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GUEST EDITORIAL: The War Over Growth and Infrastructure in Lexington County

Lexington, SC 06/05/2024 Greg Brewer - The conflict between the Town of Lexington and Lexington County hinges on a crucial question: Who will bear the costs of growth and infrastructure—current residents or builder-developer groups profiting from the expansion?

This debate highlights the need for professional diversity on government bodies to ensure councils serve the public. As voting season approaches with the Republican primary on June 11th, and as we build up to the Lexington municipal elections in 2025, it is crucial for residents to stay informed and make thoughtful decisions. Builder-friendly elected officials have dominated policy, leading to the 2020 voter turnover of County Council to better manage growth. The builder industry is now trying to revert County Council to developer-friendly ways.

We must address the false accusations against county conservative incumbents running for reelection on June 11. In political campaigns, false narratives often obscure the truth. Recently, "Protect Lexington's Future," a group incorporated by a Building Industry Association executive, has targeted conservative incumbents with accusations of failing to plan for infrastructure. However, these claims are deliberate misinformation aimed at unseating diligent officials.

Contrary to these accusations, conservative incumbents have actively managed growth by re-evaluating permitting processes, reducing housing density in new neighborhoods, and implementing concurrency requirements to ensure infrastructure keeps pace with expansion. The pushback from the building industry stems from a profit-driven agenda that conflicts with responsible governance. Unchecked development has led to congestion and overburdened infrastructure, with taxpayers bearing the repair costs.

The incumbents have proactively addressed these issues, aiming to rein in unchecked growth and protect community interests. As elections near, voters must see through these false narratives and support those committed to responsible governance. The real issue lies in the unchecked greed of the building association ecosystem, which prioritizes profit over community well-being.

Key Questions for the Community:

1. Building Industry Association (BIA) Aggressiveness: Why has the BIA aggressively engaged with local politicians since 2021, aiming to install preferred candidates?

2. Illegal Annexation Attempt: Why did former Lexington Mayor MacDougall and the Town Council rush to annex 93 acres at Lake Murray, violating protections put in place by County Council?

3. Beneficiaries: How did the failure of the annexation plan affect the BIA, and who benefits from these decisions?

4. Community Implications: How would high-density developments and increased traffic congestion erode the quality of life for current residents?

5. Connections and Accountability: What are the connections between local politicians and the BIA, and how do these relationships influence decision-making?

By engaging with these questions, the community can better understand the motivations behind recent actions and advocate for transparency, accountability, and sustainable growth in Lexington County. As election season approaches, voters must remain informed and critically assess candidates on growth and infrastructure issues to ensure a future built on truth, accountability, and sustainability.

Please vote June 11th!

NOTE: Letters To The Editor are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the management and staff of The Lexington Ledger. Submitting a Letter To The Editor does not guarantee your letter will be run. See all of the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor on this page.


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