WALKER'S "ZBA" Facebook Post 7-20-18

America's Cold Civil War

I would like to respond to Barry's facebook post dated July 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm on the [Most are Not] “Citizens of the Town of Irmo SC” page. Again he is misstating, in my opinion purposely, to try and cause more strife among our Council, and among our Citizens in our Town. Instead of speaking the truth, be that as it may, his intent is not to resolve issues but to stir them up, all for his political campaigning. I will share the other side of the story, the facts, and questions, that should be asked of him, and he should be willing to answer. My remarks to his letter will be signified in bold lettering between his paragraphs.

Post by Barry Walker – July 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Dear Irmo Citizens:

Did you know that there was 3 openings on the town of Irmo Zoning Board of appeals commission? Probably not since the Town Administrator did not advertise it. This is the same board that denied the elderly lady a variance for a carport on her property. Last night the same 3 people were reappointed just in time to have a ZBA hearing on the Dula property this ‪coming Monday night‬, August 20. Since these people were selected by the majority of council you can guess what the Dula appeal outcome will most likely be.

{His implication that you did not know about the three openings I think are suggestive that things were done purposely to keep you from knowing. My question to Mr. Walker would be, “Why he didn't post it on his facebook page weeks before, and why he didn't post it on the Citizens page weeks before, if he truly wanted to inform you. It had been brought to Council's attention that three terms were expiring. He had the time to post the day after the meeting, why didn't he post it a week before the meeting. Did he care? Did he not care? Or does he just want to stir up more strife? The three people had informed Bob that they wanted to continue serving, and Council as a majority in the past, has reappointed people to commissions if they wanted to serve. Councilman Walker has voted, and just voted within the last couple months to reappoint people to the Planning Commission as well. I had informed Councilman Walker numerous times if he wanted to do or propose term limits on appointed positions to put it on the agenda, I would second that. And he never has. Yes, the ZBA denied the elderly lady for a carport on her property, and whether she is young or elderly has no bearing on a variance request. He uses tht term trying to conjure up sympathy from you and as an injustice toward her. She wasn't denied a variance for a carport, in fact, she can have a carport, it can be permitted, she just wants to put it somewhere it is not allowed by our zoning, and the State laws that allows variance are very strict on the four reasons that a variance can be permitted. We've had this argument, discussion, and debate before, I won't waste my time going there again, but the variance was for the location of the carport in an area that isn't allowed and since it didn't meet one of the four reasons, the location she wanted was denied, not the carport, only the location she wanted. Yes, the 3 people were reappointed because their term was expiring, and it is our responsibility as Council to vote to fill those positions, either appoint someone new, or reappoint the old. Has nothing to do with a meeting coming up, or any meeting in the future, it is just required by law. Again, he is making false statements to make it appear that there was some hidden agenda in making these appointments for some upcoming meeting just to fit his narrative and his agenda of trying to create more strife and division on our Council and in our Town. He posted this July the 20th at 3:13 pm and he refers to the ZBA hearing on the Dula property this coming Monday night, which is July 23. The Dula ZBA meeting is August 20th.

We were at the Municipal Association of SC conference at Hilton Head and at 3:13 July 20, if I am correct, he was not at the conference he was at a Doctors office somewhere having his dialysis, not exactly sure. But the fact that he can't keep his dates straight in my mind shows the cloudiness of his thinking. If his thinking is cloudy on that, maybe his agenda and purpose, as a whole, is cloudy as well.

Yes, whoever serves and is appointed to any Commission has to be selected by majority of Council. Those three appointments got a majority vote, and to infer that a majority of Council approves somebody is somehow improper or illegal, is he suggesting that a minority of council should be able to approve someone, that anytime a majority approves something it is wrong? Kind of goes against common sense, or just another example of his cloudy, stinking thinking. I think he is just a sore loser, a poor loser.}

Folks, we cannot expect change in the Town of Irmo to happen only by electing a new Mayor and new Council members. We need new people to serve on Town boards and Commissions. The Town of Irmo needs to advertise the vacancy’s and give citizens ample time to respond. If you don’t like the way your town is being run, volunteer to serve on one of these boards. I need your help in this way.

