By Stan Welch
Congressman Jeff Duncan visited Williamston Monday, meeting with Mayor Carthel Crout, Mayor Pro Tem David Harvell and town administrator Phyllis Lollis.
The meeting was designed to get to know each other better, said Congressman Duncan. “There are a lot of Williamstons in my ten county Congressional District,” said Duncan. “It’s important that I get to know the leadership in those towns, so that I can better serve them. So this is just to begin building the kind of relationships that we need to work together.”
Mayor Crout and Ms. Lollis explained that funding concerns are always present, especially in the area of infrastructure, such as water and sewer. Congressman Duncan and his district director Rick Adkins assured them that a grant specialist from Duncan’s office would be in touch to try and coordinate the search for such funding.
Duncan’s question about the possibility of the three towns in the area cooperating brought little response. “The three towns will never merge in my life time. We tried to get West Pelzer to cooperate in letting us help provide police protection and they refused. We are working together on some economic development ideas, but that is all,” said Crout.
The group met for almost forty five minutes before The congressman left to meet with Belton officials.
Before leaving, Congressman Duncan spent a few minutes discussing some national issues, such as the continuing investigation into the ATF’s Fast and Furious sting operation that has brought tremendous scrutiny on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his handling of the situation.
Duncan said that while it is clear to him that Holder has mishandled the case, as well as others, such as the Solyndra case, the Congress has no real authority to demand that President Obama fire him. “We can ask, but we both know that probably isn’t going to happen. But we in the House plan to continue to shine the light on just how poorly this Attorney General has performed his duties.”
Duncan declined to endorse any of the Republican candidates currently campaigning in the state, in advance of the coming Presidential primary. He did say he will be meeting with various candidates in the coming days to explore their positions on various issues, like the Boeing lawsuit; their various stances on American energy policy; the use of recess appointments by the President to circumvent Congressional approval of such appointments; and the matter of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility.