The Lowcountry kids will be heading to summer camp soon.
My three children attended Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island, happily dragging steamer trunks behind them.
They slept in bunks, lulled by the wind and the waves.
They went kayaking. They went sailing. They jumped into the fluffy mud pit with wild abandon.
My experience at camp was a little different.
In 1967 I camped where my mother had been a councilor in 1949. She was excited. I was not.
We had canvas tents, an eating shelter, outdoor sinks with BYOS (bring your own soap), and a two-hole “personal care facility” called the latrine.
The camp was overrun with mosquitoes and I was soon covered in itchy red marks.
We slept under a mosquito net, but the mosquitoes crept in, buzzing in our ears all night.
My work in the camp was to take care of the latrines. Armed with a steel bucket, a scrub brush and a bottle of liquid Lysol – I still squeak when I see that brown bottle – I scrubbed the wood thoroughly smoothed around two holes the size of ‘a plate.
Camp wasn’t all mosquitoes and Lysol.
There were also activities. Arts and crafts, swimming, lumberjack techniques and a visit to the camp infirmary.
In two weeks, I stepped on a nail, sliced my leg with a handsaw, got infected bug bites, and had a fever.
The infirmary had clean floors, clean sheets, real mattresses, and a window air conditioner. I loved the infirmary. And the nurse let me sleep in one of the deliciously clean beds.
For those who are going camping this summer, don’t be discouraged. It’s a wonderful experience, or at the very least, a memorable one. Have fun, meet new friends and use lots of insect repellent.
And, introduce yourself to the nurse.
It is with great pleasure that I seek another term for the Charleston County Deeds Registry. I couldn’t be more proud of my staff. Managing the historic influx of documents into legal compliance has been nothing short of a phenomenal effort.
The retirement of several employees with decades of institutional knowledge, low interest rates and the uncertainty of COVID-19 protocols have impacted the ability of staff to keep up with the deluge of documents.
My efforts as the Deeds Registry have always been to adopt industry best practices and improve the preservation of the oldest land records in the state. Electronic registration of documents modernizes the process and has been available for over 20 years. Digitization was not a priority until I became register. There is no reason to continue using an outdated system.
Historically low interest rates and the pandemic have forced us to relocate the conversion process office to deal with the largest surge in real estate transactions Charleston County has ever seen. Due to the huge population growth, transactions increased by 30% from 2019 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, transactions increased by 70%.
Despite the odds, in 2022 and 2021 we set a record with the highest records ever at 99,698 and 120,519, respectively. We increased our revenue by 62% and generated the highest revenue of any county in the state, despite other counties using electronic check-in procedures.
We are on track for another banner year in 2022. Herculean staff effort has helped us maintain state compliance. There has been no backlog for months. Our goal is to make this office the gold standard in the state.
Please know that I appreciate and revere the opportunity to serve the people of Charleston County as a Registry of Deeds.
To suggest that I would give up my engagement is a misinterpretation of who I am.
Vote for Weaver
I was disappointed, if not surprised, to see Kathy Maness’ editorial endorsement for South Carolina’s Superintendent of Education. If you want more of the same, she’s the status quo choice.
I have worked with business, legislative and education leaders here and across the state to improve education for over three decades now.
Time and time again, I have seen the deep resistance to change from associations based in Colombia that continue to push students and teachers to follow outdated ways of thinking.
In my work on major economic development projects, I know firsthand that education is important. The states around us are taking major steps to reform their education systems, even Mississippi now surpasses us in early reading, the foundation of learning.
The bottom line: If we don’t get in the game, we’ll lose jobs and economic opportunities for another generation of South Carolina college students.
Change is never easy and rarely popular. The kids of South Carolina deserve a leader who has the courage and grace to take the heat.
That’s why I support Ellen Weaver. She is a hard-working, pragmatic and action-oriented leader.
I saw his energy, determination and ability to get things done firsthand during our time together on the Education Oversight Committee.
Ms. Weaver brings the fresh perspective, integrity, and unquestionable leadership and teamwork skills that are necessary if we are to overcome deep-rooted mindsets to deliver on the promise of a great education for every student in our state. I encourage voters to join me in supporting his candidacy.