{His comment that you can't expect change to happen only by electing a new Mayor and new Council members is completely false. We elected a new Mayor in 22 years in 2011. And 2 new council members in 2015. We made a lot of changes, in fact, we got rid of the old, we appointed a new attorney; we took some people off the Okra Strut Commission, and put new people on; and Councilman Walker fought both of those. We had put a lot of new people over the years on the ZBA, Okra Strut, and Planning Commissions. I can look at a lot of the names that have been put on since 2013, a lot of names since 2011. Again he is not being truthful or factual in his statements. He can't even keep up with what he says from one meeting to the next. We had a meeting in the last couple years that had to do with advertising for people to serve on commission and boards and not getting any responses when we did so. We started the talent pool policy of having it on our website 24/7/365 so that people at that time could download the application and send it in. When we redid the web site recently it was set up to where people could go online and fill it out, and it was done. We have a few names in it for the planning commission, we had one name in it for the ZBA. That individual did not live in town. You must live in town to serve on ZBA. One of the names that was in the pool was for the planning commission, and he had been asked before if he would like to serve on ZBA or anything else, and his answer was no. At the meeting where all this was voted on by Council, it was agreed upon that we would stop advertising it because of the expense and the no responses. It was a waste of our time, energy, and money. Since Walker posted on the page one person submitted their name. Our Town Administrator did send it out on list serve, I shared that post on my Mayor Hardy King Page, and on the We Love Irmo Page, and I had put the word out to other people that we are looking to fill that position that has been created by the passing of one of the members on the ZBA. Three other names have been submitted. As of last Friday July 27th we had four names that came from the postings on social media facebook pages. Yes, we may be able to put something on the Town facebook, the list serve, once every 90 days for people to apply for all positions whether there is openings or not to keep the pool full. He ends that paragraph with “I need your help in this way”. It's all about him, his agenda, not about bettering the town or serving the town. His statement doesn't show his love of Irmo, but to volunteer for no other reason than to help him. }

At Tuesday's meeting, Council also imposed three new taxes: 1) 1% increase in franchise fee, 2)$3.50 per year increase in Garbage fee for administration cost, 3) $8.00 per year for storm water maintenance. The increase in franchise fee is needed to increase yearly revenue since it is projected to be flat while our expenses will continue to increase.
We also voted to sell the old town jail and town hall that was dedicated in 1935 by then Irmo town council members. The reasoning is the town dosen’t need it and someone wants to buy it.

{Yes we voted on imposing two new taxes and increasing one. I will talk more about those on another page I will be working on next week. And yes we voted 2nd reading to sell the old town jail, which is currently rented to Irmo Lock & Key, has been for many years, and they have requested to purchase it. Barry stated that this building was dedicated in 1935, he actually had a picture at our last council meeting showing that it was dedicated in October 1953. Now maybe he forgot, maybe he doesn't care to check facts, maybe he doesn't care if he tells the truth or not, as long as it fits his agenda and purpose. He has had no good reason why we should not sell the building to someone who has been in it for a long time, nor provide any good reasons or useful purpose for it for the Town in the future other than his claim that we made $100,000 off renting to the people and we should keep it and continue to make more money off it by renting it to the people. I do not believe we should be in the real estate business, and if I had known they wanted to purchase it years ago, I would have voted to sell it to them, and I believe the rest of Council would have too. He says the reason we voted to sell it is because “the town doesn't need it and some wants to buy it”. Well, hell fire and brimstone, is there much more of a reason to sell anything that you ever owned because you don't need it and someone wants to buy it. Lord, have mercy. The best reason in the world to sell anything is for him the best reason in the world we shouldn't. I can't understand how someone who can stick on their political campaign material they are the candidate with common sense, then make a statement like this. }

As always I appreciate your comments and look forward to dialogue with you. This weekend I will be in Hilton Head,SC representing you at the MASC meeting with other elected officials to network and discuss local and regional issues. I hope to come back with some good information and ideas for our Town.

Councilman Barry Walker

{Not only was Councilman Walker at Hilton Head for Municipal Association Conference, so was Councilwoman Condom, and yours truly myself, the Mayor of Irmo. Councilman Waites was planning on attending but had a significant family matter that arose which kept him from attending. Councilman Pouliot could not attend this year due to work. Three of us were there. He could have mentioned that we were there also, to let you know that, if it wasn't always about him. Now I did see him Thursday morning at a class along with Councilwoman Condom. I will be sharing in a facebook post, on a website page, something I learned at that class. Evidently he didn't but I think it is interesting and amusing, so I will share it. I didn't see him the rest of the day Thursday, nor did I see him Friday or Saturday. It was my understanding he was at dialysis Friday which is the bulk of the sessions. I will be putting on another page of this website soon the agenda for the Municipal Association Conference and the classes I attended, and some of what I learned. I will ask Councilman Walker, and you ask too, Councilman Walker to share with all of us what sessions, classes, he attended, and what he learned. I hope he does have some good ideas for our Town, been hoping that since 2007.}

Mayor Hardy King – Remarks are in BOLD print