees to actively support the Cross area schools. He stated that, since these schools have been designated Title I, students would be allowed to transfer to other schools in the county if they wished.

Then, Mr. Pinckney brought up the issue of the Cross area's newly installed water lines. As would be expected, the mandatory tap-in ordinance was the main topic of discussion. Also, many attendees said they took offense that they had not been consulted before the water lines were installed.

GE&P asked Mr. Pinckney if he, as Chairman of the Water and Sanitation Committee on County Council at the time these water lines were approved, had received any documents from W&S, such as feasibility studies or community surveys before he recommended approval of the contract to install the waterline on Hwy. 311.

Mr. Pinckney said he hadn't received any such documents simply because all the preliminary work on this particular project had been done during the Rozier administration in 2002, which was before he was Chairman of the W&S Committee. Mr. Pinckney was very sincere and seemed to be totally convinced of the validity of the information contained in his statement.

GE&P was compelled to correct his misconceptions on this issue. We pointed out that, during a W&S committee meeting on Feb. 10, 2003, Council removed the Hwy. 311 water project, along with others, from the W&S approved projects list. This information can be found on the official Berkeley County web site under agendas and minutes. To further support our contention that the Hwy. 311 water line was never approved by Council, we called Mr. Pinckney's attention to the fact that the Hwy. 311 project did not appear on the W&S Capital Improvements list, the Five Year Survey of projects, or the W&S budgets from 2005 to date.

Since these documents are the only sources of information for County Council to know which projects are being proposed by W&S, how would Council know about the Hwy. 311 project if it was never mentioned on any of the documents? Also, when the $2.24 million contract that installed the Hwy. 311 project was proposed to Council in April 2008, it was approved, but, since that time, 6 of the 8 members who were on Council at the time the proposal was made have publicly stated that they were not made aware the contract was for the Hwy. 311 water project before the vote was taken.

Mr. Pinckney said he couldn't discuss any particulars of this issue without the benefit of having these documents in front of him. We assured him we would have copies of these documents for him to review at the next District 7 meeting.

GE&P continues to have several unanswered questions pertaining to this issue:

How could a capital improvement project the size of the Hwy. 311 water line be undertaken without the benefit of a feasibility study or even a community survey?

How would W&S know the Hwy. 311 water project was under consideration if it didn't appear on any of the project lists or even the budget?

Who approved the Hwy. 311 water project if, as they have stated, 6 of the 8 members of the 2008 County Council were unaware that the project existed?

Where did the $2.24 million that paid for the 2008 Hwy. 311 water project come from if the project did not appear on the W&S budget since 2005?

Since the Hwy. 311 water project did not qualify for a CDBG grant, how did W&S plan to fund the "free tap-ins" promised to some residents of Hwy. 311?

GE&P has been asking these questions for a year and a half. So far, we have not been able to get any answers. We have submitted FOIA requests to the Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Authority to no avail. We can only hope that Mr. Pinckney will be able to provide some answers after he reviews our documents at the next community meeting.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


GE&P finds it difficult to believe that a majority of the US Congress can be so incredible stupid, but, the "CASH FOR CLUNKERS" program proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Let us dissect this debacle.

Here's the plan:

If John Q Citizen trades in his existing vehicle and purchases a new vehicle built by certain manufacturers, the dealer will give him a $4,500 rebate for his trade-in. This rebate is subtracted directly from the purchase price of the new vehicle. Good deal. Added to this, the "government" will match the dealers' rebate by giving him another $4,500 for his trade-in, totaling $9000. Wow, he's going to get $9000 for his trade-in, no matter what it's condition!!!! John Q citizen is elated at this windfall and thinks he's getting a GREAT deal. Well, let's look a bit closer at this gift horse.

Unfortunately, a huge number of Americans have become so conditioned that they think the "government" is some autonomous, independently wealthy sugar daddy, with an inexhaustible source of it's own funds at it's disposal. NEWS FLASH, FOLKS. The "government" doesn't have a red cent of it's own. The only money the "government" has is that which it steals from the American producers by way of taxation.

As you all know, earlier in the year the "government" gave BILLIONS of dollars to the same car companies that are now offering these $4,500 rebates. The car companies are using the funds given to them by the "government" to back these wonderful offers. Then, to add insult to injury, the "government" is offering an additional $4,500 to match the car companies' rebate. How hard is it to connect the dots? The "government" has taken money from John Q Citizen by way of taxes. The "government" bailed out the failing car companies by giving them BILLIONS of John Q Citizens money. The car companies and the "government" gives John Q $9000 of his own money as a rebate on his car purchase. If it sounds like John Q has come out even, don't cheer to quickly. Old John Q still has to pay more taxes to make up for the money the "government" has given the car companies (and John Q) in the first place. And Bernie Madoff is in jail why??

