Opinions - 07-09-2008

Let it be known!

Dear Editor,

I am appalled at the lack of honesty and integrity of the Advertizer Herald (May 21, 2008) newspapers article in not reporting the truth as to how a reversal came about regarding the term of the Interim appointment of the Bamberg County Treasurer and why an election has now been scheduled to fill the vacancy.

For those residents of Bamberg County who were unaware of the truth, this is what transpired: without the benefit of any citizenry input or knowledge, a nominee was handpicked to replace the resigning country treasurer, an elected official.

Had it not been for a small article in the local newspaper (Advertizer Herald, May 7, 2008) this gubernatorial appointment, improperly slated to end in 2011, would have gone unnoticed and thus, would have deprived the citizens of Bamberg County their right to elect the Treasurer of their choice.

As a consequence, numerous calls to Governor's office, County Council members, State Representatives, the newspaper, Election Commission (State and Local) and the County Court House, revealed the following information.

According to Eric Parson of the Governor's office, Ms. Ann Clayton, County Treasurer, recommended to the Governor that upon her resignation, she was recommending that Mrs. Alice Johnson be appointed to replace her to serve out the remainder of her term, ending in 2011. Upon Ms. Clayton's request, and a few unnamed letters of support, Governor Sanford, on April 30th, 2008 signed an Order appointing Mrs. Johnson to the position of County Treasurer. On that very same day, (April 30, 2008) Ms. Clayton also submitted her letter of resignation. Mrs. Johnson was quickly sworn into office the next day, May 1st 2008. (Note the closeness of these dates)

Thank God for those few conscientious residents, who took it upon themselves to: research the law, challenge the County Court House's interpretation of the specified 2011 term, and to respectfully request a final determination by the Governor's attorneys. And only because of the actions of these few, on Friday, May 16, 2008 the Bamberg County Election Commission was officially informed that a special election must be held to fill the vacancy for the office of County Treasurer.

Let it be known that in Bamberg County the practice of exclusion will not be tolerated because the Laws of South Carolina are applicable to all its citizens.

Camille E. Hodge, Denmark, SC.