LETTERS: Thank You, for the assistance
It seems that sometimes kind and thoughtful is pretty rare in our world today, but I feel so fortunate so have such kind and thoughtful neighbors.
For instance Lee Templeton gets my newspaper and puts it on my front porch everyday. He also returns my garbage container to my garage after garbage pick-up, and is always available if I send him and Ellen an SOS.
Just the other day I experienced an unexpected act of kindness that I would like to share.
I was eating breakfast about 7:30 am and I heard a chainsaw!
I thought, “that sounds like it is in my yard.” I looked out the front door and saw that a large oak tree limb had fallen halfway across my front yard during a storm the night before!
There was my next door neighbor, Jerre Threatt, with his Kabota and all his equipment in his hard hat sawing up that big limb. He worked for over two hours including hauling it to the street for city pick-up.
When he finished, you would never know that a huge limb had ever been in my yard. How that was a real blessing! I certainly tried to show him my gratitude in a tangible way, but it didn't seem enough.
I believe that kindness is contagious, so I share this story, hoping I will pass on a kindness to someone and to inspire you readers to do the same in this sometime not so kind world.
With a grateful heart,
Thanks to the Chronicle for getting the story out objectively concerning the move to a separate Police and Fire department in the City of Clinton. While I am personally alarmed at the seeming rapidity of the move, especially under the cover of summer when so many folks are out of town, I fully understand the sentiment that the combined Public Safety Department was not working.
I could name several officers who have served the City of Clinton with great distinction and honor, but the fact remains that in so many ways, the old Public Safety Department was a huge disaster. If you doubt this statement, just go ahead and search the crime statistics for the City of Clinton as compared to averages for the state and nation as a whole. By any area of offense, be it property crime or serious violent crime, Clinton is frightening! For example, in 2016, Clinton exceeded the national violent crime rate by 193.58%! For property crimes in the same year, Clinton exceeded the property crime rates of the nation by 66.25%! (Source: “FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement” pub. 2018)
To illustrate, here are a few personal experiences.
Within the span of one year we experienced not one, but two, attempted break-ins at our home adjacent to the college. On one occasion I was home alone, and on another occasion my wife was home alone. In both cases, we were able to provide detailed information about the suspects. In the case of the incident I experienced, a group of suspects were picked up by patrolling officers and positively identified by me. While the officers on the scene did a great job and have my full respect, the investigating detective following up on the investigation dropped the case and refused to even speak or meet with me, despite daily attempts to contact him by phone and in person. Likewise, in the case involving my wife, she gave a detailed description of the event and suspects. Yet, the report stated that the suspects were unidentified.
Prior to that, in 2012, I was struck by a motor vehicle driven by a PC student. The officer on the scene was a recent transfer from fire capacity of public safety to a law enforcement capacity. His written report was purely incompetent, containing numerous errors. The “corrected” report contained slightly less errors, but still did not even contain correct compass markings.
Hopefully, moving forward, we may be served by a Police and Fire Department worthy of the community and the abilities of our best public servants.
Dr. James Buckland
Professor of Guitar Studies
Department of Music, Presbyterian College
I was compelled to write this letter after reading the front-page coverage of City Council’s decision to eliminate the Clinton Department of Public Safety in the Chronicle’s August 15 edition. My thoughts are that it is never too late to right a wrong.
Although I do not live within the city limits, I was affected on a personal level with the decision to merge the fire and police into one entity. Therefore, my thoughts go back to 2005 as a crowded city council chamber room filled with a large gathering of Clinton folk as we voiced our thoughts and objections for making the fire and police departments into one Public Safety Department. Mr. Bennett, our then City Manager, had things to go his way that evening and now we find ourselves trying to right a wrong. There’s no shame in that.
I feel strongly that God calls our brave men and women serving as police officers and firefighters to those careers because their Creator has instilled and equipped them to such work. Those called to these careers do their best daily with bravery and honor. Police officers want to serve and protect in the manner in which they were called and trained. Firefighters have a passion to serve and protect in a completely different way. Both are passionate for what they do. Both the police officer and the firefighter are proud of their calling. What would we do without them?
Clinton City Manager, Mr. Bill Ed Cannon, may have lost his temper on August 9, but he must be commended for doing his homework and educating our City Council of the statistics he found citing the effectiveness of public safety departments. I don’t know Mr. Cannon and we will probably never meet, but he deserves our thanks for bringing this matter to the forefront.
Separating the police and fire departments should bring about happier employees and more efficiency for our city. Thirteen years is a long time. A poor decision was made in 2005. A better choice was made in 2018. It is never too late to right a wrong.
I am grateful to the many business owners, merchants, organizations, and individuals who didn’t feel it was robbery, to support the Narvella Rose Little Memorial Scholarship of Hebron Baptist Church.
We had our Scholarship Banquet on Saturday night where we gave two $1000 scholarships and many door prizes.