As if this program is not bad enough at this point, we need to consider a few more indirect repercussions. Historically, when a car is traded in on a new purchase, it can follow any one of several routes. If the trade-in is still in all around good shape, it heads for the used car lot. If the engine is no good but the body is in good shape, the car is sold to a junk yard for parts and the engine goes for scrap metal. If the engine is still good but the body is shot, it heads for the salvage yard where the engine is removed for recycling and the body is crushed for scrap metal.

With the "CASH FOR CLUNKERS" program, the entire car is supposedly crushed. This deprives the used car lots and the junk yards of potential business. According to experts in these businesses, this program will not only deplete the number of available used cars, thus depriving a large portion of the populace of the ability to purchase an affordable car, (everyone cannot afford a new car) it will cause the loss of jobs in the car parts industry.

As the final unforeseen and inevitable outcome of this merry-go-round of folly, there is no oversight to assure that these "clunkers" will actually be crushed in their entirety. But, we don't have to worry about compliance with the rules and regulations of this program, now do we? We all know that car dealers are the most honest and trustworthy folks on the planet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


In case you haven't noticed, the US Congress is taking it's August recess. Historically, the members of the House and the Senate hold town hall meetings in their perspective districts during August to "inform their constituents about current legislation and to field question about the concerns of their voters." In fact these meetings serve only to encourage their constituents into believing the voters' opinions are valuable to and desired by the politician. The truth be told, the majority of politicians could not care less what we think.

This last month has been very problematic for the new Health Care Reform Act, Mr. Obama and the Democrats. Since so many of the details of the bill have accidentally become public knowledge, the groundswell of opposition is quite dramatic. But, have no fear, these politicians are not all stupid. It is a matter of record that a full 2/3 of these Congressmen and Senators have decided to NOT hold any town hall meetings this year. We suppose they think it is wiser to hide in the bushes until this whole thing blows over. Maybe they don't want to be on YouTube.

GE&P watched with interest yesterday as the network and cable media covered many of the town hall meetings on health care that were being held around this great nation. They covered meetings in Florida, Missouri, and Minnesota, just to mention a few of the larger ones. These meetings were supposed to be open to the public. We noticed a few oddities about some of these meetings and made a few observations.

At the meetings where the general public was admitted, it was obvious, from the questions asked, that the majority was strongly opposed to the health care plan. At some meetings, only selected people were allowed to enter the venue. At these meetings, there were literally hundreds of opponents to the plan left standing in the parking lot.

All of the major polls indicate the majority of Americans oppose this plan and the number in opposition is growing daily. Now we come to the part of this report that will really impress you all.

Our Dear Leader, Mr. Obama, also, held a town hall meeting yesterday and it was well covered by all factions of the media. The venue was packed.......with folks who received an invitation from the White House( but that's beside the point). AND, bless Pat, would you believe it, ALL the folks in attendance were in favor of the Health Care Reform Act. Is that not amazing? Mr. Obama didn't have one person questioning his single payer plan. He was not annoyed by one senior citizen asking why he planned to cut $500,000,000 from Medicare to finance the plan. No one wanted details on the "end of life" counseling provision in his plan. No one seemed concerned that, if this plan is adopted, the federal government will have access to their bank accounts. Mr. Obama was not embarrassed by any opposition questions posed by one dissenter.

In all fairness, we have to report that about 500 folks in opposition to the plan were standing in the street outside the venue, securely cordoned off behind police barriers.

Now, what you have to do is simple. You have to accept the fact that all those town hall meetings you saw on TV and YouTube where thousands of dissenters voiced their opposition to the health care plan were obviously demonstrations staged by "Angry Mobs" organized by "unAmerican troublemakers". These dissenters were not there voicing their own beliefs. They were paid to come to the town hall meetings and cause trouble for Mr. Obama. You must accept that, in fact, Mr. Obama's meeting proves that, not only the majority, but, virtually everyone in the nation, agrees with and are in favor of the Health Care Reform Plan. His meeting and the folks who attended proves this fact beyond argument.

That settled, would you please stop just holding that cup and drink your KoolAid?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We would like to thank Nancy Corbin for sending us this link. No words can describe this.

