Moving Beyond the Buddy System

By John Singletary, 2019 City of North Charleston mayoral candidate

The recent article titled THE BUDDY SYSTEM in the Aug 27, 2017 edition of The Post and Courier outlines Keith Summey’s “ good old boy,” self-serving, greedy, egotistical twenty year reign as mayor for the City of North Charleston.

Surprisingly, I learned of the article Sunday morning after several supporters of my 2015 race called to inform me of the story and inquire whether I had anything to do with the article that was written; because, the stories information imitated the facts our campaign exposed and disclosed to educate the public during the  2015 race.  In fact, after I read the article, I must agree that the article was a complete mirror image of our information with a few exceptions.

Wow, as my grandmother always said, “The truth will always come to light.” Finally, it seems that my ten year fight and struggle to expose the truths of a corrupt city government is seemingly coming to light. Undoubtedly, significant credit and praise goes to those warriors such as Ed Bryant – The North Charleston NAACP President, Shakem Amen Akhet – devout community activist, Elder James Johnson – NAN State President, and many other faithful, strong, and courageous citizens fighting for good government that is fair to all its citizens.

John Singletary

We must keep our focus to insure that the main thing stays the main thing.  And the main thing is my pledge to you that this campaign’s theme of “Unity In The Community – 2019” will be a movement to continue to inform and educate the citizens of North Charleston, and particularly the African American Community, with truthful information so we all can take the necessary action to vote and put in place a government that works for The City of North Charleston and all of our communities.  Do we realize that every election year we give the mayor a “pass, “when you consider that he is voted back into office with a total of only 6,500 – 7,000 votes?

Sadly, there were over 28,000 registered African Americans who did not vote.  Not only is this sad, but a shame that we have continuously allowed this to happen the past twenty years.  Will we be another Ferguson, MO whose citizens just voted back into office the same corrupt government after the killing of Michael Brown, or will we seek a new day and a higher ground? The soul of our dear brother Walter Scott is still crying to us from the grave seeking for justice.

Finally, last week I declared in The Chronicle my intent to once again run for mayor in 2019. I thank all those who supported me in the past and invite your support once again. Unlike the 2015 eight month run, this time we have given ourselves two years to insure that this time we “take the cake,” so all of our citizens in all of our communities eat bread and not just the crumbs.    

Nepotism, Cronyism, and Regimenting are all terms North Charleston are familiar with and practice. There is no blur in the directives of the law, only the lack of enforcement and cover-up that allows this administration to continue abusing the North Charleston citizens.  For example: Pay to play has two parts, one applies to the contractor and the other to the public official. Here is the relevant law from the SC Code of laws:  “SECTION 8-13-1342. Restrictions on contributions by contractor to candidate who participated in awarding of contract.

No person who has been awarded a contract with the State, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision thereof, other than contracts awarded through competitive bidding practices, may make a contribution after the awarding of the contract or invest in a financial venture in which a public official has an interest if that official was in a position to act on the contract’s award.

No public official or public employee may solicit campaign contributions or investments in exchange for the prior award of a contract or the promise of a contract with the State, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision thereof.

HISTORY: 1991 Act No. 248, Section 3, eff January 1, 1992 and governs only transactions which take place after December 31, 1991.”

I suggest you read the code for yourself.  Here is the URL: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t08c013.php

 The period in the paragraph separates the code into two parts. The first part is for the contractor and all required to be in violation of the law and engaged in criminal activity is to receive a non-competitive bid (non-bid contract) and to donate to the officials campaign. If these two things occur, the contractor is in violation and has committed a crime of pay to play.

The next section deals with the elected official and requires solicitation of the funds.  If no contractor was questioned, how would you know if the solicitation occurred?  Better yet, how would they know to pay or who to donate to or from whom to expect the contract from?  These and many other questions must be answered.  To allow some to live above the law and call it a gray area is dangerous and simply wrong.

Transparency is needed in North Charleston. Routinely North Charleston violates the FOIA law by denying submissions for public information.  In some cases after payment has been made, the city marks the system as completed and lies about the information being surrendered.  The concealment is then publically characterized as having given any and all information, a flagrant untruth sometimes told by North Charleston attorneys.

The party switching mayor and his party switching son made the reason for their transgression clear in Elliott Summey’s recorded insensitive and insulting rant and rave.  They make it clear that no consideration need be given to the wants or needs of the Black community.  The African American community is 50% of the citizens in North Charleston and 53% of the voting population.  The question is will 28,000 sit at home and allow a few to put him back in office or will the African American community add momentum to the “Unity in the Community” movement and replace the corrupt government for one that treats them fair?       

 The growth in North Charleston that has resulted primarily from gentrification that resulted in the City of Charleston and annexation has left 8000 citizens without their right to vote.  The overwhelming majority of those citizens denied the right to vote are African American. Voting is a right that must be accorded to every tax paying citizen in North Charleston.

Selling City Hall for private profits is a befitting title.  Services and permits have been used for what appears to be a hook to secure employment for his son. The Noisette and Navy Hospital deal encompassed a transfer of title to property without the property being paid for in order to secure huge amounts of cash from banks that has in both cases lead to bankruptcy situations and long, drawn out lawsuits that have cost the taxpayers millions.

 The Lis Pendis I filed seems to have been the start of the crash that will ultimately serve to protect the public.  Making public issues like William Tayor, who does not have an actual high school diploma, has been hired at $66,000.00 per year over those who have greater experience and have a college degree makes the cronyism as plain as the nose on one’s face.

Hiring someone to get better relations in the black community and the department overseen by that individual, Special Projects, only gives 1% of $18 million to the black community when the city is 50% black. Go figure.

The list of goes on and on regarding the malicious and illegal activity at city hall.  No one need take any credit for Keith Summey’s exposure because he caused it on himself.  The Persian Empire fell, the Roman Empire fell, the Grecian Empire fell, the Assyrian Empire fell, the Babylonians and the Egyptian Empires fell just as Dynasties fell.  Likewise the faux Summey Dynasty will fall ultimately from implosion.

Granted, many have revealed and unsurfaced dishonorable and devious actions in the wake of his crumbling administration.  No joy in calamity, but much rejoicing in the new opportunity to elect a new mayor and someone who will restore integrity and justice to the city of North Charleston.  A vote for John Singletary November 12, 2019, will be a new beginning of integrity, justice and unity in the North Charleston community.

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