Kaye Smith, “cutter.” That’s the label a few of my fellow residents have bestowed upon me. “Less than transparent” is another descriptor recently used by Billy Want in an opinion piece in the Post and Courier. Rarely am I called “duly elected councilwoman”, that one seems to be a hard pill for a few people to swallow, let alone admit. When I ran for council in 2019 I made it clear in a statement to the Island Eye that we needed to execute a land management plan. While I did not expect it to come in the form of mediation, it did and it is a true compromise.
It is interesting to note that the small anti settlement group like to pretend and promote that it was the four town council members who voted to settle, that have handled this case for the last 11 years. Simply not so – we inherited it. The town as a whole was represented and it was the advice of our lawyers, who looked at the risk, assessed our chances of success and recommended the current settlement. Having four council members heed the advice, stop the money hemorrhage, and eliminate the risk seems like a prudent decision and one I am proud to have been a part. Those opposed think this was a council vote on an ordinance not the settlement of a lawsuit.
For the past 20 years there has been no management plan and that can be directly attributed to weak leadership. In the League of Women’s Voters Candidate forum, Pat O’Neil called into question the motivation and ethics of front beach council members voting on the accreted land settlement and not recusing themselves. I take offense at Pat’s implication that myself and council persons Hammond, Church, and Clark were questioned on our integrity and morality when voting on the accreted land. The State Ethics Commission had no problem with us voting. This is clearly more political games and divisiveness at play, compliments of Mr. O’Neil, and not very becoming of a leader.
As for Mr. Want, the world is full of armchair lawyers who can promise better results knowing that they will never have to prove it. The Town is represented by very experienced and very capable lawyers. These are the same lawyers the anti-settlement group were happy to pay when they achieved the results in the lower courts they wanted…but when the state Supreme Court weighed in, and not favorably to their position, they decided to disregard sound legal judgment because it did not fit with the result they desired. Mr. Want is entitled to his opinion whether it is accurate or not.
None of the decisions made have come easily. They were painstakingly made and like everyone else, I’m tired of all the divisiveness. I agree with Mr. Clark, “let’s move forward together”.