Go to youtube.com

Search "Staff Sergeant First Class John C. Beale"

Prepare yourself to be proud to be an American.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Three cheers for the Chairman of the Water and Sanitation Committee, Councilman Tim Callanan. He is our newest hero.

Mr. David Jennings addressed Council tonight and explained how the ordinance on mandatory tap in to the water lines works. This presentation was very informative as every citizen over the age of five is aware of the contents of this ordinance and, after all, is the core of the present controversy. Thanks anyway, Mr. Jennings.

Then, Mr. Ed Rogers spent an inordinate amount of time poor mouthing as to the amount of money BCW&S would lose if the mandatory tap in ordinance should be changed. Mr. Rogers displayed his magnanimous side when he offered his solution to the controversy. He said he would be willing to cut the tap in fee by $1000. Voicing this offer seemed to pain him greatly but he was willing to make the sacrifice.

At this point, there was a feeble attempt by the ever opportunistic Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr. Schurlknight, to plagiarize a few comments. This unsuccessful endeavor produced quite a few snickers from those "in the know".

Alas, Mr. Callanan took the stage. He acknowledged that Mr. Rogers' offer to reduce the tap in fees was a move in the right direction but did not fully address the issue. He pointed out that the tap in fees were but a small part of the financial burden being thrust upon taxpayers faced with the mandatory tap in ordinance. He explained that the situation would require people to pay for the cost of the lines from their houses to the curb along with the cost of any upgrades to the plumbing systems in their houses necessitated by the increased pressure from the water line. Additionally, he said that folks would be faced with a monthly water bill after they had already invested in deep wells and filtration systems. Mr. Callanan was on a roll.

Then, our newest hero instructed Mr. Jennings to draft verbiage to be included in the existing ordinance that would "grandfather in" those living along water lines who have existing wells, exempting them from the mandatory tap in. It seems there is a precedent for such a "grandfather clause" in Dorchester County's ordinance.

Upon observation of Mr. Rogers, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Dan Davis, and Mr. Pinckney, it would be impossible to determine whose nickers were in a tighter bunch.

NOTE: BCW&S could have saved $2.24 million if they had not installed the misguided Hwy. 311 water line in the first place. This advice could apply equally to the Alvin Community and the Bethel Road water lines. These issues are waiting in the wings to be addressed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Well, we have to partially correct ourselves. We have been very critical of Mr. Davis' hiring of so many professional consultants. In this case, he obviously needed some help with a decision.

Anyone who has visited the County office building has seen the uniformed guard posted in the entry lobby. I don't think anyone would question the need and for such a presence in this day and time. One never knows what kind of nut case might walk through the door. Yes, even good old Berkeley County has its share of nut cases.

The uniformed guards at the County office building stood three 8 hour shifts to secure the building and its personnel 24/7. At least that's the way it was once upon a time. Mr. Davis, in all his infinite wisdom, has decided to change this routine. From now on, there will be no security guard in the building during business hours. The guard will arrive there at 4 PM and stay around to lock the building at 5:10 PM. Then, he will get into his car and cruise the parking lots of the Administration building, the N. Live Oak Drive facility, and the Water & Sanitation office site. He will continue to make these rounds until the morning, at which time he knocks off and goes home.

We all know that the County is short of money but making cuts that put our County employees in jeopardy is unacceptable. Does anyone know where we can hire a common sense consultant for Mr. Davis?

Friday, July 3, 2009


Grab onto your wallets; Dan Davis is at it again. As you all know, last year Mr. Davis convinced County Council that he absolutely, positively had to steal 29% of our tax rebate (from the Local Option Sales Tax ---LOST) that was applied to our property tax bills. Council agreed to steal the money, but, for only one year. They promised the entire 100% would be credited to our tax bills this year.

Well, the new budget is being considered by Council as we speak and guess what? Mr. Davis has included OUR 29% in his budget again this year. He insists he absolutely, positively has to steal our money again to balance his budget. He says he has to reduce the county's debt. Both Mr. Davis and one of his enablers, that pinnacle of financial intelligence, Jack Schurlknight, insist stealing the 29% will not constitute a tax increase.

For those of you who were schooled in Rio Linda, allow us to explain. The dollar amount of the rebate originally listed on your tax bill represented 100% of your rebate. State law mandates that 71% of that amount has to remain as a tax rebate. That leaves 29% that the counties, should their councils agree, can steal from the taxpayer and add to the county coffers . Know that, if the county government takes the 29%, that portion of your tax bill still has to be paid. If only 71% of the rebate is applied to your tax bill and the full amount still has to be paid, would anyone like to venture a guess as to who will be expected to make up the difference? Daaaaaaah. Presto, this equals a TAX INCREASE.

