The old saying goes that politics is the art of compromise. Unfortunately these days, and especially on the national level, compromise doesn’t appear to be a very common notion.
On the local level, things tend to be a bit better, with the members of most governing bodies able to find common ground to meet the needs of citizens in both Kershaw County’s municipalities and unincorporated areas. That’s not to say that there aren’t disagreements.
On Tuesday, and as recounted on today’s front page, Kershaw County Council found itself in two rather different situations. In one, collaboration worked well, at least for the time being. In another compromise didn’t appear to be on the docket.
It was gratifying to see councilmen Jimmy Jones and Sammie Tucker Jr. -- who have sparred often during their tenures -- work together to come up with a new version of the so-called shipping container ordinance. Their amendment, we believe, correctly suggested more work needs to be done on that ordinance and that passage of it as it stood after first reading would likely cause more problems than solutions. The rest of council thought so, too, because it unanimously passed second reading with Jones and Tucker’s changes.
Then, a short time later, Jones strenuously expressed his dissatisfaction with the goals and objectives his fellow councilmen came up with for Fiscal Year 2020 during a Feb. 2 strategic planning retreat, calling them “overly ambitious, overwhelming and non-realistic.” Other councilmen, especially Burns and Tucker, appeared to be upset by Jones’ dissent.
Jones may be right in his assessment. By the same token, the rest of council may be on the right track with the goals and objectives they prioritized. Time will tell. In either case, we’re certainly not suggesting council be made up of “yes” men or women.
Sometimes, thought, we need to leave the arguments behind, agree to disagree, complete the task, and move on to the next one. Setting goals and priorities is important and we’re glad council has done so.
We are suggesting, however, that council members work even harder to reach consensus, not for consensus’ sake, but for the benefit of all of Kershaw County’s citizens. We deserve no less.