Hometown Edge

Reprinted from The Post and Courier
By Eugene Platt

Although Mayor Keith Summey and I are not always on the same side of important issues, I commend him for his selection of Eddie Driggers as North Charleston police chief.

I would commend Mayor Summey even if Driggers were not the nephew of my late brother’s widow and even if my heart had not been touched by a talk Chaplain Driggers gave at my church.

Eddie Driggers is the best person for the job, and the fact that he is homegrown should not be held against him. As the mayor said, it would have been irresponsible to use limited public funds to conduct a nationwide search.

In the 1990s, Dr. Barbara Dilligard was not selected as superintendent of the Charleston County School District. Then deputy superintendent and eminently qualified for the top job, she was passed over for someone “from off.”

Arguably, more than her race or her gender, it was the chance circumstance of Dr. Dilligard having been born and raised in the Lowcountry that made her unacceptable to the board. That superintendent “from off” did not remain very long.

Why is it that more often than not in Charleston and throughout our state, the first plan to fill a high-level position is a nationwide search? Regardless of the cost and regardless of qualified applicants within an arm’s search.

Mayor Summey showed courage to avoid a nationwide search, and in doing so set an example worthy of emulation by others responsible for filling such vacancies.

The James Island Public Service District Commission, in selecting its current district manager, chose someone who has lived on James Island since childhood. In this position, Robert Wise has served our community as commendably as I am sure Eddie Driggers in his new position will serve his.

Eugene Platt

Senior Commissioner

JI Public Service District

Gilmore Court