We will attempt to explain this to Mr. Davis and Mr. Schurlknight one more time. Sirs, when our tax bills are higher this year than last and there has been no reassessment, we have experienced a tax increase. Just using round numbers, if our tax bill is $1000 and 100% of our rebate is applied, say $500, our tax bill would be $500. If the county takes 29% of our rebate and only 71% is applied to our tax bill of $1000, we could only deduct 71% of the $500 rebate or $355. That would mean our tax bill would be $1000 minus $355 or $645. When we went to school $645 was more than $500. Who in their right mind would try to convince people that paying $500 one year and $645 the next would not constitute a tax increase?

The "Flea Market Guy" and "The Brain" both insist we have to swallow this tax increase to lower the county's debt. Could we make a few suggestions as to how to lower the debt without saddling the good folks of Berkeley County with another tax increase?

First, we could reverse the policy on all those "take home" cars driven by certain county employees who live as far away from their job as Holly Hill, Summerville, Hwy. 171, and Goose Creek. In case all of you aren't aware, driving these county cars includes all expenses paid such as gas, repairs, tires, maintenance, insurance, etc. How would your family budget improve if you didn't have to foot the bills for your transportation needs? This adjustment to county policy would save the county a pile of money due to the fact that the county's gasoline bill alone tops $150,000 a MONTH. This figure does not take into consideration the cost of the cars or any of the associated costs of operation. You do the math.

Next, Mr. Davis could account for the monies connected to the Santee Cooper pay off. Again, allow us to explain. Santee Cooper loaned Berkeley County a portion of the money to pay for the creation of the Mount Holly industrial park. The former administration struck a deal with Santee Cooper to accept yearly payments on the loan. The money for these payments came, in part, from the fees in lieu of taxes paid to the county by industries within the park. Mr. Davis decided to borrow $5 MILLION from BCW&S to pay off the loan from Santee Cooper. He explained that this early pay off would save the county big bucks in interest. OK.....We have exchanged one legitimate loan for another nebulous loan (?). What are the pay back arrangements with BCW&S. How much interest is involved? Now, all we have to do is account for the somewhat over a million dollars still being paid yearly to the county by the industries located in the park. Where are these previously committed dollars being spent now that the Santee Cooper loan is paid off?

As a sidebar, GE&P can't seem to get anyone to say exactly which pot of money at BCW&S the money for this loan to the county came from. We understand the total loan was for $10 million with only half being utilized immediately. We can be certain that Mr. Davis and BCW&S would be very careful not to take the money for this loan from any account containing impact fees, as this action would be illegal. But, this transaction could explain what happened to the largest part of BCW&S's $17 million "rainy day fund" which was in place when Mr. Davis took office.

The third way that we could suggest that Mr. Davis trim the budget would be by not hiring so many professional consultants to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The expense connected with this practice has ballooned out of control partly due to the fact that most of these contracts do not require a RFPs ( request for proposal) and therefore do not require the approval of County Council. From the number of these contracts, it would appear that Mr. Davis requires the opinion of a professional consultant at every turn. If Mr. Davis is so incapable of making decisions on his own, what in the world is he doing sitting in the center chair?

When Mr. Davis ran for Supervisor, there was really only one plank in his platform. He promised to do away with the supervisor form of county government. He promised real CHANGE. Well, the little man kept his word.......almost. He had to be forced by County Council to put the question of changing the form of government on a ballot referendum. Then, he did get busy addressing the promised CHANGE.

He was instrumental in raising water and sewer rates by 30%.

He stole 29% of our tax rebate from the LOST I (first local option sales tax) which resulted in a surreptitious tax increase.

He has removed most of the attractions from Cypress Gardens resulting in the loss of much of its allure and educational value.

He fired or forced out the majority of Berkeley county's most valuable and loyal top level employees and replaced them with Dorchester County's rejects.

He introduced and supported the LOST II and, when it was agreed upon by referendum, secured a $150 million bond issue to pay for the same road improvements that were used as the reason for LOST II. He justified this action by saying the improvements needed to be done sooner than the LOST II money could be collected. There's only one very large fly in this ointment. Even if LOST II brings in as much money as LOST I historically has, it will only net about $90 million before the sunset clause comes into effect in 7 years. It's "guess who will be called upon to pay the difference" time again.

He has allowed the Fund Balance to diminish to the point that Berkeley County is threatened with having its credit rating reduced.

