Jeff believes in the concept of a "citizen legislator", that is your advocate for the district representing all of our concerns at the state level. You are encouraged to email Jeff regarding issues that are a concern to you and share your views and observations. Its time for change in District 66 and you are the one who can make that happen. Thank you for your consideration and support. [Email Jeff Cila]
"Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote." George Jean Nathan
Reforms to Taxation in South Carolina
Political Campaigns Too Influenced by Out of State Money
Economic Expansion - Global Logistics Triangle is at the Heart of Our District
Orangeburg County was eager to get back to work with agri-business leading the way. District 66 especially Bowman, Branchville, Rowesville, Providence, Holly Hill, and Santee are well placed as prime areas for investment to leverage the Global Logistics Triangle (GLT) https://www.ocdc.com/glt Interstate I-95, I-26, and Hwy 301 are strategic links for routing commerce throughout the southeastern states and into the north. District 66 provides the GLT with the linking roads of Highways 78, 21, 601, and 176 that enhance the prospect for businesses to grow up in and around our existing communities. Promoting our communities and transport linkages can bring new and expanded services and an easing on our current tax burdens. I'm committed to work for you with our local leaders to identify and attract the right investment and business opportunities. We should encourage businesses to move to our district, bank in our district, and those business leaders to be residents in our district. Our schools will also benefit from new business partnerships. Our new schools, OCSD leadership, and nearby affordable vocational training in Orangeburg and Manning are attractive factors to strengthen and sustain our skilled work force. District 66 has an attractive rural lifestyle, great outdoor recreation, and can easily interconnect commerce from the ports of Charleston and Savannah onward to all parts of the country. Development is happening along transport corridors from Walterboro to Manning and Charleston to Columbia. This district can attract new manufacturing , retail, and with our vast open space we may even play a key role in expanding freight and commuter rail to connect Charleston, Columbia, and Atlanta. This type of growth can happen in District 66 bringing more employment, infrastructure upgrades, more technology (broadband, broadcast TV, radio), school improvements/funding, and increased health services to keep pace here as SC grows. What would you like to see happen with respect to public planning for smart economic growth in District 66?
Improving Educational and Scholastic Achievement in District 66 is Vital
June is a pivotal month for the direction and future of public education throughout District 66 and the relatively new Orangeburg County School District (OCSD). It took several counties and the state from 1993 - 2017 to incrementally address the concerns of Abbeville et al vs the State of South Carolina. Some funding change have come, district consolidation phased out direct community control, and still our students ability to read and understand math at grade level remains below 40% in District 66 public schools. Is it unfair to discern that local leaders and representatives were not up to the task of implementing education reform? Providing an equitable education for all our young people has been argued for the past 27 years in our communities, legislature, and courts. In July, OCSD Trustees selected a new Superintendent, Dr. Shawn Foster, Aiken County Chief Operations Officer and Chief of Student Services. This process attracted talented applicants from outside our state as well. My hope and desire for our district is that together we can make available an education that is more than just a "minimally adequate education" provision of the State Constitution. All persons have the potential to be exceptional in the talent God bestows on each of us. It is my belief by providing, inspiring, and requiring a high level of scholarship, (not just minimal) will bring about a better quality of life for us all. Dr. Shawn Foster provided a perspective on education he got from his Mother, " Be good, work hard, and make good decisions". I look forward assisting in him to advance scholastic achievement under his stewardship as OCSD Superintendent.
Is There A Future for Commuter Rail Travel in SC?
Spent some time looking over the historic Branchville Museum & Railroad Junction. This commuter line connected Charleston to Hamburg (North Augusta), established between 1829-1833. The line provided a faster mode to get crops and products to and from the port in Savannah. Oh, to re-establish passenger commuter rail as a transportation option for people that connects our towns to state and regional rail links. Would you make use of commuter rail service for trips to Charleston, Aiken, Augusta, Columbia, Greenville, or Spartanburg if interstate was not our only option. Could even be a safer option for seniors having the possibility of connecting to regional links in NC, GA, or FL.
Addressing Our Roadside Litter Problem
- Tax reform to reduce the burden on Individuals and licensing fees on Businesses.
- Attracting new businesses and urban development in our historic towns and communities.
- Increasing Urgent Care availability, Rural Health access, and expand Public Health Services.
- Vehicle Property Tax reduction as part of a plan to phase out this regressive tax entirely. Only 7 states still rely on this source of tax revenue.
- Expand science, technology, and vocational curriculums across school districts.
- Maintenance and upkeep for State Park and District Historic Site access, road improvements, trail maintenance, and visitor services enhancements. Reassess the current usage fees; too high to encourage regular use by all citizens.
Items for further discussion
- Waste Management for Businesses, Local Trash Removal/Pickup, Litter Control
- Reduce or eliminate taxation for out of state online purchase reporting as a part of State Tax filing.
- Business and community partnerships to provide expanded city services and improvements through grants and investment.
- Expansion of rehabilitation services for veterans, mental health, occupational health, and residential additions treatment services.e
- Options for creating more tax relief for the citizens of District 66; possibly tax credits for non-commercial improvements to homes and property.