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Noted and Passed

Posted: June 13, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Updated: June 16, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• So, voters will have to go back to the polls a week from Tuesday, thanks to runoffs for one local race and two state races. While it wasn’t inevitable, having three people vie for the Republican nomination for Kershaw County Council chairman certainly increased the chance for a runoff. At one point during election returns, it appeared Julian Burns hit the magic 50.1 percent to avoid a runoff, but voters turned out to be too split between him and challengers Gene Hartis and Ben Connell. Hartis came in second, but decided not to face Burns a second time. Instead, it will be Burns vs. Connell on June 24, with somewhat different views on how to take Kershaw County further into the 21st century.

• What was inevitable are the runoffs for lieutenant governor and the Republican and Democratic nominations for state superintendent of schools. The C-I has often called for more citizens to offer themselves up for public office, lamenting the number of incumbents that go unchallenged or the lack of a contest between parties. On the other hand, there are times when the list of candidates gets ridiculously long. That was certainly the case with the Republican nominees for State Superintendent of Education: eight. It’s hard for anyone to rise to the top in such a wide field, especially in a race for an office some wish was appointed rather elected. Indeed, the leaders for that nomination, Molly Spearman and Sally Atwater, could only manage around 22 percent of the vote.

• Staying with the election, we congratulate Jim Matthews on his reelection as sheriff and Jill Catoe on her election as Treasurer. Matthews won his reelection by a nearly 2-1/2 to 1 margin over David Thomley. We suspect voters have come to respect Matthews’ track record during his first term of cracking down on drug dealers and getting drunk drivers off the road. That isn’t to say Thomley would not have done a good job as sheriff, but -- as old political wisdom goes -- it’s hard to beat an incumbent. In a sense, that may have been Catoe’s advantage. While this year’s race served as her first entry into politics, Catoe’s experience as deputy treasurer for 14 years makes her more than qualified to take over from outgoing Treasurer Steve Vincent. In both cases, we wish Matthews and Catoe continued success in serving Kershaw County.

• The interim landscape plan put forward by the Maxway Property Development Committee looks like a relatively good one to us as a way to soften the look and provide the public with some greenspace while the city continues looking for a commercial developer for the site. As several people noted during the most recent Camden City Council work session, it’s not often that a corner lot at a downtown intersection opens up like this for an array of possibilities. Exactly what trees to plant or what to use for a temporary pathway through the property are minor things to work out compared to the benefit of having a nicely landscaped property that, on one hand, can be of immediate use to the public and, on the other hand, be more attractive to those who might think of purchasing it. Kudos to the committee with hope that Camden Urban Forester Liz Gilland’s sketch plan can become a fairly close reality as soon as possible.


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