What is the single biggest challenge we face in the Chester community?

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Tell us what you think Chester's biggest challenges are...

DWynne (not verified)
Lack of diversity, respect for others

Living in Great Falls often feels like living in a bubble waiting for it to pop because daily you see the lack of respect for diversity. The Home Town Association puts on events that exclude the African American, unless they want to celebrate their slave ancestry. The town does not have a single African American working full time in any department. When you go through out the community you will discover that there are only 4 African Americans working within the town itself.

Until we can create an atmosphere of equality for everyone Chester County will not be able to bring in big businesses. The work force is a reflection of the community and right now the work force in Great Falls exclude a large, vital, important part of the community; minorities. No big business wants to walk into a community that still creates a form of segregation.

We must get over the past and move forward into the future where equality shines within each of the communities of Chester County.

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the biggest challenge in Chester

There are many challenging issues in the city and county of Chester.
My wife and I love it here, but our hearts have been breaking over the many failures to "jump start" the heart of Chester's economy.
it wasnt even about 1 month into our moving to Chester that we learned of the Mill closings and 1000 (give or take) jobs were lost!
Then one day I'm driving up the Hill and I see a building had fallen down the night before - I used to go into that old antique shop ---
my heart sank. not because "I could've been in the building" - but it became apparent to me that day - that there is a bit of neglect (to say the least)when it comes to people "strategizing" and planning for what might come our way.

I have believed and continue to believe that Chester is "untouched country"
a proverbial land of opportunity for the right individuals and right mindset. WE must be looking forward!
does anyone - or any organization have any kind of a thought-out plan?
I am inclined to think that there isnt a plan. no one has given it much thought. it seems many leaders only think about a few days out - and react to events. what should be done is constant strategizing - evaluation - and then tweaks to your plan as you MOVE FORWARD.
Leadership should be PRESSING IN to move the people of Chester forward - NOT having a "wait and see" attitude.

another issue that keeps people from seeing any semblence of success:
Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying EVERYONE is uneducated.
But the general populace lack the knowledge and skills that would enable a business to succeed in Chester. I know that I am sure to take some flac for this statement. but it is true. at least I'm not the School Superintendant - so no-one can fire me for stating the truth.
I'm not talking about the general education that we all get in a public school system.
I'm talking about a joy and thirst for true learning and understanding.

Biggest challenges?

a lack of Strategic Planning by our leaders
a love of Education and knowledge by the people

these two things have created a barrier to any business success in Chester.

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If you ask me I personally

If you ask me I personally think that the trade could be improved, this would revive the economy and we need that so much.

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I see that anyone who has an

I see that anyone who has an opinion that is not agreeable with the majority...seems to have NO VOICE!...smh lol, i posted a comment about the town of Great Falls and the council meeting discussions and the new so-called ordinance; my comment, post, has mysteriously disappeared and furthermore, this website has not been making many changes over the last few months...now, all of a sudden, the article has changed and so my comment has been removed. Okay, with that being said, our community has not changed much in the past 20 or so years and that's a shame! I thought that the bill of rights included FREEDOM OF SPEECH...but it seems when someone who is trying to have a VOICE that does not "flow" with the majority, end up being removed or the community finds little ways to "weed" them out, so that the person feels as though, they are not "supposed" to, per se...have any opinions!!! I am upset and offended because I know that this is how our community works and it is NOT a good look! :( I knew that things have not changed much and I knew that our community was/is not going to stick together for the greater good of the area, (it's sad but it's true), I also knew that our community have little "ways" to stick together to make a situation that should not be a big deal, a huge deal...that should be evaluated!
I love my community enough to want to see growth and CHANGE! If our community could possibly stick together on SOMETHING and let the rest of the people in the community SEE that we're sticking together on something then, we may see a change!!! EVERYONE that i ask about changing the community want these things to happen. This is not alabama or mississippi, in the 50's and 60's, this is South Carolina...Chester County, SC 2012!!!...It's time out for living in twilight zone, it's time to step up into the future and make a DIFFERENCE!!!! I do my part in this community, and so do lots of others in their own ways, but if the townspeople don't/won't learn to SUPPORT one another in CHANGE, GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, MAKING A DIFFERENCE, FOCUSING ON THINGS THAT MATTER (i.e. violence, crime, war on drugs, poverty, economic slide, education, boredom among youth [who are our future]), then our community will NEVER, did i say NEVER, rise up, build up, or get better!!! I don't always agree or maybe VERY SELDOM agree on most decisions that are made by our town but I have to listen and go along with the flow, whether I like it or not, as for the rest of townspeople...but I HAVE A VOICE ALSO, I'm just not like everyone else...I'M USING MINE (voice)! I can and I will until something happens! i was taught that if you don't stand for something you'll fall for ANYTHING!!! GUESS WHAT GUYS!?!?!?....consider me the mountain who WILL NOT BE MOVED!! I've noticed what's going on and I'm speaking on it! Maybe if you post a few of these comments in the paper, someone will read more than the police beat and obituary sections...smdernh! I'm praying for our community and most importantly I'm trying to DO something to help make a difference that at least our youth may be able to benefit from...THE question of the day is: WHAT ARE YOU DOING OR PLANNING OR GOING TO DO!?!?!?!?.....guess now i'll probably be removed from the page altogether...it's okay though I'm sure someone has read this and agrees!! If we ALL sat back in the shadows, had no voice, and didn't speak up and out, then our communities wouldn't even be where it is today...just remember this guys! Change starts within...make a difference, be willing to make a difference, embrace it, nurture it, and see how a community can grow!!!

