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City Council, October 25

An uneventful meeting
Council member Gregorie – a closet Republican?

Marc Knapp

There was little to report on last night’s City Council meeting. We would comment on only three things - the recognition of Fire Chief Carr by the American Red Cross, the number of annexations on James Island, and the subdued manner of Council member Gregorie.

Firstly, the recognition of the Fire Chief for the leadership he has provided was understandable. But what shocked us was the toll that Parkinson Disease has taken of him. The Chief is a frail man barely able to walk and talk. He has served the City well in the few years that he has led the Fire Department, a fact acknowledged by the Mayor in the presentation.

Secondly, there were 57 properties on James Island up for annexation on the agenda. Clearly, there are some residents of the Island that want no part of a future town of James Island. However, we noticed that some properties – 4323 Limebaker Rd, 1633 Rafael Lane and on Central Park Road - were not contiguous to properties already in the City. Strange that. I thought the law required it.

And finally an observation. I thought that Council member Gregorie was very subdued at last night’s meeting. Generally, like most other Council members, he circulates amongst the staff, other Council members, and the public prior to a meeting. It seemed he did little of that last night. Do I err in my observation or was he truly reticent? We can only speculate.

Running for Mayor brings it own tribulations. Accountability for what you say or not say is one of those tribulations. I wonder if he were smarting under the criticism for a recent flyer that was sent out supporting his candidacy.

I received the flyer in the mail and to say the least, was stunned to see descriptions and phrases that described the candidate such as “Reagan Conservative”, “A sharp contrast to the Obama –Riley Agenda”, “A veteran of the Reagan Administration”. The flyer also had a prominent image of President Reagan. I confess to being both a Republican and a strong fan of President Reagan. I was very offended by the opportunism, the attempt to gain political ground by unjustified claims.

One of the claims may be factually true but requires so much spin. “A veteran of the Reagan Administration”? The Administration ended in 1989, twenty-two years ago. Council member Gregorie may well have worked for HUD at the time but he was a staff member and not an appointment of the President. The Council member was a senior member of HUD when he retired in 2007 but how senior was he 22 years ago?

And as for the other statements, I question the veracity. The Council member may not had declared his Democratic Party sympathies on Council but his votes on Council have never suggested he opposed policies of the Party or the President. Indeed we think that all Council members believed he was a Democrat and were stunned over the implied criticism of President Obama. Considering the political views now ascribed to the Council member, we ask where was he when Tim Scott was running for Congress?

Council member Gregorie said he had no knowledge of the flyer. This may be true, but I doubt that it will do him much good. It alienates Republicans by the liberties he has taken, and many Democrats with his implied criticism of President Obama and rejection of the Democratic Party. It would have been smart to disassociate himself from the flyer when the criticism began. In my view, it is too late now!

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