I would like to address a couple recent opinion letters so you can hear the other
side of the story.
May 19th Jake
Moore, former Town Attorney, wrote a letter stating that “it has become almost impossible” for the Arbor Day Committee to work
in Town. The key word here being “almost”. The only thing that would keep the Arbor Day Committee from spending
money on beautification in the Town of Irmo is him or them. I didn't, the Town didn't make that decision. I was involved
with the decision to make him our former Town Attorney, and that is the whole issue here. The tail no longer wags the dog.
The Town will be looking at beautification projects, and if the Arbor Day wants to be a partner, I encourage them to do so.
But the Town will be in charge of picking those projects, and that could be “almost impossible” for him to deal
The last couple years the projects the Arbor Day has been working on have been Dutch Fork, HE Corley, and Irmo Elementary
Schools. Yes, they are in the Town, but the Arbor Day was working with School District Five, and not with the Town. I do
believe I remember Jake stating at a Council meeting that there wasn't a lot of areas left in Town to address so they were
going to be focusing on the schools. The caption in his letter “Arbor Day Committee Turns Focus to Outside the Town”,
they had already begun to shift their focus outside of Town, such as Irmo High School, Crossroads Middle, and Bush River Road
even before the November 2015 Town election.
So the purpose behind his letter was to say “there is simply no way we (the Irmo Arbor
Day Committee) can work with the present Mayor who enjoys majority support on Council”. In other words, he can't work
when someone else is in control, meaning the Town Council. And that's fine, the Arbor Day raises money for their golf tournaments,
and they are allowed to spend it where they want to. The Town's agreement has always been, we will do the planning and the
maintenance, and they buy the stuff. But it is on projects that the Town or the Council picks out, and this has been the
struggle. We had an Irmo Beautification Committee years ago, and we came up with lots of projects, but unless you were one
of the majority Council members in alliance with Jake Moore, nothing was done. As he stated in the beginning of his letter,
“with the recent election”, things did change with that election, Council members were elected that were not beholden
to Mr. Moore or to other Council members, myself included, but are beholden to the people of Irmo, as well they should be.
Things are changing,
from past practices, getting better, now actually decided by pros and cons, not a who is who or who knows who. We're making
lots of changes, and the Town is moving on.