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Boredom...not enough things

Boredom...not enough things to do for our upcoming youth, or jobs that equal to or coincide with the cost of living. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular, but it does have to be interesting, safe, and maybe with a little bit of UMPH!!...Our county, to me, is in dire need of helping our youth to become respectable young people, and be able to prosper in this already hard world. They are growing up seeing parents, people around them struggling andd having hardships...even those who are working, and they don't know or cannot find a safe, respectable way OUT! I am more than willing to help the cause, as I am already, if i dont do anything else other than preach to them. I have ideas and I am a soldier who's ready to help fight this battle!!! I have spoken with different students of different ages and I am ready with confidence to be able to get this show on the road...No mess, No drugs, No crime! This is something that Our ENTIRE community needs and has for a LONG time! this is a dream of mine, and is proving to be a dream of theirs too. A lot of our youth know no other ways and if they do, they have no way to let it all out! each one, reach one, teach one, to be or see who they CAN be!!!!!!

Homer 123
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economic development

We need an economic development director that want to recruit something other than chemical manufacturing plants.

perry bf
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Stuck in Limbo

Maybe its just me but, every time I travel from a neighboring cities such as Union or Rock Hill, it appears as if the city is growing, & changing...perhaps a better word would be evolving! I am a native New Yorker, who been a Chester County resident for the past 5 years and it seems as though Chester County is stuck in a state of limbo! No strides of "reasonable" progress are being made because the "elected" officials have no plans to do better, and we all know the old cliche. People don't plan to fail...they fail to plan. It appears that this is the issue facing Chester County Government!

Seems like all we read about is how Chester County is the marijuana capital of the state and how high the unemployment rate is here as opposed to the rest of the state. I even took the time out to read the minutes of the last couple Chester County Government meetings. Guess what it looks like the same meeting is being copy and pasted on each of the links with a slight variation...if you don't believe me please research this for yourself, here's the link!

When are issues going to be brought up in an election! Aren't the issues important? Should you be elected simply because of who you know?
More importantly what are the issues!
Joblessness, poverty, commuting over an hour for a decent paying job, teen pregnancy, stagflation, and no plan for the future of Chester!

I won't sit here and proclaim to know it all and have the solutions, but maybe, just maybe someone agrees with me and this thread will be the beginning of a new movement in Chester County!

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I wish this page had a like

I wish this page had a like button!!!!!

Homer 123
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Corruption and back door politics in Chester County.

Get rid of the dictatorship, no representative type of individuals that make up our county government. Stop the phone calls that set up the outcome of the county council meetings. They know before they get to the meeting what that are supposed to vote for and what they are supposed to vote against. Stop hiding behind closed doors in executive session and let the people hear what you have to say. Stop hiding projects that you know the people will be against if they find out in time to stop the council vote.

At present, the people are not represented by our elected county officials. They do not listen to the people.

The worst part of the whole situation is that the people go to the polls and re-elect the same people that use and abuse their office.

Homer 123
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Friday, Apr. 15,

Friday, Apr. 15, 2011
Closed-door landfill discussions prompt call for tougher state law
By SAMMY FRETWELL - sfretwell@thestate.com
Buzz up!
Reprint 4 Comments
Text Size: tool nameclose
tool goes here For more than six months last year, Lancaster County officials quietly negotiated a deal to bring a mega garbage dump to a rural area best known for closed textile mills and a historic gold mine.

Citizens managed to stop the disposal site — at least temporarily — after learning of the giant landfill at the last minute.

But the process that kept them in the dark for so long needs to change, Lancaster County residents said during a legislative hearing Thursday in Columbia.

They asked House agriculture committee members to change state law so that any community is informed early in the process when a big landfill plans to locate in South Carolina.

In Lancaster County, local officials called the landfill plan an economic development project, which allowed them under state law to keep the public uninformed until negotiations were nearly done, state legislators were told. Private discussions stretched from midsummer through December 2010, residents said.

“We had to conduct our own investigations as private citizens to find out what happened and how this landfill came to Lancaster, South Carolina,’’ county resident Michael Greene said.

Lancaster County residents said making it easier for the public to find out about proposed landfills could benefit everyone in the Palmetto State.

Mega landfills are a major point of concern in South Carolina, which imports tons of garbage annually from states as far away as New England for burial here. Landfill companies promise jobs and increased revenues for counties, many of them rural and poor. But landfills also create odors and some have polluted groundwater.

The proposed Lancaster County landfill, planned by landfill management companies Griffin Brothers and Waste Management Inc., would replace a mega dump in Spartanburg County that is nearing capacity and close to shutting down. Under state law, Waste Management could locate a new landfill in another spot — in this case the small community of Kershaw — because it is within the same region of South Carolina.

