Lexington County Council Road maintenance “Shenanigans“

Yes, Lexington County Council has decided after 46 years to not renew an agreement to maintain Roads in a city that has worked well, unless …. blah blah blah.  Hidden in some county council members’ statements is the real reason for their actions but not out there where we all can understand because it’s a “fast one“ they are trying to pull. By the way, has the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bible, been rewritten in the last 46 years? No.

So what’s wrong with the 1978 agreement, nothing really. But according to Lexington County Council statements in February 28, 2024, WLTX Rachel Ripp’s article, Lexington County  “ it can’t keep up with the cost of paying for this”. So is this a tax issue, that the county council, whom some will be up for re-election this year, doesn’t want to deal with ? Raising taxes before an election brings out opponents, and those anti-growth opponents have earned some power and lots of support. So how do you please a loud, vocal constituency and resolve this issue of cost escalating to maintain roads, without an accompanying escalation in revenue to pay for it? Especially when that constituency did not vote to approve the past Penny tax or the capital project sales tax. You blame it on someone else and shift the blame and the cost to others. Sounds brilliant, until the others say no. Then the other side of the story the county council members left out, comes out.

Being my past as a municipal elected official and knowing more of the story that some county council members are not being truthful about, I decided I would speak to some of those comments being made and finish their statement.

Will be addressing at least four articles and or posts I have read including the WLTX article, Lexington Chronicle article and from a couple of social media sites. Will be long and maybe four separate articles here at any LINC publications that they run it in and will put more data about housing permits in Lexington County versus municipality, county millage rate for the years since 1978 and escalating cost of repaving road since the last millage rate increases And other factors that show their explanations and statements don’t add up on a website sincetruthmatters.com. along with my articles.

But for now, let’s go back to the WLTX article comments made by Lexington County council members. It was stated in that article “unincorporated areas of Lexington County didn’t want to continue to be annexed into municipalities“. That may be true for a majority of residents and some areas, but I also know many residents who do want to be annexed into municipalities and get the added services that the municipalities offer. Not all municipalities are the same, offer the same services, or can even annex in the first place without permission of the property owner. Another reason the old agreement worked and the new one doesn’t is that it penalizes some municipalities for what some county council members misbelieve is an issue with other municipalities. More about this issue and Swansea in another article. “She explains when a property becomes annexed, the new agreement is a tool to help preserve the Lexington County ordinances“. Not sure what she is referring to, but if the property or subdivision is annexed Into municipalities after it is developed, the road and the development density meet the county standard/ordinances when completed, then nothing about the property or development has changed, all is “preserved “, as was in the county or in a municipality. So why not continue to maintain the roads for those county residents?

If the land is zoned and undeveloped and the county denies the development, let’s say a subdivision out in the county and then the developer goes to the municipality adjoining that property and ask to be annexed so they can build and the property owner and the municipalities agree, then this is the “boom “that someone reacts to. Cause and effect, but we should expect better out of our elected officials, right?  Well OK, maybe not, yes, we are all human. But reactions have to be countered by understanding of consequences of those actions. That did not happen, in my opinion, occur, before the decision by Lexington County Council to not continue the 1978 agreement.

You’ve heard it said in the past to “follow the money“ and I will remind you throughout this debate “It’s always about the money, it’s always about the power and if it isn’t,  it’s about the power to control the money”.

According to the WLTX article, it will be “up to these towns and cities to figure out how they take care of the roads“.  In other words, they can raise taxes to pay “for this” but not us.

So I will continue the next few weeks with articles about passing the “Tax buck “ on to others, the “ us versus them “ mentality that some county council members and the anti-growth mentality that is creating in the county between incorporated and unincorporated residences of Lexington County, proper planning and higher density levels (building up or building out).

According to all data, census track prediction, people are moving to the south, to South Carolina and to Lexington County. Growth is coming, will come and this is not going to stop it.

Hardy King