A growing number of citizens of Fairfield County are extremely disappointed in their elected County Council members. I believe that our present Council fits the definition of a group which has succumbed to the old adage, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This disease of corruption is often found in governmental bodies when these entities have at their disposal an inordinate amount of public resources but are devoid of the constraining mechanisms of its citizens’ wishes for the use of these resources.

The problem is initiated where a governing body uses its granted authority to extract from its citizens any amount of remuneration (taxes, fees, etc.) with disregard for any limiting factors inherent in the disposition of financial means of the citizenry.

One often hears invective for limiting government. These expressions usually mean limiting increased spending beyond what the citizenry feels is reasonable, or what it feels it can bear under the existing circumstances of its present economic condition.

It is a verifiable statistic that Fairfield County government has the largest taxable revenue per capita of any S.C. county, and at the same time has the highest millage rate on assessed properties of all the counties (as passed several weeks ago).

Why so this conundrum? What has taken place within our governing body that has produced this gross inequity in the delicate balance between the public needs, for which government rightfully should adhere, with the balance of the taxpayer’s burden, which must be considered in attempting to fulfill all these needs?

What has produced this hubris of reasoning that has propelled our Council to this end? I believe that these governing members have reached a plateau of isolation from their constituencies that has allowed an aura of denial, along with that of arrogance, such that they believe there is no one else, other than themselves, who can make reasonable decisions for the people of this County.

I do not believe there is any solution to our problem except to replace the existing Council with a new body that has not succumbed to this disease of power. I hope all Fairfield citizens will not be constrained by the apathy that pervades much of our society and will join the growing body of participants in the developing aroused citizenry who are determined to bring good governance back to Fairfield County.

Walter H. Langford Jr.


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