Hahahan City Government: The Lost Years!

                                          Click to Enlarge!hanahan sc

 Who shall win this epic battle over the future of 42 acres of unspoiled watershed on Williams Lane in Tanner Plantation?

Not long ago I heard Mayor Minnie say that twenty years from now no one is going to know or care HOW the school got built…all they will care about is that they have a good school for their kids to attend.

She’s about sixty-five per cent correct. Twenty years from now most folks will not give one owl hoot. They will be so wrapped up in their own lives, the hustle and bustle, and the hard-scrabble effort to make an adequate living…so busy that the past will be of little interest to them.

Where she is wrong is the part about “not knowing.”

They will know because I will tell them. If they are interested in the history of Hanahan, they will discover what I had to say about the issue of overdevelopment, unfair distribution of resources, broken promises, and habitat destruction.

I have appointed myself as the unofficial scribe of this time…and this place…and these people…

Hanahan’s current configuration of elected representatives hasn’t left much in the way of an official record of their public deliberations in city council meetings. That’s because these get togethers are not videotaped. 

HELLO! Welcome to the 21st Century! Start videotaping NOW!

Berkeley County School Board meetings are always videotaped and posted on their website. I am curious why Hanahan did not follow suit years ago. Can it be that they just can’t afford the $1,500-2,000 required to buy a video camera and tripod? Is there no one inside city hall who knows how to point a camera and hit the record button?

This probably explains why our elected officials, at the last city council meeting, so freely threw out those little asides about how “disappointed” they were that the School Board representative for District 2 wasn’t present when the mayor and city council undertook their recent pilgrimage to a Berkeley County School Board meeting. 

There was a great shaking of heads and angry muttering concerning the (oh-so-rude) slight delivered to Hanahan officials by the school board member who had better things to do than to listen to the collective whine of a “glomming mass of mediocrity”*1 which, in a different era and, under different circumstances, might have gathered in front of Marshall Dillon’s office with torches, a noose, and a belly full of cheap liquor!*2

 I wish that I could review the video tape of the council meeting to see if I am making this shit up or if I’m telling the truth…but, yes…I forgot…there is no video record.

To that end, I guess that I’m safe in saying that, during the council meeting, Mr. Owens sported a huge flashing and spinning bow tie to emphasize his own personal outrage and Mr. Sally was sitting in the corner playing rock, paper, scissors with the sixth grade kid who had been designated as honorary mayor for the evening’s festivities. 

I wasn’t at the school board meeting when Hanahan’s elected officials made their trek to Moncks Corner but I was able to view the video on the School Board website at the public library (my internet connection sucks). Things got a bit heated as the mayor and council members shuffled to the podium to express their individual and collective outrage. One irate citizen was so moved by his own gibberish rhetoric that I was expecting him to remove a shoe and start wildly pounding the podium…like Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations.

Judging from what I saw, Kent Murray did the right thing by not showing up. He’s a whole lot smarter and wiser than anyone in the crew from Hanahan. Why should he subject himself to a torrent of hyperbolic, manufactured bull shit? 

                              Click to enlarge!

Kent Murray Berkeley School Board

Hanahan has a new website under construction. I am hoping that they will offer video links to council meetings. What better way to let citizens know what is going on? That is, unless they don’t really want informed, knowledgable folks interfering with them while they figure out creative new ways to make us put on the blind folds and grab our ankles as they hurdy-gurdy hurtle our city into a bleak, Profits-First…People-Second Future.  

Then again maybe they don’t video tape because they don’t want to leave an evidentiary or historical trail of their activities.

“Where are we going to find the money for a fancy camera” they will painfully cry? “I dunno,” replies the annoying journalist/satirist. “You buy all sorts of stuff for the city. Why not buy some accountability for yourselves? A video record of council meetings would go a long way towards that end.”

The rabble rouser continued, “Here is some of the stuff you approved in the last year:

1)  A shiny new garbage truck.

2)…to be stored and repaired at a new vehicle maintenance shed in (where else) Tanner Plantation.

3)  A very expensive amphitheater with a paved nature trail.

4) $9,500 worth of new pistols for a police force in which turnover is very high due to low salaries. Did ya’ll consider giving this money as bonuses to our city police officers? Gestures like that might help in the process of retaining quality professionals. People should come first. (I am assuming, of course, that their old weapons still worked sufficiently well that the bullets didn’t just sputter out and bounce harmlessly off their shoes).

The obnoxious old fart coughed then blurted out, “If you can afford the above stuff…why not a nice camera?”

Future historians (and pissed-off citizens) may want to know why the Tanner side of the Hanahan township is so crowded and so poorly planned.

They will want to know why their main roads are in gridlock for several hours per day.

They could be curious why Hanahan’s elected officials gave themselves so much in the way of high quality public recreation space while, at the same time, they actively sought to deny access to ANY public space for the citizens on the poor side of the river.

They will want to know why the current city government decided not to honor the wishes of Westvaco in the disposition of their gift of 42 pristine acres of critical watershed habitat to Hanahan.

City Park? Nature Trail? Bah! Screw Westvaco and their damned wishes! 

I guaran-damn-tee you that if those two twenty-one acre lots were on the good side of the river (where Mayor Minnie and the Peanut Gallery live) they would be falling all over themselves to see who could hug a tree the tightest, the longest, and in the most overtly sensual manner.minnie mayor hanahan

That’s what I am here for. I will take my lowly history degree from USC (’72) and chronicle this very small slice in the history of Hanahan, South Carolina

I hope that the current elected officials can reverse the tide and come out on the positive side of the equation but, for now, their legacy is not looking that good.

What will your great-great grandchildren think of you?

Can you say Dystopia?

*1-Paul Palnik, “All God’s Chillenz”

*2-Maybe I can come up with some slightly less insulting analogy but for now this is all I got. Check back .

Things are moving fast. The Philistines are massing at the gate…bent upon the complete destruction of a veritable Garden of Eden.

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