Letters to the Editor

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To the Editor:

This is about leadership vs. waiting until it is safe. There are innumerable examples of the latter and we should not be applauding "leaders" that take action only when there is little risk to them in their position or in general. Here are a few.

It is not leadership when Nikki Haley has the Confederate flag removed only after a horrendous event and extreme political pressure is evident. You get credit only if you do the right thing because you know it is right, regardless of the political winds. This should have been done years before.

It is not leadership when Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoes the religious liberty legislation only after business leaders publicly pressured him because it would impact business in the state. He should have vetoed it based on its discrimination against LBGTQ citizens, regardless of his party's bias.

It is not leadership when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell now says he was wrong to criticize Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and beyond because of the current pressure on him. He should have stated this in 2016 when it was the right thing to do.

And now, it is not leadership to say we will conduct a survey of residents to see if they agree with changing the name of Hilton Head Plantation (or other plantations) rather than leading the discussion in full support for changing it. Leadership is taking action if you can or speaking up (using the influence of job title) to promote doing the right thing, whether it is popular or not.

Richard Hammes

Hilton Head Island

To the Editor:

Where are we headed?

I have been studying the Rt. 278 Corridor project for two years. It's numerous issues are summarized in "Hijacking the Corridor," found at nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=153195574 or facebook.com/steven.baer.18. Almost 2,600 people have signed a petition at chng.it/gxXykZBv expressing their concern.

SCDOT is planning for 39% vehicle growth over the Hilton Head bridges from 2018 to 2045. Do those numbers represent day-trippers, or a massive increase in visitors and the hospitality workers to support them?

How much do we want? What percentage should be tourism vs. residential? How dependent on the tourism industry do we want to be? How do we make fair decisions?

The 2018 road tax referendum was heavily lobbied by realtors, builders, the Chamber of Commerce, and related shadow groups. They even controlled the Town's Corridor Committee. In these debates, residents were outgunned by well-organized and financed groups.

How do we get what's best?

Step 1 is to demand an independent engineering review of the corridor project before SCDOT freezes the problem-filled design this fall, and our councils rubber stamp it.

Step 2 requires residents to take better control of our growth planning, as opposed to the small number of vested interests who controlled the corridor project.

Beware of committees they fill with cronies to maintain control. That's what sank the Town's Corridor review.

Steven M. Baer

Hilton Head Island

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