EDITORIAL - Bipartisanship
Laurens County Council could pave the way for the reopening of the federal government.
Except for the fact that federal workers aren’t getting paid (but will receive back-pay), the shuttering of the federal government is not a totally bad thing. We can collect rainwater without penalty, for a short time.
However, the partisanship exhibited in this shutdown is discouraging to many Americans. By contrast, four Republicans and one Democrat voted for Dr. David Pitts, a registered Democrat, to be the chairman of the Laurens County Council. Two registered Democrats abstained - Pitts, because he would not vote for himself, and Diane Anderson.
Washington, D.C., could learn a lesson - the best qualified person in the eyes of colleagues holds the position. There is discussion, even debate, then consensus building. Laurens County needs strong leadership - industries have come calling, some have stayed, some have not found what they are looking for. We need professional planning to make ourselves as attractive as possible, without becoming a cookie-cutter community. ALL AREAS of our county need attention. Clinton needs a library, and that is a county function. The Laurens County Future Scholars program needs continued support. We need to build-out the county fire’s system of sub-stations, and obtain the best possible ISO rating we can for our county homeowners. And just the other day, Greenville County said it will spend more than $1 million to attract, hire and retain EMS workers - guess where they’re going to look first.
David Pitts is up to these challenge, and more. He keeps one of the state’s most impoverished school districts running on a day-to-day basis and is, by the way, an accomplished musician. With a bi-partisan coalition - one in which no members loses his or her own personality - he can move the county forward. County Administrator Jon Caime already has laid out the future, Vision 2040.
Not everyone will agree on every issue. And sometimes, people will dig in their heels. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina:
“Until the President releases his hostages - federal workers and the American people - there will be no negotiation. End the shutdown now, and we can consider how a compromise giving lasting protections for Dreamers and TPS recipients may lead to a deal on border security. Democrats have voted nine times to reopen the government and these bills are awaiting action by Senate Leader McConnell. Enact one of these measures, which have previously received bipartisan (that word, again), open the government immediately. Then we can discuss a solution that provides Dreamers and TPS recipients long-term protections and supports border security through improved infrastructure and manpower at ports of entry and smart technology like drones, radar and sensors.”
Typical of The Beltway. Everybody wants it their way, and the window for consensus grows ever smaller.
Personally, we don’t see why County Council elections should be partisan anyway. Just like city councils and school boards, these representatives should run without party - the person with the most votes should win. The big counties would never go for it, however, so the rest of us are left striving for just one thing - Bi-partisanship, Laurens County style.
We are going to miss you
We would be remiss if we did not, in this space, wish Maureen Tiller lots of luck in her new role. Mrs. Tiller will become principal of the new Fountain Inn High School.
Maybe, we’ll see her again, as her school’s teams enter the fields of competition. She is one of the hirers for Clinton new football coach; looks like she could have that role again in Fountain Inn, Greenville County, our neighbor to the northwest.
Mrs. Tiller has been a part of our family for 20 years - 15 more and she could retire. It’s too early to think about it, but, coming up will be her final CHS Graduation. She will leave her final gift for her graduates under their chairs. She will tell them for a final time to have a great day.
Wow, too much to think about right now. Let us just say: Thank You, Maureen, for being a great friend to us all.