The financial condition of the county is so bad that county employees are being forced to take (unpaid) furlough days. And, if you ask Mr. Davis why the county is in such dire straights, he will be more than happy to tell you, "It's all Jim Rozier's fault."

GE&P can swear to the veracity of at least one of Mr. Davis's statements to date. He promised change and he has truly brought CHANGE to Berkeley County. If the next year and a half provides more of the same, we can expect to live in a different county when he completes his term of office. We will be singing the same dirge, only on a much larger scale, as the city of Hanahan sang when Mr. Davis completed his term as administrator and had dissolved a $2 million surplus into a $3 million deficit. In Berkeley County, success will have been replaced by failure; Prosperity will have been overcome by need; A rising star will have spiraled into a financial nose dive. At present, it will take a decade to recover what has been lost. By 2010, it's anybody's guess.

We could go on but, by now, I suspect you readers are in information overload. Please, don't take our word for any of these statements. Check it out for yourself. All the records are readily available to verify our facts. All that is required is some effort on your part. If you don't get involved and informed, you have no one to blame for the outcome but the face in the mirror.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We suppose the most of you have been following the Channel 2 coverage of the Hwy. 311 water line story. Finally, someone is showing an interest. We found it amazing how many "mistakes" were presented to the reporter as fact. Mr. Pinckney said the water line went past his house for a mile. When the reporter paced it off, it was more like 1,500 feet, ending at Pinckney Ct. Then, yesterday, the reporter was told 950 letters were sent out to prospective customers. Where are all these 950 houses located? Let us break this thing down to specifics.

The Channel 2 story is about the Hwy. 311 water line not the entire "Cross Area Water Improvement Project". On the entire length of Hwy. 311, there are only 112 "properties"......not houses, properties. But, let us concentrate on the part of Hwy. 311 where the water line has been installed.

The Hwy. 311 water line begins at the Old Cross Fire Tower, where Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 311 join. It proceeds along Hwy. 311 in the direction of Hwy. 176. It ends just past Caldwell Pinckney's house at Pinckney Ct.

From the fire tower to Hwy. 59, there are approximately 79 houses. Of these, only approximately 35 houses are close enough to Hwy. 311 that they can even be seen from the road. From Hwy. 59, after you pass the Grooms farm, there are approximately 30 houses, not all of which can even be seen from the road.

Also part of this project, is a line that goes down Muddville Rd. (to service 4 houses), and a 4 inch line that goes down Groomstown Rd. (to service approximately 25 houses).

Now, let's do the math. 4+25+35+30=950????? We admit it has been many a year since we were in school but math couldn't have changed that much.

BCW&S is, once again, trying to confuse the issue. The cost, by their own admission, of the entire "Cross Area Water Improvement Project" was 3.8 million dollars. We know for a fact that the contract for the "Hwy. 311" part of the project was 2.24 million dollars.

According to DEHEC and the engineer overseeing the Hwy. 311 project, this system requires at least 400 tap ins to operate properly. The water must travel through the pipe at a certain rate in order to keep the chlorimines (sp) suspended. If the water does not go through the pipe fast enough, these additives will settle to the bottom of the pipe and form a sludge. This would render the water undrinkable. The solution to this problem, according to the experts, would be to install timers on the fire hydrants at the ends of each lines (Pinckney Ct. and Groomstown Rd.) to empty water into the ditches on a regular basis. Because of the limited number of tap ins, both experts said this purging of the line could need to be done on a daily basis. How many millions of gallons of wasted water will this process involve?

This information that we are providing is but a small part of this story. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


GE&P was perusing the web site of the SC Ethics Commission tonight. As everyone knows, we are very nosy and enjoy knowing as much of what is going on as possible. Well, we must conclude the web managers of the Ethics Commission site must be very lax because a few entries are missing. We could find no entries of Statements of Economic Interest for Councilman Caldwell Pinckney for the years 2006, 2007, 2008, or 2009. Maybe someone should call Herb Haydon at the SC Ethics Commission and ask him to correct this error.

Monday, May 11, 2009


GE&P admits we have been very remiss lately. There have been no posts for over a month. The only excuse we can provide is that GE&P is comprised of a group of old fogies who can only focus on one subject at a time. Until recently, we were occupied with participation in the Republican Party reorganization process. We could have posted any bit of drivel just to fill space but that's not the way we like to operate this site. We like to provide important information and provide the reader with some semblance of entertainment. Now that the reorg process is over and new leadership for the party is firmly ensconced, we can move on to annoying someone else. We feel certain the old Party leadership will be thrilled at this prospect.

