As published in the Island Eye News on November 18, 2016
Dear Island Neighbors,
I hope you are enjoying the welcome, if belated, arrival of Fall weather! It’s a great time of year to appreciate all the gifts of our Island.
I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and encourage everyone to spend a few moments to actually give thanks, reflecting on our great good fortune in living in this place, in this state, in this nation. Writing this shortly after the Presidential election, it is easy to focus on the inordinately negative aspects of that exceedingly protracted campaign. But I am reminded of the quote attributed to Winston Churchill that “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.
We are fortunate to live in a free nation, and should remember from the recent Veterans Day that freedom is not free…many have paid a price so that we may enjoy it.
NEW TOWN DIGS
We finally made it into our new Town Hall. We wanted a facility that was worthy of our residents and our employees, and I think we got it!
The parking lot behind the building is now under construction and with luck will be completed by late December. The “temporary”(i.e., 6 years) trailers were hauled off without anyone shedding a tear. We are still tweaking a few inevitable bugs in the Town Hall that are to be expected in any modern civic building with complex systems, but the place is quickly starting to feel like home.
If you have not been there yet, please find an excuse to pop in. The public service area is wonderful in the morning light. You might ask if Town Administrator Andy Benke or one of our other great employees is available to give you a brief tour. And shortly we will announce dates for an Open House and for an official Ribbon Cutting.
ONE FORM OF PLASTIC WE WELCOME…FINALLY!
In 1950, the Diners Club card became the first national general-use credit card, the forerunner of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and all the rest. Recognizing that this may be more than a passing fad, we are now able to accept credit cards for payments to the Town at Town Hall or online (http://bit.ly/SI_ONLINE_PYMTS).
We can accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. This should make it more convenient to pay water and sewer bills, business license fees, dog licenses, fees for applications for building permits and related reviews, court fines and fees (not you, of course!), etc.
If you pay by credit card, there is a $1.00 flat fee per transaction (in-person or online), which goes to SC.Gov (the state government portal we use), and a charge of 1.6% of the gross (which goes to the clearinghouse that handles the credit card transactions). None of those charges goes to the Town, and we have chosen NOT to add any additional convenience fee for the Town.
While you can even purchase dog licenses online,please bear in mind you will still need to allow time for returning the application form to us via the Postal Service, fax or emailed scan, and for us to mail back the collar/tag if so desired.Please do not try to upload the dog.
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE…
Our annual holiday Fire Station Lighting Ceremony! Fire Chief Anthony Stith is proud to announce that this much-awaited event will take place on Friday, December 2, 2016, starting at 5:00PM in front of the fire station.There will be seasonal music by the Wando High School Chorus beginning around 5:30PM. Come on out!
BATTERY GADSDEN CULTURAL CENTER’S NEXT GREAT EVENT
The Battery Gadsden Cultural Center continues its string of very interesting and locally connected presentations on Thursday, December 15, 6:00 PM, at Battery Gadsden, 1917 I’on Ave. Lowcountry author Mary Alice Monroe will talk about her most recent book, A Lowcountry Christmas, and sign books. This is the fifth book in her nationally bestselling Lowcountry Summer series. Her novel, TheBeach House ,is currently being made into a film for Hallmark. Mary Alice is well known to Island residents as an author and a conservationist, serving on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium and The Leatherback Trust. Take advantage of a great chance to meet this neighbor who has been so instrumental in helping readers across the country appreciate our Lowcountry.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and see you around the Island!
(843) 670 9266