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Anna Johnson’s 11th hour transportation discussion …

Anna Johnson broke her word when she promised us she would not support the 526 extension and later cast the swing vote to approve it. She also appears to be clueless about other road projects, including Maybank Highway on Johns Island which has been in the works for years. In the clip below, you can hear her “substain” from voting on Maybank, despite the fact that this road is CRUCIAL to her district, and of every member of council, she should be the most educated, not the least.

Ms. Johnson will be hosting a transportation-related event at the Johns Island Public Library on Maybank Highway this Wednesday at 12:30 PM – perhaps the most inconvenient time possible for those who work.

NIX526 will be there to record the event and pose questions to Ms. Johnson.  We will also be establishing a bail fund should we be incarcerated for exercising our First Amendment rights. Details to follow! Please join us! ;)

CCC420substainclip

 

 

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Yes, We Would!

1375029_722095571139690_329024318_nAnd the letters just keep rolling in! Excellent one this weekend by Folly’s former mayor. Thank you Mr. Beck!

Read more here: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131005/PC1002/131009638/1025/

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Lead Editorial Questions Meaning of “Compensation”

  1374821_721060634576517_1090300371_nhttp://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131002/PC1002/131009912/1022/new-meaning-of-x2018-compensation-x2019

New meaning of ‘compensation’

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 12:01 a.m.

“When you talk about compensating property owners for a highway project, the general notion is that the landowners will be getting cash.

But property owners along the I-526 corridor who were expecting something extra from Charleston County, in the wake of a County Council vote last December, might be doomed to disappointment.

Last week, Council Chairman Teddie Pryor declared that property owners won’t be getting any additional cash from the county despite an amendment by Council member Anna Johnson to that effect.

Those property owners have to be wondering what council was thinking when it approved the amendment. Was it really serious about a broader plan for payments to nearby property owners? Or was the compensation provision included to gain a majority vote to push the project forward?”

(The editorial ends on this notion.)

“So far, Ms. Johnson hasn’t said what she thinks about the various interpretations of the amendment. Certainly, her constituents would like to hear her views.

Indeed, they might reasonably think some mitigation is in order if compensation is no longer a consideration. Like another vote on I-526.”

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Doublespeak – Letter to Editor

Doublespeak

Inasmuch as I only have a master’s degree in English, I cannot be considered an authority on language. Moreover, I try not to be judgmental. Suffice it to say Charleston County Chairman Teddie Pryor’s interpretation of commonly used words and my interpretation are disparate.

Gee, I had always thought the term “good faith” meant “good faith,” as in “honesty or sincerity of intention.” Based on a front-page story in the Sept. 28 Post and Courier, Chairman Pryor seems to think the term means something else, but what he thinks is not entirely clear.

As for Anna Johnson, your story says she “did not return emails or voicemail messages Friday for clarification.” Well, of course Councilwoman Johnson did not respond. After all, she is probably mortified.

Meanwhile, Pryor, recognizing this, was likely trying to mollify Johnson when he threw her a sop in an op-ed piece last week.

But Pryor fails to give Johnson enough credit for her inherent integrity. If he is politically astute, he will be ready when Johnson eventually exercises her time-honored prerogative according to Robert’s Rules of Order, to move for reconsideration of that infamous 5-4 vote in County Council last December.

I am proud to be a member of the first elective body in Charleston County to go on record in opposition to the proposed extension of I-526 — the James Island Public Service District Commission. Subsequently, other entities have gone on record in opposition. But Pryor chooses to ignore everyone except — well, reader, draw your own conclusions.

One can only wonder what it would take to get his attention.

Eugene Platt

Senior Commissioner

James Island Public Service District

(Originally Posted in Post and Courier.  Reprinted with Permission by Author)

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Charleston County pushing to manage I-526 completion

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131001/PC16/131009932/1009/charleston-county-pushing-to-manage-i-526-completion

Charleston County pushing to manage I-526 completion

In her in-depth article, Diane Knich looks at DOT’s reaction to Charleston County wanting to manage the construction of 526.  No other County in South Carolina has ever taken on a job so big.  The most expensive project Charleston County has ever managed (Johnnie Dodds) cost just $84 million and entailed little more than repaving a road, landscaping it, and building a single overpass.

526, on the other hand, would cost well over a half-billion dollars and require the County to construct an eight-mile long bridge that doesn’t fall down the minute DOT takes over responsibility for it.

“Charleston County now wants more control of building the road, a change to which the DOT would have to agree.

DOT Commission Chairman John Edwards said he’s not willing to turn over such a large project to the county. “This is what we at DOT call a mega-project,” he said. “It’s a huge deal.”

And when it’s complete, the road will be the DOT’s responsibility, Edwards said. “If the DOT is going to take it over, it should be DOT-managed.”

Full article: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131001/PC16/131009932/1009/charleston-county-pushing-to-manage-i-526-completion

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Excellent Letter to the Editor

It is time to reallocate the money designated for the proposed I-526 Parkway to fund repairs and improvements to our existing roads, and to address the transportation needs of our state on a priority basis, with heavy emphasis on areas of economic development.

Recently, on behalf of Nix526 and the Concerned Citizens of the Sea Islands, I attended a workshop and the monthly meeting of the commissioners of the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT). After learning that a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the SCDOT, the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB), and Charleston County Council was on the agenda, several of us drove to Columbia to ask the commissioners not to approve the IGA which is necessary to proceed with the process to build the I-526 Parkway across Johns and James islands.