GE&P realizes that taxes are a necessary evil to run a county as large as Berkeley, or any county, for that matter. BUT, when government waste and abuse comes to light, the taxpayers must be made aware. We are the government so we must keep our leaders' feet to the fire.

That brings us to the new questions that GE&P will be addressing for the foreseeable future:

"Why is Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Authority installing water lines without the benefit of feasibility studies?"

"Why is Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Authority installing water lines at a cost that will take 60 years to recoup?"

"Why did the Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Authority spend $2.4 million to install a 7.1 mile water line that terminated on the front door step of a County Councilman who, at the time, just coincidentally, happened to be the chairman of the Water and Sanitation Committee on County Council?"

GE&P has done some research and is in possession of some very interesting documents pertaining to these questions. We will provide these documents and other information concerning this subject matter. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 30, 2009


GE&P doesn't usually give restaurant reviews but we will make an exception just this once.

We had occasion to be West of the Ashley last week. Naturally, lunch time rolled around with no plan in place. Upon suggestion from one in the group, we decided to try a new place, THE GLASS ONION on Savannah Highway.

Upon driving up in front, we were not immediately impressed but, having learned early on that one cannot judge an eating establishment by it's cover, we forged onward. Thank Goodness we did.

Under the roof of this rather utilitarian eatery, we found an unexpected treat. The food was unusual and wonderful. In case you don't know it, the best test of whether the "home cooking" sign is telling the truth is the quality of the grits. The Glass Onion passed with flying colors. From the oyster po' boy around the table to the breakfast fare, everything was perfectly prepared and delicious.

So, the next time you are in the area, give it a try. http://www.ilovetheglassonion.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Did GE&P read that "meeting" ad in the P&C correctly today? The ad said something about a Reorganization Make-up meeting for the Berkeley County Republican Party scheduled for April 9, 2009. And about that contact number, are we mistaken or is that not the telephone number for Republican Party Headquarters in Columbia?

GE&P is sooooo confused. We are simply brimming with questions.

Did not this Make-Up meeting already take place on March 19, 2009?

Why would there be another Make-up meeting scheduled?

Why would the folks with questions be instructed to call Party Headquarters instead of the Berkeley County Chairman, Wade Arnette?

Is it in any way possible that the BCGOP leadership has, finally, stepped too far over the line?

Could it be that their total disregard of SC Code of Law and SCGOP Rules has become too blatant to ignore?

Is it remotely possible that State has moved in and taken over the whole process?

I know you locals have heard the expression "Grinnin' like a 'possom eatin' 'simmons"?

Well then, lets all sing together:

Possom in the simmon tree
Raccoon on the ground.
Raccoon says, "You son of a gun,
Throw them simmons down".

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


GE&P would like to give a little update on the functioning of the new debacle at the intersection of Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 311. For locals, we're speaking of the crossroads at the old fire tower.

We had occasion to drive through that area last night when we were traveling from Moncks Corner to Holly Hill. There was a mini van full of people ahead of us as we pulled up to the stop sign at Ranger Drive. We could see the lights of a vehicle approaching from the right. Judging from the distance of the headlights, it appeared there was plenty of time for the mini van to pull across the wide intersection and negotiate itself into the right lane to prepare to make it's turn onto Hwy. 311. We only have to assume the driver of the mini van came to the same erroneous conclusion.

As we sat at the stop sign, a really scary scene unfolded before us. The mini van pulled into the intersection. The driver had only just straightened his vehicle into the right lane when the vehicle approaching from the right was on top of him. The approaching vehicle, a large raggy looking pickup truck was, conservatively speaking, doing 60 MPH. Realizing the mini van was in his path, the driver of the pickup swerved to the left and into the dividing area in the center of the intersection. Accompaning the sound of the skidding tires was a large cloud of dust and smoke. As most experienced drivers know, when you combine a high rate of speed with a sudden change of direction, the results are not always positive.

On this occasion, by the grace of God, no one was killed. The driver of the pickup regained control of his vehicle and proceeded onto Mudville Road, without even slowing down. When experiencing a scene like this, one cannot help but wonder, "what if". What if the driver of the pickup had not regained control? What if the driver of the mini van had not managed to get completely into the right lane in time? What if there was another car coming from Hwy. 311 toward Moncks Corner trying to negotiate the intersection at the same time? None of these scenarios are beyond the realm of possibilities or even probabilities.

I hope the folks in the mini van pay the preacher a little something extra this week.

