LOCKHART — Lockhart Power hosted a special joint council meeting on Tuesday, which was preceded by a conversation about pride in Union County.
Both the Union County Council and the Lockhart Town Council met at Lockhart Power to take comments from the public as well as conduct their regular meetings. During the public comments, members of both councils and the public expressed that Union County residents should take more pride in where they live.
“We’ve forgotten how to celebrate ourselves,” said Curtiss Hunter of the Union County Tourism Commission. “Go on Facebook and you know who you’ll see are the first ones to dog us out? We are!”
Hunter suggested that local sales tax be raised two cents instead of one cent.
“One penny would eliminate our fees, but a second penny would give some life to us,” she said. “We could invest in our fire departments or whatever we needed to. I’m ready to pay two pennies. It’s been so long since we’ve done anything big and bold, and it would show people what we’re doing.”
Union County Supervisor Frank Hart agreed, and mentioned that people should also take pride in the work they do in their home county. He expressed concern about something he was told by an employer.
“I met with a plant manager earlier this week, and he said he can’t get enough people to pass a drug test, and if they do, he can’t get them to come to work or care about the quality of their work,” Hart said. “That’s a problem. There’s no quick fix, but it’s something we have to work on.”
Hart was asked about local taxes, and he pointed out that only 40 percent of county tax goes to local government.
“We do more for less at the local level,” Hart said. “You can see what we do.”
Hart pointed out that county tax dollars are visible on a daily basis when an ambulance or police officer shows up at someone’s door when they are called. In comparison, Hart said state and federal tax dollars’ actions are not as visible.
Local Democratic Party Chair Ann Stevens mentioned the importance of voting in all elections. She referred to the state primary.
“You would be surprised how many people don’t know they have to vote on June 14,” she said.
Stevens also said young people as a whole are removed, thinking their votes won’t count or that they should only vote in the presidential election.
Lockhart’s Mayor Ailene Ashe said the Town of Lockhart is excited that Union County is willing to help them, and the town is applying for a grant to create a trail there. Ashe said this goes right along with her longtime dream of having a boat ramp in Lockhart that would help create tourism there. She said Sen. Harvey Peeler has been behind the town getting the ramp 100 percent.
It was also announced that the Town of Lockhart will receive funding for road work needed to be done in preparation for the installation of the new bridge.
In other business, the Union County Council appointed Melissa Lawson, Linda Casey Clark and Kimberly Lawson to the Union County Tourism Commission, and George Bruce was reappointed.
First Class Promotions
The meeting also included guest speaker Corey Barns from First Class Promotions, which he referred to as a family business.
“We take motorsports and offer several things,” Barns said.
First Class Promotions, which has been in operation for 12 years, will hold its first event in Union County — a bike race and car showcase — Saturday, May 7, at Union County Dragway — located at 2012 Santuc-Carlisle Hwy. in Union.
Barns said he looks forward to providing residents of Union County with this festival-like event which will offer attractions such as concerts and children’s activities to accompany the motorsports events.