Influx of new residence? Heck, Mayor Woolsey and his Town of James Island can't even come close to dealing with its obligations to its existing residence. Meanwhile he isn't he violating the promise he used to get elected by raising taxes. Why is lying to get elected not an ethics violation? Any fool can stay within budget if they can raise revenue by fiat. But while Woolsey is an economics professor, he doesn't seem to have a clue regarding the cost benefits of municiple services. That's if you could even call the Town a municipality. Essentially it is an oligarchy, run by upper class bureauracratic elitest that is not going bankrupt anytime soon. Except perhaps morally. Clearly its residents deserve better. That might happen if the Town would merge with the City of Charleston. But don't hold your breath on that one. It just makes too much sense.
Am I the only one who thinks we might be too late.
I feel like we have had the symptoms of this terrible cancer (rampant development /inadequate infrastructure) for years and we just ignored it. Now we are really sick and hoping radical surgery or chemo is going to save us?
Ok, it might just help if we act quickly but the surgeons (elected officials) are going to have to go to committee to talk about it and during that time we will just get sicker and sicker.( more hotels more development approvals)
Then they will come with some diluted treatment plan and we will languish in a miserable state clinging to hope, adversely affected by the side effects (traffic ,overcrowding, increased taxes) with a greatly diminished quality of life.
All because we wanted to bask in the sun of being the number one city in the world without sunscreen.( Adequate infrastructure and planning).
What the hell in thirty tears they say an additional foot of seawater will start the healing process. Or maybe that deteriorating gas main Mat mentioned.
Hey Beaufort and Savannah you should really have that raised and irregular shaped bump looked at. Before it gets out of hand.
God bless all of us we knew not what we did.
Another Hugo or two: problem solved.
If you're hoping for a Manhattan Project-esque focus on infrastructure in the area, prepare to keep waiting.
GOP leadership will not loosen the purse strings for public transit or roads any time before Cola becomes beachfront property.
great article mat
Bike Lane's are needed because soon that will be the quicker option to get around town:(
CIACulinaryKid, we have excellent data on all these things. Political will to act on them is an entirely different matter.
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." - Edward Abbey
Mat said: "if people move here to find a better life only to realize there isn't one, they are just as likely to move back to where they came from."
-- I certainly hope so! During the 70s and 80s in Charleston, we may not have had a booming economy but our quality of life was MUCH better!
I just read the entire article while sitting in a traffic jam on I-26. So, that really does bring this issue home. :(
I moved my family to Charleston a little over a year ago from a city in New Hampshire with a population of around 13k and a median income of 35k a year. I was an elected official for several years and learned the value of a top notch Director of public works and a strategic planner working side by side supported by a council who trusted the highly skilled people they hired and who themselves were competent and had foresight. The city went through a ten year long rebirth leading to national recognition for historic preservation..... and then it set out on a crash and burn path....it's almost finished self destructing despite having done many things right for a number of years. We really like Charleston....the city is pretty, there's so much to do and people are very welcoming. I moved as a career transfer in healthcare so I'm dedicated to the patients I serve. What makes me so incredibly perplexed is the complete absence of innovation. Charleston is a wonderful place but will indeed and very unfortunately experience difficult times if we don't look ahead. I say we because the most important thing I learned in public office is that a city's survival depends squarely on the people who live in it not on the backs of its elected officials. Get involved, really involved. Learn how the different boards work, attend meetings, weigh in especially on important topics having long term impact And don't get angry or dismayed if every decision doesn't go your way....you win some and you lose some. A city's people own its survival or its demise. Stay with it. My wish for Charleston is that we keep the beauty and charm and that we help our elected officials see the urgency of responsibly addressing the need for modernized infrastructure now rather than waiting until we have no choice. My wish is that our elected officials take time to find best practices which we can copy from. I spent several years in Portland Oregon where people and the city had similar charm....we could learn some things from Portland. I say we because I chose to call Charleston my new home, therefore I promise to give it my all...again.