Monday, March 23, 2009


On the evening of March 19, 2009, there was a "make-up meeting" for the Berkeley County Republican Party Reorganization. Don't be surprised if you didn't read about it, since there was no public notice of the meeting given. Even if you accidentally found out about it and attended, you would not have been impressed with the outcome. Allow us to give you the abbreviated minutes.

The County Chairman, Wade Arnette, opened the meeting and immediately turned the proceedings over to State Executive Committeeman, Wayland Moody. Mr. Moody went to great lengths to explain to those assembled that the activity of the meeting would be restricted. He made it clear that no Precinct officers were to be elected and no other Precinct business was to be conducted with the exception of adding delegates to the Precinct packets. These additions could be made unless the delegate slates for particular precincts were already full. After these announcements, the problems began.

RULE: A Precinct Reorganization Make-Up Meeting is just that. It is an extension of the original Precinct Meeting and held for the purpose of completing business unfinished at the original meeting and giving those who were unable to attend the original meeting an opportunity to participate in the process. But, these are only the Rules and we all know how important the Rules are to the present leadership of the BCGOP.

Several of the folks protested this agenda by quoting the Rules but Mr. Moody insisted, "Well, that's the way it's going to be tonight."

Two members of Hanahan 1 Precinct said they wanted to add delegates to their slate. Mr. Moody told them that would be impossible because the slate was full. ( Mr. Moody imparted this information without looking at the documents in their packet.) These gentlemen advised Mr. Moody that, in fact, no delegates had been elected at their original meeting. Mr. Moody advised the men that a committee had been chosen to "appoint" the delegates from Hanahan 1. The men said there had been no committee chosen at their original meeting and they wanted to add their delegates. Mr. Moody repeated that the delegate slate was full. The men asked to examine the contents of their Precinct packet. They were refused access.

A member of the Whitesville Precinct Club requested her packet so she could conclude her reorganization business. This lady is the Secretary of her Club and there were none of the other officers from her Precinct present at the meeting. Mr. Moody refused to give her the packet saying the Precinct was already organized and she was not an officer. She showed Mr. Moody a copy of her Form B, which lists the officers of her Club. There, as plain as day, was her name listed as Secretary. Still, Mr. Moody refused to relinquish the packet. He told her she could fill out any additional Form A's she wanted for delegates and he would add them to the packet for her but she could not take possession of the documents already in the packet. She pointed out to Mr. Moody that the documents in the packet did not contain her signature as Secretary, as the Rules dictate. Mr. Moody suggested he would be happy to hold the documents for her as she signed them but she would not be allowed to hold or review any of the documents already in the packet. She didn't go for it and continued insisting on being given the packet. It was only after an extended exchange between the two and the support of others who were listening, that Mr. Moody finally gave her the packet.

A Berkeley County Councilman tried to submit his Form A's for Stratford 2 delegates only to be told his delegate slate was, also, full. He was refused access to his Precinct packet by Mr. Moody. After relating his experience to others at the meeting, he was advised to return to Mr. Moody and insist on being given access to the packet. He did so. Upon review of the documents in his packet, he found that only four of the 22 delegates listed had actually attended his Precinct meeting. He was never told that, when it comes to being elected delegates, folks who attend the meetings in person have priority over the ones who only send in a Form A . Also, he found a Form A from another Precinct in his packet. Golly Gee! How did that happen, Roberta? In 2007, GE&P suggested that old age might be slipping up on you when you allowed a vote at the County Convention and the total number of votes cast added up to a larger number than the total number of registered delegates. Sloppy, very sloppy.

Here are some more of those pesky Rules. The Secretary of the BCGOP is bound by Law to record, with the Clerk of Court and prior to the county convention, the names of the Precinct officers. Also, it is her legal duty to compile the roll of delegates to the county convention. There is no way for her to perform these duties if she doesn't have access to the documents contained in the Precinct packets. She was denied this access.

In an effort toward full disclosure, GE&P has to admit there was one really funny thing that happened at this meeting. Mr. Moody said that anyone who wished, could make copies of the documents contained in his/her own Precinct packet and was welcome to do so. But, he would not allow anyone to make copies of all the documents contained in all the Precinct packets. He insisted that he was going to FedEx the packets to Party Headquarters the following day, Friday. He said it was the duty of Party Headquarters to compile the certified delegate list for the county convention from the documents in the packets and he didn't want two different lists "floating around". Now, let's analyze that statement just a bit. If our Secretary makes a copy of all the documents in all the packets as they are at the end of the meeting and compiles a list, then, Mr. Moody sends these same packets containing these same documents to Party Headquarters and they compile a list, why would this result in two different lists? Hmmmmmm

In the humble opinion of GE&P, Mr. Moody and the others in the leadership may have pushed the envelope just a bit too far, and in front of too many witnesses, this time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


On Monday night, March 16, 2009, the Finance Committee of Berkeley County Council held a workshop. Two issues that had been languishing since last year were on the agenda, the new vehicle policy and the new County Council Rules.