This was my first encounter with the SCDOT and its commissioners, and I was impressed. The presentations by staff, their knowledge, interdepartmental support, programs, activities, transparency, and professionalism, followed by the commissioners’ serious deliberation and concern about the issues and their impact were impressive.

I wish members of Charleston County Council could have observed the meeting. If Chairman Teddie Pryor, Vice Chairman Elliott Summey, and council members Anna Johnson, Herb Sass, and Victor Rawl think that Charleston County has the knowledge, resources, and expertise to undertake a $558 million project, they need to spend more time at the DOT. Even this Carolina Girl has to commend those engineers from Clemson.

In a recent Post and Courier article, Pryor said the county has the skill to build the I-526 Parkway, comparing it to the county’s apparently successful completion of the Johnnie Dodds Boulevard upgrade project. It is ridiculous to compare road improvements and landscaping to the construction of five miles of bridges, including two 80-foot-high spans, across wetlands and a river.

The commissioners were adamant that neither Charleston County nor the state should set the precedent of compensating property owners for a decrease in the value of their homes if their properties are within 1,000 feet of the proposed road.

They noted that neither the state nor the county has the funds, and setting this precedent will kill other road construction projects due to the additional cost. It also appears no one thinks compensation means sound barriers except Pryor.

In addition, we should name this project accurately. It is not an interstate or a highway. It is a parkway with speed limits of 35 to 45 miles per hour and no traffic signals, yet.

I want to thank the commissioners for their thoughtful attention to this controversial project and their ongoing contributions to our state.

Glenda L. Miller

 

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Did Charleston County Councilwoman Anna Johnson mean financial compensation?

You decide.

Ms. Johnson’s Amendement: “Property values. The residents within 1,000 feet of the proposed path of the Mark Clark believe their property values will be adversely impacted. The residents would like to be compensated for this decrease in value without having to pursue any inverse condemnation action in court. In other words, they shouldn’t have to go to court to get compensation for this. We should consider this ourselves.”

County Council meeting, Dec. 13, 2012

In Saturday’s paper, the Post and Courier printed an article about compensating those within 1000 feet. (Some quotes from the article below.  Read Diane Knich’s article http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130926/PC16/130929431/1177/no-payments-for-property-owners-who-live-within-1000-feet-of-i-526

“The check never will be in the mail for property owners who live near the path of the extension of Interstate 526 across Johns and James islands, says Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor.

“Pryor said that the ordinance doesn’t specifically state that anybody will be paid. “Look at the ordinance,” Pryor said. “It said good faith effort. It didn’t say we’re going to put money in anybody’s pocket. The ordinance is the ordinance.”

Skip down…

“Councilman Dickie Schweers, an opponent of completing I-526, said he’s certain that Johnson meant that people would be paid for the drop in the value of their property. “Compensation means paying them unless you specify something different,” he said.

But he never thought anybody would be paid. “I thought it was a promise by those in support to get Johnson’s vote.”

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Do You Live Within 1000 Feet of the Proposed 526 Extenstion?

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When voting in favor of 526 last December, Charleston County Council recognized the fact that the increased prospect of the I-526 expansion would place a stigma on properties generally located within 1,000 feet of the proposed parkway. Moreover, the road does not need to be built in order to negatively impact your property value; the idea of the road alone is enough to have significant negative impact.

Consequently, members of County Council have invited residents to submit compensation claims to the County. Nix526 has created a website to help you with this process. File your claim today at www.526claims.org.  The whole process takes less than 15 minutes and step by step instructions are provided.

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Progressive Club

img_4506 img_4508Much love and peace to our friends and family on Johns Island.  Thank you, Queen Quet!  This couldn’t have been stated more beautifully.  “Hold on juss a lil while longa!  Ebeeting gwine be awright!”

Continuing to Progress on Johns Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

http://gullahgeecheenation.com/2013/09/21/continuing-to-progress-on-johns-island-sc-in-the-gullahgeechee-nation/

526 and the Gullah Community:

“While truly fighting for “greenways” such as the area around the Angel Oak, Nix 526 has to fight against the propaganda that has been presented to attempt to minimize the negative impacts that the extension of I-526 onto Johns and James Islands will have on the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s citizens and on the environment of these Sea Islands.   The addition of more highways continues to eliminate the God given greenways that we have along our tree lined roads such as those throughout Johns Island and with our marsh that is the home to so many of our sea creatures that our people have lived in balance with and nourished our families with over the generations.

Although Nix 526 still stands their ground and continues to make progress in regard to receiving just compensation for the financial loss of land and property values for those living within 1,000 feet of the I-526/Mark Clark Expressway expansion onto the Sea Island, there is no value which can be calculated to compensate for the loss of history, heritage, culture, family ties, and traditions of the Gullah/Geechees that will be adversely impacted by yet another highway expansion on Johns or James Islands.   Some people call new roads and expanding roads, “progress,” but this is not in any way in line with what the Progressive Club members that shouted and sang and sat in had in mind.  They sought to insure a future wherein their families could educationally and economically benefit while on the land on Johns Island.  They did not anticipate having to remove themselves from the island soil in order to simply live and survive.   So, may the angels that have long since sat on the limbs of the oak trees on Johns Islands continue to fly around and protect the island from destructionment and may the waves hit the sea shore in a syncopated polyrhythm like so many Gullah/Geechees shoutin een de Moving Star Hall.  May these waves bring healing and protect the Gullah/Geechee families and unite and keep them together on the island making progress forever!”

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Charleston Magazine is Onto Something!

547305_714770238538890_1781111643_n(1)Charleston Magazine reports its findings that 57% of people do not want I-526.

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