• So, these jobs ...

    We have begun a series of stories that will take us through to an upcoming jobs forum.

    There's been a lot of discussion of Chester County's status. We've been ranked third in unemployment in South Carolina for five months running. The four months before that, we were ranked second worst.

    The rate is dipping, but we can't seem to shake loose the bad ranking. The last time Chester County had a single-digit unemployment rate was one month ago. In May 2007, we had a 9.5 percent unemployment rate. And where did we rank then? Third.

  • On endorsements

    Before each election season, we try to remind you of our coverage policy and the policy on endorsements, ours and yours.

    We generally try to avoid covering the day-to-day, blow-by-blow of even our local campaigns, given our staff and space limitations.

    We generally try to talk government more than politics. Government, good or bad, affects people's lives.

  • Qualifications for office must be clear

    We think it's time for election law to be made absolutely, crystal clear to candidates. But it's never clear, so we end up in situations like we have in Great Falls. A deputy was the top vote-getter, but the law says he must give up his job as a deputy to serve on the council. It's an unfortunate situation for the candidate. He must choose how he wants to serve the public.

    This isn't the first time it's come up. It's not even the first time this election season. People tried to lay similar accusations against County Attorney Joanie Winters, who is running for State Senate.

  • Washington must choose

    We were actually working on a story on Thursday morning about something called "dual office holding" in reference to the Great Falls election before we heard that a protest of last week's election results had been filed. We've come across it enough times that last Tuesday we realized it would be an issue here.

    Two unsuccessful candidates in the Great Falls election filed a protest claiming that Darryl Washington, the top vote getter, is holding dual offices.

  • First instinct was right one

    We have in the past praised Fort Lawn Town Council for doing an excellent job presenting public information to to the public.

    If you attend a meeting, waiting for you is an agenda, a financial report and minutes of the meeting immediately prior to the one you are attending.

    It's something all governmental bodies should take as an example.

    Freedom of Information is as much a habit and a state of mind as anything else. Doing it right can be learned, but it can take time.

    Last week, we saw a great example of this, again at a Fort Lawn Town Council meeting.

  • On senate race

    We're a little surprised to see all the interest in the S.C. Senate District 17 seat.

    State Sen. Linda Short announced last year she would not run for the office she has held since 1993. When she announced her retirement, which she said was to spend more time with her grandchildren, we wondered who would run for the seat.

  • Frank discussion of race needed

    We never heard a thing about a Chicago minister named Jeremiah Wright until some inflammatory comments he made were spread over the Internet.

    The comments were ugly. The fact that they are still being aired, profusely, is also ugly. Such comments, we think, are regrettably made all the time. These made headlines not for their content but because Wright was for 20 years Barack Obama's pastor.

    The hatred Wright expressed for America is abhorrent and sickening. Yet, as a letter writer today shows, it is possible to understand where it comes from.

  • Need a job? You have some options

    We're right up there, holding tight. Chester County, ranks high in that nasty category.

    We remain ranked in third place in unemployment, as we have since the end of last year. Our unemployment rate is in double digits. The latest available numbers say 12 percent of the county's workforce has no job.

  • Seniors need meals

    We believe that running a government ought to be about setting priorities. Sometimes people in government talk that talk, but do not walk the walk.

    There is a bit of a dustup in South Carolina now, what with senior citizens sending paper plates to the Governor's Office with notes written on them to highlight the need for money for a program which it pays for senior citizens to get hot meals. Some of the meals are distributed for seniors to eat at senior centers. Some meals are delivered.

  • Isn't there a plan?

    We are dismayed at a recent, unusual rezoning request. County Council has voted to overturn the Planning Commission. Unusual, but not unheard of.

    The issues at stake remind us of the fuss over Tiger World, where someone needed zoning changes to bring a few jobs and create an attraction that might bring tourists.

    It would have substantially changed the nature of the community where it wanted to be. County Council actually created ordinances to regulate and ban dangerous animals as a result. The county's Zoning Board of Appeals also rejected a change, standing up for locals.