HARDY KING - IRMO'S MAYOR

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Originally ran in June of 2016, but since some like to keep bringing up the same ole, same ole, bunco, bunco, I will rerun the story since I couldn't have said it better myself.

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 with.
 
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.

Irmo, South Carolina