Don't get Shuckered
November 1, 2002
The trees are back. You thought that you heard the last of them back when the tree ordinance was passed in Greenville. Well, you havenít.
Enter Pam Shucker, candidate for the County Council District 19. Listening to her radio ads, you would think she was a fiscal conservative with her primary goal to unseat a sitting candidate who wants to increase your tax burden. Oh yes, and she wants to increase economic development as well.
What is it that really drove Shucker into the race? Trees. Thatís right, trees. In todayís Greenville News she tells the story of what drove her to run against Mark Kingsbury.
If you recall the plans to tear down the old Stone Manufacturing complex to build the Cheerydale Point shopping center, there were a couple of concerns some people had. One concern was an historic house that has since been moved. The other concern was the removal of a grove of 100-year-old oak trees. Pam Shucker was one of those citizens.
Sarah Bonnette writes,
So she tried to call her County Council representative, Mark Kingsbury, to see if the center could incorporate the grove, but didnít get a return phone call. Kingsbury, who represents District 19, said he doesnít remember getting her call.
The incident pushed the Democrat Shucker into the County Council race to represent District 19, which covers the northwest part of the county from Berea to Slater-Marietta.
Bonnette goes on to list a long string of positions and activities in which Shucker is involved. However, there is one that is missing. Pam Shucker is also the Environmental Education Chair for the South Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club.
Go back through a Google search on Pam Shucker and read articles written by those who support her. Youíll find them in the Greenville News and MetroBeat. It will help you understand the context of the call to Kingsbury. I do not fault her for being upset about not getting a phone call. If indeed she tried to get through to him and was refused, she certainly has reason to complain.
However, that does not mean we should ignore the cause she was trying to pursue when she made the call and how that will influence her positions on the Council. Believe me, it is more than trees. The trees are merely the symptom!
There is a segment of Greenville that despises County Council. They feel that these Neanderthals are holding back those progressive people who would turn this area into utopia. They are pushing hard to get rid of these roadblocks. They think that a bunch of religious-right egomaniacs have taken over the County.
The Great Tree Battle is referred too often as is the County Councilís Family Values (Iím sorry, Anti-Gay) Resolution of six years ago. They feel that the current members do not really represent the County and its best interests. They want to get rid of single member districts and add at large seats to the body. Their hope is that such actions will ďbring more equal representation to all members of our communityĒ and negate the influence of the voters who have consistently placed conservative members on the council.
The tree issue is really not the point; it is just one issue that finds its genesis in a driving philosophy. That philosophy is counter to the way Greenville County residents have consistently voted. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps the County is changing. Maybe this is the philosophy that residents espouse.
Just be careful and donít buy into the ďkick out the incumbentsĒ without first checking out who will replace them. Those seeking the change are attempting to use the incumbents strongest issues against them. They are the front issues to get in the door. They know they can't win on those that you'll find once the knob is turned.
Donít get Shuckered into something you might regret.