Thanks to Sadler-Hughes Apothecary, Azah Shrine Temple #140, Piedmont Consistory #169, Hoyt Hanvey Jeweler, Clinton YMCA, United Community Bank (Clinton), Nationwide Insurance Company (Rena Rowland Agency), Quality Plus Cleaners, TD Bank (Clinton), Ingles (Clinton), Bi-lo (Clinton), True Value Hardware, Gate Convenience Store, Founders Federal Credit Union (Clinton), TNB Financial Service, Child’s Funeral Home, Brian and Melissa McDowell, Pierce and Christine Crank, Print-A-Matic, The Clinton Chronicle, the Hebron Baptist Church Family, and all of the participants on the program, and the First Presbyterian Church for allowing us to use their facilities.
Costell Little Jr.
I want to thank the council members who voted to split Public Safety. I live in an area that is full of crime and drugs. The police are afraid to come into our neighborhood. Most of the people in our ward didn’t even know who our council representative is.
After a call to the city, I found out that it is Shirley Jenkins. She has never come into our neighborhood to meet the people that she represents. She and Danny Cook, who also represents an area that has a lot of crime, voted agains the spilt to have a true fire and police department. They both said they voted against the split because they didn’t have enough information. They sat in the same meetings the rest of council sat in, and the rest of council said they had all the info they needed to make a decision. I don’t see how anybody could have voted against a move to make Clinton a safer place to live. This should have been done years ago.
Shirley and Danny are the only two council members that were on council when the city voted to destroy our police and fire departments, and have Public Safety.
The city manage said that this was a safety issue. I can tell you that I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood. Danny Cook lives in a neighborhood where crime is low and has a firehouse near his home. People in my area are afraid at night. We hope that we will see more police in our neighborhood and if we have a house fire that we will have a better trained fire department to out the fire out quickly.
Thank you, Mayor McLean, Council Members Jimmy Young, Gary Kuykendall, Robbie Neal and Ronnie Roth for having the courage to do the right thing and vote to increase our safety. We will all sleep better at night now.
Emma J. Harrison
I want to thank Mayor McLean, Council Members Robbie Neal, Ronnie Roth, Jimmy Young and Gary Kuykendall for voting to split Public Safety into a real fire department and police department. Shame on Danny Cook and Shirley Jenkins for voting no. I live in an area with a lot of crime and don’t feel safe.
The police don’t come in our neighborhood near enough. I would like to see them patrol here more often. With only a few officer on duty at night., they are too spread out.
Most people in our area don’t even know that Danny Cook is our representative. He has never come into our neighborhood to see how he can help us. How can you represent an area when you don’t care about those people? Why does our representative live on the other side of the tracks? We need someone to represent us that knows th problems in our area of town. Danny and Shirley Jenkins were the only two council members that voted against splitting the Public Safety department so that we could have better protection. This vote was to increase safety. I don’t know how anybody could vote against that!
Mr. Cook lives in a safe neighborhood and doesn’t seem to be worried about the safety of the poor people whose neighborhoods are full of drugs and crime, We need better protection on the other side of the tracks.
Thanks again to the mayor and five council members who voted yes for better safety.
I want to thank the Clinton Chronicle for allowing me to report on the second debate between Mike Pitts and I on the subject of his bill which passed in the SC House to consolidate District 55 and 56 into a single consolidated district for the entire county.
This debate, patterned after the Lincoln/Douglas debates, using a single topic, with the two speakers taking opposing sides and giving each extended time to make their case. Though in no way am I comparing their topic with ours in importance or their Knowledge and skill as debaters to Mike or me; however, their example has proven over time to be an excellent way of helping others to understand important issues. That was our task, and I will let others decide how well we did.
From my perspective, there were four major issues dealt with. The first was what effect would consolidation have on our liberty, particularly our vote on school district issues, would it be diminished or weakened.
I presented a bar graph which showed it would be weakened significantly in district 55 and dramatically in district 56, Mike later acknowledged that was true.
The second issue was would there be significant savings of taxpayer money by consolidation. I presented language from Mike's bill which showed the only mandated saving was that single district administrative costs must be “less” than combined money by current two districts spending. One penny saved is is all this bill requires. This was not refuted in any way.
The third issue was the content of the bill itself which Mike agreed was poorly written. The fourth issue was how consolidation would affect citizens representation by school board members since the county wide the number of school board members would be cut in half, from current 14 to 7.
Other points were made by each of us and you can see the entire debate by going to the www,laurensteaparty.org and click on media blog and scroll down to School District consolidation debate 2. I do want to thank Mike for his efforts to be at the debate in light of the fact that his wife's brother passed away the day before in Virginia. Our prayers are with this family.
We are presently working on the location in the Clinton area and the date, probably in the second half of September for the third debate and will announce the details as soon as completed.