Democrats play politics with road funding

Published in the Pawleys Island Coastal Observer- August 13, 2009

By Tom Swatzel

It all started several years ago when the Georgetown County Transportation Committee refused to pave a parking lot.

Democrats Rep. Vida Miller and Senator Yancey McGill appeared before the CTC to ask the committee to approve using road improvement funds to pave a parking lot at a proposed library in McGill’s district.

Shortly after the CTC rightfully denied the parking lot funding, Miller and McGill collaborated on legislation that removed county council’s power to appoint CTC members and gave those powers instead to the Georgetown County legislative delegation which now consists of Democrats Miller, McGill, and Rep. Carl Anderson, and lone Republican Senator Ray Cleary.

Since being captured by the Democrat Party-controlled legislative delegation, the CTC, which should be spending gas tax money objectively on a thoughtful plan to improve county roads, has instead become a puppet for the Democrats' efforts to fund back-room road deals.

In 2007, after being strong-armed by the delegation, the CTC agreed to spend almost $800,000 in taxpayer money as a “pilot project” to pave five very sparsely populated roads in McGill’s district in western Georgetown County.

Incredibly these five roads jumped ahead of all 28 of the Waccamaw Neck roads listed at the time on the CTC paving priority lists. Two of the roads did not appear on any of the CTC priority lists and one of the roads, the 1.5 mile long Center Road, had no houses on it at all.

When a member of the CTC, Ricky Horne, balked at approving the paving and was vocal in his opposition, he was removed by Miller, McGill, and Anderson. They replaced Horne with Betty Moseley, who actually lived on one of the roads involved in the questionable funding.

Linwood Altman, a respected former Democrat state legislator from Pawleys Island, who strongly opposed the paving plan, resigned from the CTC rather than participate as a rubber stamp.

Recently McGill issued a letter to the CTC “on behalf” of the legislative delegation that effectively commanded that the CTC approve spending $85,000 to partially pay for a Highway 17 median cut in Murrells Inlet that would benefit a local bank.

Never mind that McGill’s letter violates state open meetings law because the legislative delegation never held a required public meeting to vote on issuing the letter to the CTC.

In June, the CTC approved McGill’s directive and funded the median cut despite that fact that the cut is contrary to the county transportation plan and violates both county and state road access standards.

Only Republican Cleary has publicly opposed the median cut.

A review of McGill’s 2008 campaign finance reports reveals that he got several thousand dollars in campaign contributions from members of the bank’s board of directors. The contributions are curious because none of the board members live in McGill’s district, nor does the bank have a branch there.

The CTC has been asked to reconsider their vote on the median cut funding, in part because the cut is not in compliance with their transportation plan. When the issue of the plan was brought to the CTC’s attention, effectively they said “what plan?” acknowledging that they had never seen the plan.

It’s no wonder the CTC is devoid of a transportation plan. As long as the Democrats on the legislative delegation control the appointments and treat appointees as puppets, they will never be able to think for themselves and deal with the important transportation issues facing Georgetown County objectively.

County taxpayers would be much better served if the CTC appointment powers were returned to county council, ending the reign of the Democrats and their costly back-room deals.

The writer is chairman of the Georgetown County Republican Party

County GOP News

August 4, 2009

GOP candidates for City of Georgetown offices debut campaign websites this week

Marty Tennant, candidate for mayor, and Paige Sawyer, incumbent candidate for city council, debuted their campaign websites this week.

Tennant's site is

Sawyer's site is

Tennant faces liberal Democrat Jack Scoville, a long time Democrat Party activist, and petition candidate Bob Sizemore for mayor.

In addition to Sawyer, James Moody and Bruce Yablin are the other Republicans running for the three open city council seats. They are opposed by Democrats Brendon Barber, Jeanette Ard, and Dedric Bonds.

The election is on November 3rd.

The GOP Patriot's Club will conduct a "Phonathon" this Saturday, August 8th to expand the Georgetown GOP's membership and data base. Volunteers are needed to man the phones. Contact club president Vikky Ferris at (843) 546-5590 for more information.

The Waccamaw Neck Republican Club will hold a special meeting on Friday, August 21st at Applewood's Restaurant in Litchfield.

Congressman Henry Brown will be the featured speaker. Mark your calendar and join our Congressman for a "Cup of Coffee". The meeting will start at 10 am.

Congressman Brown will provide an update on legislation in Washington and more importantly he wants to hear constituent concerns.

The public is invited. Contact club president Jim Jerow at (843) 237-9456 for more information.

Visit the events calendar at for a full listing of upcoming GOP events.