The supervisor, Mr. Dan Davis has a vested interest in both issues. Before January 2009, Mr. Davis did not have control of enough votes on Council to assure the issues would be resolved to his benefit so, with the assistance of Mr. Caldwell Pinckney, Jr., action on these issues was repeatedly postponed. The strategy was quite simple; postpone any final decision on these issues until the new member of Council, Mr. Bob Call, took his seat. From various newspaper articles and comments made by Mr. Call in response to P&C articles, this eventuality would provide a sure vote in support of Mr. Davis' positions. Completing this scenario included maintaining the support of Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Steve Davis. The only mountain left to climb was to get the support of one of the Republican members of Council. This mountain turned into a speed bump as Mr. Jack Schurlknight readily set aside his devotion to Republican principles and literally galloped to the minority side.

Historically, every two years, the first January meeting of Council is reserved for reorganization of the body. During this meeting, a new Vice-Chairman is elected and the new Council Rules adopted. There was a great deal of confusion about the reorganization meeting this year. The traditional scheduling of the meeting was changed by Mr. Davis after it was learned that one of his supporters could not attend. After all, with all the finagling that had gone into this plan, one could not stand by and watch it go up in smoke simply due to a scheduling error.

Consequently, a new date was set for the meeting; Mr. Dan Davis' supporters (Mr. Pinckney, Mr. Call, Mr. Steve Davis, and Mr. Schurlknight )did their jobs; and, for the first time in memory, a member of the minority party ( a Democrat )was elected Vice-Chairman. Mr. Pinckney was elated and Mr. Shurlknight was reviled. It appeared Mr. Davis had achieved his goal. The vote on Council was split 4/4. The Chairman, Mr. Davis, was called upon to break the tie. As a result, the final decision of Council fell to Mr. Dan Davis. Wasn't that convenient?

Fast forward to the meeting of March 16. The issues of the vehicle policy and the Council Rules had been repeatedly postponed since January. Many on Council had lost patience and decided these issues had to be addressed. During discussion of the vehicle policy, Mr. Dan Davis indicated that he may be able to eliminate 35 vehicles from the total. Mr. Shurlknight insisted that the cars for the Sheriff's office and those for elected officials should not be touched. Mr. Pinckney agreed. Mr. Fish, Mrs. Davis, and Mr. Callanan propsed that the new policy should be county wide and the only exemptions should be for emergency and law enforcement vehicles. Just when it appeared that Council would face another 4/4 tie, Mr. Steve Davis experienced an epiphany when he learned that BC taxpayers are paying for the gas used by county employees who are provided with the use of a take home vehicle. This was the deal breaker. The non-emergency take home vehicle proponants seem to have lost a supporter. Three cheers for Steve Davis and the BC taxpayers.

During the discussion of Council Rules, two issues appeared to be of great importance to Mr. Pinckney. Mr. Pinckney wanted a provision included in the Rules that would assure the position of Vice-Chairman would be guaranteed to the most senior member of Council. After it was pointed out by other Council members that there would be several flaws in the application of such a policy, the provision was rejected.

The second issue that seemed important to Mr. Pinckney was the Rule concerning the office of Clerk of Council. GE&P has neglected to obtain a copy of the exact verbage of this Rule but it is our understanding that the existing Rule states that the Clerk of Council serves at the pleasure of the Vice-Chairman of Council. Several members of Council wanted to change this Rule to require a 2/3 vote to remove the Clerk of Council. Mr. Pinckney argued vigorously against any such change. Mr. Steve Davis, once again, provided the voice of reason. He pointed out that a 2/3 vote is required if Council wishes to fire any other county employee so why should the position of Clerk of Council be handled any differently? Then, Mr. Steve Davis went on to make some very positive and flattering remarks about the present Clerk of Council. This seemed to put the issue to rest. GE&P would be very curious to know why Mr. Pinckney was so adamant about keeping this existing Rule.

Although these decisions sound very positive and beneficial to the taxpayers of BC, don't count your chickens quite yet. None of this is etched in stone until the official votes are taken at the next regular Council meeting. GE&P could be wrong but could it be possible that Mr. Steve Davis might like to hear a little support on these issues?