I wish more citizens would become involved
Written by Mallory D. Biering   

Bamberg County Council Member for District 4, St. Clair Guess, III, who spends his leisure time hunting and fishing, comes from a long line of Guess's rumored to have settled in Denmark around 1724. Guess's election to county council, where he holds a seat his father previously held, has given him the opportunity to offer "unique perspectives on complex legal and financial challenges" the county has faced.

Like all members on county council, Guess can only bring "the opportunities and burdens of the district," to council and together they "decide the fate" of the questions laid before them. Some of those opportunities and burdens Guess has come across have turned into goals he has set out to achieve for Bamberg County, which include "supplying a water and sewer system loop in the county that [will] not only provide resources to businesses, but [will] also provide water and waste water services to many citizens who now depend on wells and septic tanks."

Another project which Guess says, "is not currently in process," would involve "[consolidating] law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical technicians in rural substations." He continued to say the objective of this idea would be to add a greater presence of emergency services in rural areas, and in return decrease the response time of emergency officials.

He wishes more citizens would become involved in the county council meetings because their involvement alone, "is critical to [have a] successful government." But, with a lack of involvement, council will have to continue facing the challenge of citizens believing rumors. When citizens choose a rumor as the true information, rather than attending a council meeting, Guess says they are giving up an opportunity to partake in "the most important three words ever used in a public document," which are: "we the people." Without partaking in government, big or small, they are not helping to ensure the county will head in the right direction on future issues.

One way citizens may participate in the near future would be to vote on the upcoming Capital One Cent Sales Tax Referendum in November. The money raised from the tax will be used on several projects throughout the county, but according to Guess, the one project that is "indisputably necessary and critical" would be the restoration of the county courthouse. After the courthouse other county projects are listed, which were suggested by a committee, along with the amount of money assigned to each project. Some citizens might even make the comment Guess did when reviewing the amount of money being spent on each project. He said he didn't understand, "why the Town of Bamberg got ten times more than Denmark." He also said that while he is in favor of the tax, he would "change some of the strategies if it were up to [him]." If the one cent sale tax is voted yes by citizens, then anyone (a citizen or not) making a purchase inside the county will help pay off the debt which has a due date ending in eight years.

Guess has said he is willing to speak with any individual or party concerning the one cent sales tax referendum, or how the process will impact the future of Bamberg County. Any other information needed concerning the one cent sales tax can be gathered at a Bamberg County Council meeting during open session.