Boy, some politicians are thin-skinned. If a politician does not want to be held to a high standard, he or she shouldn’t run for office. Mayor Pro-Tem Curtes Roberts and Councilman Levern Clancey Jr. got their feathers all ruffled because I took them to task for walking out of a city council meeting rather than doing their duty. Oh well, I guess they wrote their letters to the editor to make a good impression with the voters in case they decide to run for office again in November.
It’s nice to know that they are both doing well and decided to write to the Coastal Courier, since we never hear from them about the good work they are doing for the city of Midway. Instead, they addressed my complaint that they disregarded their duty. Everyone who knows me knows that before I write about an incident, I make sure I’ve either witnessed that incident or I can verify all of the facts.
Both councilmen referred to the November 2012 minutes, which they are trying to avoid having read. I was at the November meeting, and I know why they don’t want those minutes read, but that’s another juicy story.
Councilman Clancey mentioned that the council received the previous month’s minutes on Friday, which allows them to read the minutes over the weekend — as though the council members don’t have lives to worry about. I would like to know why the city clerk takes an entire month — and waits until the last minute — to present the minutes to the council. But the issue is not the previous month’s minutes; the concern is the November 2012 minutes.
It might seem a little early to discuss this November’s elections in Midway, but the next elected council will face some tough issues. The city is going to need a mayor and people on the council who are business savvy. This is the time to start reviewing the actions of the existing mayor and council members and to decide who should be on the council for the next four years.
To me, the most important issue will be water. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will prohibit new groundwater withdrawals in the coastal Georgia counties of Chatham, Bryan, Liberty and a portion of Effingham County. If Midway is to become a dynamic city with new businesses and homes, this issue must be in the forefront for council consideration.
There are no new housing developments in Midway, and with business expansions — such as Firth Rixson, which will be adding 100 new employees — where are these people going to live? We need hotels and restaurants at the I-95 exchange and these types of businesses need a lot of water.
We have an efficient police department with a full-time staff. The city now needs to address staffing matters at the fire department. We don’t want to give our fire services over to Liberty County, but we do need to start considering full-time firefighters.
My understanding is that the city can have a comprehensive city hall for about what the city is paying to rent a space in city mall. A new building would encompass city offices, police, fire and a court.
Some of the other issues that I would like to see addressed by the next city council are the city’s growth plan, business retention, more street lights, paving dirt roads, a senior center, tourist-trade development, Butler Street improvements and updating the city’s infrastructure.
Calderone is a conservative who lives in Midway. He is a professional salesperson and has written articles for trade publications in various fields for 30 years.