As a snobbish native son of the Chuck I am now adding 2 more indeeds to Lee. Y'all quit visiting us Sonia and maybe we can find some parking spaces. Go on now, git.
"Has it occurred to any of you snobbish (and obvious non South Carolina native transplants), that Republicans don't want unsustainable growth?"
Yes, it has occurred to me.
I visited downtown Charleston yesterday. There is nowhere to park to patronize businesses. And there is no room for growth on the peninsula without destroying history and character of the place. Mt. Pleasant traffic is also a nightmare.
I visit during the week and during off season, and parking is still a disaster and TOO expensive. The congestion and outrageous price of a visit has caused me to change my travel destination in the future. Has it occurred to any of you snobbish (and obvious non South Carolina native transplants), that Republicans don't want unsustainable growth? Transplants change the character of the places they migrate too and turn them into the same cesspools that they escaped from in the first place. You come here for low taxes. Infrastructure increases taxes. Which do you want? Low taxes or infrastructure? Can't have it both ways.
^^^What he said, plus a extra indeed.
'In the 17 years I lived there, one thing I know for sure: SC doesn't do infrastructure. Maybe it's the GOP 'leadership' or the good ol' boy system, but the end result is that public infrastructure suffers in South Carolina.'
The GOP leadership is 100% at fault here.
To them, tax dollars in this state are for greasing palms and bribing corporations. Nothing more.
"Sick kids? Get fucked, I'm a fiscal conservative! Ayn Rand didn't need Medicaid!"
"Hungry? Get a fucking job, welfare is for losers!"
"Crumbling roads? Buy a fucking monster truck, we ain't fixing shit!"
Yet Boeing, BMW and now Volvo will be receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives, infrastructure promises and fully-funded workforce education programs.
Fiscal conservancy indeed.
There should be a fairly simple way to quantify infrastructure loading v. capacity. For example: parking. There are a fixed and known quantity of parking spots downtown available to people that don't live downtown. Every time a new structure is built over a parking lot, not only does that number drop, but the demand goes up as now there is a place of business with a bunch of new employees, each of which it can be assumed will need 8 1/2 hours of parking per day. City planners should be able to call this data up easily and say "okay, Project A, B, and C represent a net loss of 50 parking spots, what impact fees do we need to assess to allow remote parking and transit of those workers into town?"
The same needs to be done for water and sewage systems, absolutely needs to be done for stormwater management (developed land doesn't soak up rain), road capacity, intersection through-put, school capacity, police and fire. But the laissez-faire philosophy of this state and its counties demand that everything lag by many years. Ask anyone that lives or commutes on Clements Ferry Road about how seriously Berkeley County or SCDOT has taken that problem. Sure they assessed the taxes for a decade to widen it, but, newsflash, it is a two-lane parking lot every day, twice a day.
In the 17 years I lived there, one thing I know for sure: SC doesn't do infrastructure. Maybe it's the GOP 'leadership' or the good ol' boy system, but the end result is that public infrastructure suffers in South Carolina.
It's really only the artificial growth of the bacteria on a petri-dish. Development will continue, cheered along by incompetent "planners" and politicians until the nutrition in the dish is gone and the growth starts to kill the rest of us. The Beach company, the judge who shilled for the developer striking down the BAR and the Sargent Jasper are perfect examples of the Charleston toxic mix.
Mat's most insightful column to date.
LNM's critique in a nutshell:
1. You called a politician in the flawless GOP flawed, claiming she's being a politician and stuff. Meanwhile, all liberals are jobless criminals, all lying in wait to riot over nothing. Meanwhile, Republicans (notice he didn't say "conservatives" because that's the dead giveaway) were the ones that ended slavery. Remember that party?
2. Trans people deserve to be discriminated against because ew.
3. Abortion is murder. School Choice isn't about leaving impoverished schools high and dry. The board of architectural review bothers people. Buy gold.
4. Tu quoque.
5. Reductio ad absurdum.
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