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LETTER: Town Council decision blocks business growth

First Posted: 7:54 pm - August 2nd, 2015

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To the editor:

I, Mohammed El Sherif, do not feel the decision of the Cheraw Town Council not to approve my request for rezoning was fair to me as a businessman and as a real estate investor in this community.

For many years, I have provided Cheraw with a fine-dining restaurant that provides individuals and large groups the opportunity to meet and enjoy great food served by our friendly staff. We have two private dining rooms that are used by locals as well as many out-of-town groups for meetings, special occasions and other functions.

I have a large investment in this business and in this town and the Town Council will not appreciate and consider my longtime commitment to the town of Cheraw and surrounding towns.

I feel my restaurant and Dr. Novinger’s office have added a lot to this end of town. If given the opportunity to have a car dealership, it would present a neat appearance and be an asset to the town as well.

I do not understand the statement about the historic district and a car dealership that is well-kept would not look good for travelers coming through Cheraw and might cause them not to come.

For years, Martin Pontiac operated a well-respected car dealership and was an asset to the area. It did not interfere with the church, and neither would mine.

If you take a closer look at the area being discussed, you will see several very rundown properties — especially the house on the corner located down from the church — that are real “eyesores.” What about the buildings next to the G.W. Long Presbyterian Church, one on the right side and one on the left side? Has no one complained about the real eyesores located in the area?

Do you want the town to grow, or are you satisfied with the downtown area continuing to dry up?

If you want growth, you should take advantage of anyone willing to invest their time and money within the town to help it grow — especially a nice, well-kept business. I would have a greater chance of survival since I already own the property where the car dealership would be located, which would have a big impact on my overhead and expenses.

I didn’t think the Town Council was educated enough to know what is good for this town. I think their only job is to fill the chairs.

I think this town needs some educated businesspeople to be on the Town Council. Or, Mr. Mayor, send your Town Council to some neighboring towns like Hartsville. They are growing in business and improving this town as well.

I think the Town Council got scared to vote for two reasons: First, not to be racist; second, because of the election next month. Guess what? They won’t all get to keep their chairs. They didn’t earn the right to keep them.

If you don’t have the guts to vote for something that will be beneficial for the town, you don’t deserve to sit in this chair and call yourself a Town Council member.

And one more thing, Ms. Wilkerson, the one who was against it, is a chamber board member. The chamber is supposed to promote new business. What a joke!

Only one question: What is going on in this town? I just lost my interest to be here.

Mohammed El Sherif

Owner, El Sherif’s House of Pizza

Cheraw

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