Letter to the editor: Sumter: A tale of two cities, chapter two


The best way to judge a city and the people is to watch how they treat the seniors, disabled citizens and children of that city. What should Sumter look like in the 21st century? I will get a copy of Sumter's 20-year plan and see where our elected and local organizational leaders' plans are to take Sumter into this new century. Sumter currently is divided into two cities. The West Side and East Side. I live on the East Side of Sumter. I want to work with people of good will so all of Sumter can grow and develop equally in this new century. There are many problems and agendas in Sumter, yet I believe we can work together to solve each one. I would ask my fellow citizens of Sumter to help with the following: road construction, helping our seniors, disabled and children.

In the Crosswell area of Sumter, there are two road construction projects. The first question to the ward and district elected officials: Why two different projects for the same road? North Main Street from Byrd Street to Calhoun Street should look like Alice Drive Street and Westmark Boulevard. Alice Drive has two street lights every 50 feet. It is my understanding that the utility company told the City of Sumter the cost of placing utility lines underground on North Main Street. The City of Sumter leaders responded they will not spend that amount of money on my side of Sumter. I can reach only one conclusion: Elected and organizational leaders do not think the people on the East Side are worth and or deserve any improvement to their communities and property that our seniors work all their lives to purchase and maintain. The North Main road project has been and still is in the planning phase for over five years. Do current leaders deserve our tithes or to be reelected? In my humble opinion, if the elected officials in the Crosswell area do not have approved plans for the North Main project for: underground utility lines, sidewalks on both sides, street lights and mass arm traffic lights from the corner of Bryd and North Main Street to the corner of Calhoun and North Main Street. The City Planning Department should have a scale model of North Main Street and start date for construction by June 2022 election month.

If not, the voters of the East Side should look for new leadership to unite Sumter and take us into the 21st century. The winter storms are hitting Sumter. The voter should not support the Penny Sales Tax project unless the county commits to place utility lines underground, improve the drainage system and roads in need before spending any more tax funds to benefit private businesses.

I have followed the events surrounding Sumter County School District. It is shameful especially for those who say they honor Dr. King this week and celebrate the month of February as our history month. Yet the school board trustee of area five voted not to extend the superintendent contract. The trustee owes the community a detailed explanation of his decision. This shameful act was done knowing the history of education in this county. On my side of town, we had to attend Winn, Savage Glover and Lincoln high schools. The trustee dishonored all those who struggled and gave their lives to create one school district and created the opportunity for the current superintendent. I see no good business reason for the trustee vote. Therefore, I must conclude the reason is because of the superintendent's gender or color. What is more distributing is the school pattern of behavior: they did not extend the contracts of the superintendent that came from Atlanta, the football coach and basketball coach that took Sumter High teams to the state championships? The common denominator is their color. What upset me the most is that groups such as the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and so-called pastors on my side of Sumter have not weighed in on the issues surrounding the superintendent or show any support. So why should we continue to support them? How can we expect our children to get a good education if as one trustee stated the superintendent is subjected to a hostile work environment? One problem is should a county employee hold elected office? Is it legal to subject an employee to hostile work environment?

Thanks for time, consideration and printing my opinion. I am proud to be a resident of Sumter and an American. God bless the USA.