In Carl Smith’s latest letter to the editor he attempts to escape responsibility for his mismanagement of the rebuilding of our local public school. Carl has flip-flopped from being a supporter to trying to kill the school and has ignored the “will of the people” who have approved over and over the plans for the new school. For example, his letter stated that the Charleston County School Board never voted on their 500 student building specification for SIES. The fact is they DID vote and more than once as detailed below.
➢ In their November 26, 2009 meeting the Board of Trustees voted to approve the 500-student replacement school for SIES.
➢ In their September 13, 2011 meeting the Board of Trustees approved a motion to affirm this previous decision of the Board and continue with rebuilding the school for 500 students.
➢ In addition since 2009, when Carl met with the superintendent, through 2011 when Carl signed several resolutions supporting the rebuilding of SIES with an enrollment of up to 500 enrollment, he has been aware of and supportive of a 500-student elementary school.
This factual information is part of the public record and I can assure you that the September 13, 2011 meeting was especially well attended by many Sullivan’s Island residents including the current mayor. Frankly, does it really matter whether 500 students is a policy, a spec or a strategy? It is the approved cost effective approach by a Board that is responsible for over $1 billion in capital projects.
More importantly, this is not an election about individuals, or the school issue, but rather it makes a statement about our community. The tragedy is that a handful of residents continue to portray “island values” as elitist and frankly un-welcoming. That is not the island I love and call home. The vast majority of our residents are excited to provide the 469 kids already registered for the 2013-2014 school year with the opportunity to be educated in a supportive, enriching and welcoming school environment.
It has to be asked – Will having 31 more children ages 4-11 disrupt our way of life? No, of course it won’t. We have churches on the island with many more “off-island “ members and they are welcome just as these precious and impressionable children are welcome.
I have committed to run a civil, respectful campaign. Clarifying inaccuracies are part of being a trustworthy leader and leaders do not repeat inaccuracies as if they are the truth. He has been divisive constantly ignoring what all the other members of Council have consistently approved.
Statements that are not borne out by the facts and negatively effect the image of our wonderful community must be brought to the attention of the public. It is time to stop and heal our community and to make sure the image of our family friendly seaside community is not tarnished any more.
Mayor Pro Tem