Death of a Professional ·
From 1986 through 1994, the late Carroll Campbell ushered in the Republican Party as the dominant political party in South Carolina from the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia. A cool, some might say cold, businessman, he struck a deep chord with conservative, pro-business, Christian South Carolinians. Last week, after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s, former Gov. Campbell died of a heart attack at the age of 65. College of Charleston political science guru Bill Moore says the difference between Campbell’s reign and Mark Sanford’s current administration is like the difference between professionals and amateurs. While both enjoyed high ratings amongst the populace, Campbell was able to swing the state to the Republican Party, capitalizing on the Lost Trust scandal to also restructure state government to benefit the governor at the expense of then-Democratic legislature. In contrast, Sanford has been largely unable to expand the governor’s grip on state decisions and appointments while having a heavily Republican legislative branch at his side. Regardless, South Carolina lost one of its brightest stars before his time. —BD
Gone is the Grace that was treasured long ago. As the bits and pieces of her span are being dismantled, she is still putting up a good fight for the demolition crews. The 24-hour time limit established by the Coast Guard and the Port of Charleston to have a completely cleared channel was again not met. Tuesday’s blast was the second attempt by the joint venture Jay Cashman Inc. and Testa Corp. to prove they can clean up after themselves. But instead of taking weeks, as it did when a chunk of the bridge was detonated two months ago, this time the remains were scooped up in just under 36 hours. Speaking for the state’s DOT, project engineer Charles Dwyer expressed a mutual concern between his department and the contractor for the role the shipping channel plays in Charleston’s economy, adding that neither would stand for any future complications. Dwyer added that the DOT and the contractor will work together to ensure a successful demolition of the other two spans. It might require more divers and better planning, or a different method entirely, to meet the government’s required time limit. As of now they don’t exactly know when the kinks will be unkinked or when the next span will be removed, but all demolition procedures aren’t set in stone. —Neal Sakash
Slush Fund Averted? So Far, So Good ·
Last year, when the citizens of Charleston County voted for the half-cent sales tax, there were no provisions in the bill for how the money would be spent. This caused much consternation within some quarters, as a tax that could generate as much as $1.3 million over 25 years left unprotected in the hands of politicians could prove to be too much of a temptation. So, one of the watchdogs built into the system was the Charleston County Greenspace Committee, made up of 14 appointed locals and charged with making sure a comprehensive greenspace policy is created and properly funded. The committee, chaired by Louise Maybank, met last week, and according to Megan Terebus, it’s so far, so good. Why care what Terebus says? As a land use associate over at the Coastal Conservation League, Terebus answers to one of the half-cent tax’s harshest and most public critics, CCL executive director Dana Beach. Terebus praises Maybank’s work so far — slowing down the committee and getting everyone to focus on the issues rather than the money. Maybank credits the consultant brought in by the committee to keep the process on track. Maybank says the big issue that will dominate the committee in the future will be how to split up the $160 million it’s been asked to divide between urban and rural projects. But, again, so far the process is working. OK, we’re looking away … —Bill Davis
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