Editors Observations: When you live a lifetime in a community you don't really notice the gradual change that takes its toll. It's like the reunion you attended where you found yourself face to face with a classmate you had not seen in forty or fifty years. It's an awkward moment at best because your mind had etched this memory of a young and vibrant person with whom you shared many memories; and now there is this old person standing in front of you who bears little resemblance to your classmate of years past. That is exactly how the face of Bishopville has changed during those same years.
An example of what occurs when you have reactive leadership is what happened to the property that my family once owned on North Main street. Today there is a Mobile Home Park in what was once the back yard of my childhood home. Tell that to someone who once lived in Bishopville and you get a response of unbelievability. The shock of learning that is doubled when they see it with their own eyes. What were the Civic Leaders thinking?
Across Main Street from our home stood the majestic Woodward house that sat on an attractive sizable lot and was surrounded by many beautiful majestic oak trees which where so bountiful that the front, side and back yards were shaded and home to many birds and squirrels. Gone now; replaced by brick, mortar and concrete. A federal building is sitting in the middle of a residential district that also saw a gas station pop up. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the decision making process other than it was expedient or profitable to certain influential individuals.
Continuing along with this dialogue I'll mention the old Grammar School, which had there been proactive leadership among the civic leaders during that time, could today have been a wonderful Community Center. But at least it hasn't seen the addition of bricks, mortar and concrete and is a wonderful park for the citizens use.
The approaches to the community of Bishopville from the North, East, South, and West have changed the quaint little town appearance to one of a unsightly, confused, and disorderly collection of intermingled residential and business districts.
An opportunity is at hand to select proactive community leaders who have the ability to anticipate the needs of the community and the fortitude to stay the course when the chips are down and who will end the hodge podge way of dealing with the town's treasures. Sitting at home while others decide how your home town is raped or protected is your privilege. You also have the privilege of the vote and, in my opinion, an obligation to your fellow citizens to exercise that vote. I hope that you do!
Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 6:00 am | BY RANDY BURNS Special to The Item
BISHOPVILLE - Filing is under way for the six at-large council and the mayoral seats in the May 10 nonpartisan election for the city of Bishopville.
City Administrator Gregg McCutchen said residents seeking office should file during regular business hours at Bishopville City Hall, 135 E. Church St., in Bishopville by noon on March 11. Filing began at noon Feb. 25, said McCutchen."