by Chris Haire
I'm the kind of guy who believes that deep down inside everybody is good.
They love puppies and little babies.
They believe in helping little old ladies across the street.
They will gladly retweet a tweet from Microsoft proclaiming that they will donate $1 to the Make a Wish Foundation every single time their tweet is retweeted.
They fucking care.
But unfortunately, there are some real rat bastards out there. People you just can't trust.
People who need money for the bus.
Anybody that wants to ask you a question.
Parking lot perfume salesmen.
Guys that wear bowties.
That mother of three hawking Girl Scout Cookies at the Piggly Wiggly.
Lawyers for the Citadel.
Anybody who wears a baseball cap backwards.
And Folly Beach City Council.
See, just a few weeks back, Folly Council thought it'd be a good idea to let voters decide whether or not a permanent beach booze ban should be put in place. And so, Council proposed adding a non-binding referendum to November's ballot that would do just that. Once the people had spoken on Election Day, City Council would then vote in accordance with the wishes of the masses — either to uphold the ban or nix it.
Apparently, Folly Beach City Council has changed their mind. They're thinking about ditching the non-binding referendum all together. The Post and Courier's Schuyler Kropf reports:
Supporters of a ban on alcohol on the beach turned over a petition Tuesday night with the names of nearly 500 island residents who want the issue put to a binding vote...
LaJuan Kennedy, a local real estate business operator, turned the 495 petition signatures over, saying there is clearly a movement by those fed up with what they say is out-of-control conduct not necessarily tied to the infamous July Fourth melee where thousands gathered for an oceanside party.
“It’s been a fun thing to do,” she said of organizing the effort, “but the people are serious.”
The next step is for those signatures to be confirmed as legal, since only island residents and voters would be allowed to take part in such a referendum.
While that verification is being done, Folly Mayor Tim Goodwin suggested council hold off on the scheduled third and final vote to put a nonbinding alcohol vote on the Nov. 6 ballot, saying the petition could end up being the trump card.
Even with Tuesday’s postponements and call for an island-wide vote, there still might not be a need for such a referendum. Council also has the option of enacting the citizen petition as an ordinance as is, officials said.
It also appears supporters collected far more signatures than were needed. The threshold was 15 percent of registered voters, or about 331 names.
So there you have it, folks. The people — all 495 of them — have spoken, and they say they don't want drinking on Folly Beach.
Of course, you don't have to be an expert on banana republic politics to see what's happening here. Folly Beach City Council clearly wants a permanent ban, and they're afraid that the citizenry won't vote the way council wants them to, and so Mayor Goodwin and his cohorts just might be planning to do an endrun around the promised democratic process and ban booze anyways. After all, as the article states, the Council just might decide that the citizen petition is reason enough to put a permanent ban in place, with or without a referendum.
I don't know about you, but in my opinion there's really only one thing to say about that: "U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A."