Wednesday, November 13, 2013
My child is a student at Summerville Elementary School. This morning I took my kindergartner to the front office to check in because we were running a few minutes late. Well, when I was leaving, I got a $155 ticket for parking at the front of the school at 7:25 a.m., on the residential side as I’ve done probably once a week since school started.
Today I noticed for the first time, that they have put up No Parking signs (between 7-8 a.m. and 1-3 p.m) on the residential side of Main Street in front of the school.
The school has never notified us not to park there, I had never seen signs on the residential side of the street before today, and the officer said they’ve been giving warnings for months, but there is no truth to that for parents at Summerville Elementary, unfortunately, or me and all of the other parents would not have been so surprised this morning with getting our $155 tickets.
There is also nowhere else to park within a block of the front of the school, which is where the front office is. The parking lot between Rollings and Summerville Elem. is for teachers/employees only.
When I called the school, after I got the ticket, I spoke with Ms. Dibble’s secretary. She said it’s being implemented by the City of Summerville, not the school, and that Rollings had already had the same thing happening.
I was told that, no, there is nowhere to park but the back parking lot of the school, and we have to walk around to come to the front office. Every other parent getting tickets around me was asking where we’re supposed to park, and the officer didn’t know, and we couldn’t walk back in to the front office to ask, because we were illegally parked.
The reason cited was safety concerns for people driving so fast on Main Street, but I live close to the school (too close for my child to ride a bus) and don’t know of any accidents that have happened while parents park to bring their children in or are checking them out.
I’ve had children in the school for the past five years. There are two crossing guards in the morning in front of Rollings and Summerville Elementary, the speed limit is 35, and slower during school hours, it’s a two-lane road with frequent long breaks in traffic, and I’ve never had any difficulty parking and crossing with my kids, and buses have already left the front area by 7:25.
It seems that as of today, with no notice or parent/citizen/ and school input about it, the only options for parents are to: 1) wait until 8 a.m. if you need to come in to the front office for any reason: tardy, dropping off medication, etc., when school starts at 7:25, or 2) park behind the school and do a 20-minute walk to and from the office. Since I’m always bringing my child by on the way to work, I will have to remember to bring walking shoes, as this is no easy feat in office attire, especially carrying a younger child! 3) Plan for an extra 20 minutes of time if you have to check your child out of school for doctors visits, etc., after 1 p.m., since access to the front office is now cut off unless you take the back entrance of the school or walk the perimeter of the school to get to the front.
While I was waiting for my ticket, at least three other people were also getting tickets around me, and they all seemed very shocked, especially that there was no warning and no answer as to where to park. Aside from the people in the process of getting tickets, there were still more people parking like normal to take their kids in, with no warning from police!
When told of the court date, one lady asked if she could just send in the money instead of going to court. I personally am very inconvenienced with paying $155 right at the holidays, especially with no previous warning that parking there was suddenly illegal. I have hope that there will be enough protest from parents about this that it will be worth it to dispute the charge in court. My court date is 12/10. I don’t know who to contact in the Town of Summerville, as a concerned citizen. How did the Town of Summerville pass something like this without the citizens even knowing about it; where is the public notice that this change was happening?
Also, how did the school let this happen without letting parents know beforehand that you couldn’t park out front any longer?
This was a total surprise to me and probably hundreds of parents who’ve now received tickets for this. I haven’t found any meeting minutes on the Dorchester Disctrict 2 website or City Hall website saying this was discussed or going into effect, and there has been no warning whatsoever for the parents.
The school is not battling it, and I don’t yet know who to talk to at City Hall.
As chairman of Dorchester County Taxpayers Association, I would like to thank all those individuals and organizations (especially Senator Mike Rose, Councilman Larry Hargett, the Dorchester County Democrat Party, the Dorchester County Republican Party, the “Tea Party” groups and our own membership, as well as dozens of other folks) who worked tirelessly for two months to defeat the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) referendum in Dorchester County on November 5, 2013. You did it. Yes, you did. Thanks!
Thanks as well to those who voted resoundingly, “NO.”
With all due respect to those whose views somewhat differ from our own, from our perspective, those who worked so hard and those who cast the overwhelmingly “NO” vote, to deny the “REALTOR PARTY” its precious tax increase and its redistribution of tax dollars away from the poor and middle-class residents of Dorchester County, not only defeated one of the worst ideas since Adam but thwarted the pipe dreams of those mayors, superintendents, special interests, boards and councils in favor of LOST.
Congratulations again! Now let us unite to further those common sense principles of our founding generation, principles of transparency, accountability and concurrency, as opposed to the visionary foolishness that leads to sprawl, inefficiency and fraud!
John Braund, Chairman
Correct the system for disabled adults
Since Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell has assumed responsibility for the Department of Aging and Disability in our state he has done a great job traveling the state and writing articles on the needs of both groups. These people are rarely seen and often forgotten. We know this because we have an adult son born with multiple disabilities.
As a child our son had many opportunities and services no longer available to him as an adult. The ten “Aging and Disability Resource Centers” around S.C. claim to be a “Single Point of Entry” to help the aging and disabled. Unfortunately, that is not completely true.
The Centers have a vision to serve all ages and income levels. Currently, while some will offer referral ideas for the disabled, their grants to provide assistance only include age 60 and older, which leaves many thousands on waiting lists.
Imagine you have an adult family member become seriously disabled; or your family moves to S.C. with an adult disabled person. These gaps in our system for the disabled between ages 21 and 60 need to be acknowledged and corrected.
Joe and Beth Miano
LOST initiative gets ‘golden sombrero’
Congratulations to the voters of Dorchester County for demolishing the special interests and their local option sales tax proposal.
A tax is a tax is a tax. It’s on the books forever. Bill Hearn and his cohorts on the County Council tried to sugar-coat it with an illusionary pie-in-the-sky subterfuge.
They didn’t have the best interest of the poor, the renters, the middle class families with kids in college or the average citizens who shop in our county. Aren’t we taxed enough? What difference does a few dollars (maybe) mean to the owner of a half-million dollar home?
This was a huge victory for the underdog and their grassroots organization.
Special interest groups had tried four different times to sneak this through. This fifth crushing defeat gives them the “golden sombrero.”
Hopefully they’ll drop it forever.
Read my lips: “No new taxes.”
Thank you Summerville
To the Editor:
Please let me tell you a little about my recent vacation there. I was visiting for a week to celebrate my aunt’s 95th birthday.
On Friday, October 26th, my cousin and I visited the Goodwill Store on Trolley Road, and while trying on jackets, my purse went missing.
Of course I was in a state of panic, however, my story does have a happy ending. The Goodwill employees were very helpful and the Summerville Police were great. My purse was not found that Friday. On Saturday, after praying all night, I asked my cousin if we could return to the store and look one more time. I just had a feeling! She thought I was crazy, but humored me.
To our surprise, my purse was hanging over the hangers of one of the ugliest jackets ever. I could not believe that all my credit cards, drivers license, house key, check book were still all in tact. I had $507 in cash in my purse and when I got it back it was missing only $150.00.
Why someone would only take $150.00, I’ll never know, but I am very thankful. I hope that money helps them, as it would have been given as a reward anyway.
Thank you, Summerville, to proving to me that there are still miracles and good people on this earth. You have every right to be proud.
Shirley L Getz