Stop Naming Roads After Living Public Officials

You'd think we might have learned our lesson and maybe we have.

I'm not sure if we've named a stretch of roadway, a bridge or interchange after an eating, breathing public official recently but I'm guessing we have. This happens in one of two ways. Either someone at the statehouse decides to honor someone this way, or someone at DOT makes the call. The latter was the case in the naming a 2.8 stretch of road by the airport the "John N. Hardee Expressway". By the way there is another stretch of road in Horry Country named for the disgraced former two-time DOT commissioner, that one thanks to someone over at the statehouse.

As you know, Hardee skated on federal bribery charges last week but did plead guilty to destroying email evidence - obstructing justice. Rather than go home as ordered by the judge to begin home confinement and ponder what he would do for his court ordered 40 hours of community service, he decided to celebrate by allegedly soliciting a prostitute. Not exactly what would be considered "community" service. That seems to make him in violation of his probation although we haven't heard from the judge about that yet.

So we have a former public official who has pleaded guilty to federal charges and is accused of trying to hire a prostitute who has not one, but two roads in our state named after him! Fortunately the DOT will take up the matter in their regularly scheduled meeting next month and may well rename the road. But at what cost? And what about those GPS map listings? Sorry Horry County, that stretch of Hwy. 707 that bears his name as a result of a statehouse decree will most likely take a lot longer to do.

This isn't the first time this has happened of course. I still find myself referring to Metts Landing renamed after former Lexington County sheriff James Metts ran afoul of the law. Heck they even had his name on the county jailhouse! And more recently John Courson's name was removed from a stretch of I-126 after he resigned from the senate. For the record he requested his name be removed.

So let's learn the lesson. Stop honoring these public officials while they are alive. You never know what they may do!

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