This week’s cover story took a look at three challenges facing Folly Beach: 1. the eroding shoreline, 2. the booze ban, and 3. dysfunction in city government. The story ruffled a few feathers on the island, including those of Folly Beach City Council members Dale Stuckey, Pennell Clamp, and Tom Scruggs. Here’s a letter the City Paper received from the council members this morning:
We are members of City Council on Folly Beach. The June 12th story by Paul Bowers, “Eroding Edge of America,” unfairly characterizes Mayor Tim Goodwin as a poor leader and suggests that City government is “dysfunctional.” Neither could be farther from the truth.
Mayor Goodwin is a polite, civil, courteous man. We have never heard him call another person a derogatory name. He is honest and fair-minded.
Since he became Mayor, City Council meetings begin on time and are well-run by the Mayor (as you may remember, the City had to hire a facilitator to help conduct City Council meetings under the prior mayor).
City Council members, including the Mayor, have encountered some very difficult and stressful issues in recent years (remember the alcohol ban debates?). Council members frequently disagree with each other, but we do not remember any time during Mayor Goodwin’s administration that any member of Council has been rude to another member of Council or to a member of the public, except for a particular Councilmember’s occasional inappropriate comments (the most recent of which the Mayor correctly labeled as “politicking” and your article pointed out was “well-rehearsed” as he begins to campaign for the Mayor’s office once again).
Meanwhile, City government is functioning very well. City employees show up for work and do very good jobs for the most part. Few people are aware of how much City employees care about the quality of life on Folly Beach.
As you acknowledged, this “small sandstorm of discontent on the island” consists of Mayor Goodwin’s opponents in the last election and their supporters. And despite their attempts “to smoke out malfeasance in city government,” the article does not report a single allegation of any specific malfeasance in city government. We submit that the reason for this is that there is none.
Folly Beach is not dysfunctional. We are simply trying to do what is best for the residents, businesses, and visitors to Folly Beach. It is not an easy job, and your article has made it even harder.
Do you live on Folly Beach and pay attention to city government? What do you think?