Public notice eventually would have been given by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control after permit applications were made. But that process would occur only after local approval was given — meaning there was limited opportunity for citizens to comment at the local level, critics said.

Greene urged legislators to pass legislation that would not allow county governments to keep proposed landfills secret in the name of economic development. Greene, a State Law Enforcement Division agent who owns about 100 acres near the landfill site, said he’s concerned the landfill plan could resurface later this year.

Chances are dim that legislation will pass before the House and Senate end their sessions in early June. The subcommittee voted to table the legislation, which neither kills it nor advances it. But Lancaster County residents, who have hired Columbia attorney Kevin Hall, said they would continue to press the matter.

Randall Essick, a Waste Management representative in South Carolina, said he thinks existing state law gives the public ample opportunity to learn about and comment on any proposed landfill. Lancaster County officials familiar with the issue were not available later Thursday for comment.

Waste Management has long made the point that its landfills are environmentally safe and that the company tries to work with the local community. The site is near the town of Kershaw, not far from the historic Haile Gold Mine. It would be at the location of an old demolition landfill, but by law could eventually take in more than 1 million tons of garbage annually — which critics say would make it one of the state’s largest. Essick said the company has no plans to accept more than 750,000 tons annually at the site from North and South Carolina customers.

If people know about the process, the county can make a better informed decision on whether a landfill is suitable, said Greene, Hall and state Rep. Jay Lucas, R-Darlington.

“This simply is a transparency bill,’’ Lucas, the bill’s sponsor, said. “What is so radical about the concepts in this bill? Who could oppose something like this — requiring us to give notice to citizens that we represent that a landfill may be coming to their county?”

Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2011/04/15/1779331/closed-door-landfill-discussi...

We, the people of Chester County, have faced several things that were approved by county council without the people knowing until the last minute. Can you spell Incinerator. How about Nourse Motors leasing. How about the ethanol plants. Let us not forget when our present county supervisor held office before and tried to pull in a mega landfill without letting the people know in advance until the 3rd reading. But the people stopped this in time and they stopped the incinerator in time. Maybe we do need a state law to protect the rights of the people. Heaven help the working people of Chester County because their elected officials continue dumping on them with any industry that nobody else wants. Our Economic Development Office seems to be geared to trash industry. We deserve better.

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I do hope that the laws will

I do hope that the laws will change in this direction, people have the right to know whether they'll have to live next to a landfill or not. On the other hand I am thinking that nobody would like to have a landfill close to their community and yet, we need landfills. The best thing is to just find a solution for the garbage that doesn't involve a landfill at all. They what they are trying to do at junk removal Baltimore, it's an ambitious plan but at least they are trying harder.

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Homer 123
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Chester needs a facelift and much more.

Keith you are so right.

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Chester's biggest challenge?

The biggest challenges Chester faces are: 1. Change the mindset of local residents to buy locally rather than trek to Rock Hill or elsewhere for "bargains". Buying local is a matter of survival for the community and that is a song that should be sung at every possible opportunity. 2. Clean up the town. Properties that are falling down and abandoned within the city limits should be systematically approached and either improved or removed. Having lived elsewhere for the past 30+ years, a drive through Chester is downright depressing. There desperately needs to be a building code enforcement. Work with owners as much as possible, and even attempt to get state funding for clean-up and repair work. But whatever you do, please don't allow things to continue to deteriorate. The clean-up effort at the Springsteen site was commendable. A vast improvement. But it was too slow in happening. Take the momentum that has been gained in that instance and keep moving towards other properties that have been grossly neglected or abandoned (like much of Pinckney St.), and make my hometown a place where people would like to live once again.

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Shopping reply to Kieth

It's not just a matter of "bargains". Many of the local retailers over the years (many have since shut down)were just buying from Lowe's in Rock Hill and marking it way up to sell here. Several times I asked for things in stores here and was told that they would run to Rock hill and have it for me the next day. It only makes economic sense to go to Rock Hill and get it yourself. When you can buy the gas, drive up there and it is still cheaper then people will do that. If people in Chester established themselves with wholesale suppliers and sold things at reasonable prices then people would buy here, saving their time and gas money. Now I completely agree that people should buy locally but it is not just a matter of where the store is located but where the product is made. If people bought local products instead of the cheapest Chinese or Mexican thing they can get then maybe our economy wouldn't be sinking as fast as it is. Back 16 years ago I was stationed in Korea. Those people will not buy anything foreign if there was a Korean product to buy. Yet we buy all their junk. ahhhh this is too agravating a topic to talk about.

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Is it time to move from the past?

Individuals have tried to deal with those very issue you both talk about. But that change must come from a mandate of those in the city. An to stop allowing those who wont to remind you of the past, to keep you in the past. As you can see what has happen by allowing that thought of mind to continue for the past 30yrs. There's no grow or movement, instead of allowing it to exist, you now have individuals with no plans or goals for the future. The first steps takes a plan. When u see your own people invest then maybe you will start to stem the tide or exodus from those leaving the city. So is it time to move forward from the past the answer is a resounding yes.........