To the editor:
In the last municipal election in the city of Laurinburg in 2015, only 24 percent of registered voters voted; 76 per
cent of citizens registered to vote did not vote. Embarrassing. The current election for city council is one of the most important in our recent history. Voters have the option of voting for an experienced group who have demonstrated their ability to work with our County leaders and other government agencies to achieve some of the recent successes achieved in bringing new (albeit small) business to our county and expansion of existing business. Voters other option is to vote for a group of candidates who appear to bring no expertise exceeding the current members experience and statewide contacts. Criticisms of the current council indicate the opposition candidates do not understand the problems of rural America. Most all rural areas of our Country are experiencing the same economic problems facing the City of Laurinburg and Scotland County. College graduates and others are flocking to urban areas and not returning to rural areas. An article in last week’s Marlboro Herald-Advocate indicated that Marlboro County’s population has decreased by 5,700 residents between 1990 and 2017. Local government officials have very little control over the conditions that have caused the problems in rural areas (primarily cheap overseas labor).
This election is about our future and not the new municipal building construction. While we all may disagree with the solution chosen by our council, there should be no question that the current facilities are inadequate. Apparently, the council had significant professional guidance from engineers and construction experts indicating the cost of refurbishing the existing building would approximate the cost of new cost construction. While some people argue it is too large, it is better to build extra square footage than have to address the construction problem again in a few short years. Moore County is currently addressing building a new courthouse due to lack of space while the current courthouse was built only 38 years ago. Barring any unforeseen growth, the new municipal building should suffice for 60+ years. I can only conclude the council made the best decision for the long term benefit of our city in approving the design and construction of the new municipal building.
I urge all residents to go vote in this election for the three incumbents who I believe are the most qualified to continue to move the city of Laurinburg and Scotland County forward.