Last night's County Council meeting was a real lively one. The big issue was the third reading of a $7.8 million dollar spending bond for general expenses I believe this to be questionable for capital expenses..
Article 10 section 5 says..... Any tax which shall be levied shall distinctly state the public purpose to which the proceeds of the tax shall be applied. I read this verbatim to the Council. They called on the Bond Attorney to clarify my position. He immediately said that there was no constitutional problem with what the Council was trying to do. Then he poured over their syllogism by saying that the money derived from the bonds could not be spent on anything but capital items which is not what the Council intended to spend the money on. This is a constitutional problem if I ever heard one. The Bond Attorney then lapsed into another "article of law" and that is the 8% limitation rule on general obligation bonds which allows the County to borrow some $35-37 million without going to the public for approval. The point that I think he missed was that the School Board has already borrowed all the authorized money for Pickens County and if the County Council wants to borrow more, they must have the people to vote on these bonds. When the Council realized that the Bond Attorney had misinformed them or at the very least had not explained the situation clearly, they tabled the third reading of this ordinance until they could "figure it all out."
I also explained to the council that the $23,000,000 reserved for the new jail did not belong to their jurisdiction because this money had been derived from over-collections using all of the 9 or 10 procedures that I had gone over with the County Attorney. My whole point in all of this is to show the County Council that we need to operate on the Constitutional authority when using the people's money. Millions of dollars have become as nothing to politicians and they rely on lawyers to tell them they are ok in their actions. Bond attorneys can make mistakes in procedure and council members need to read the law for themselves as well and not let folks who have ulterior motives make their decisions.
There has been at least &145 million dollars over collected in Pickens County for County, School operations and buildings, and maintenance. This is the people's money and should be returned to them or at the very least let them vote on the use of it. (Article 10 and 11, SC Law 12-43-285,SC Act 388)
I warned the county council about the contamination of the "Doodle Trail " and the potential for cancer victims in the future to sue for damages.
The next thing I noticed on the agenda was item 14 which was the resolution to let the State know we did not want any approval of refugees without our consent. It passed unanimously.
I want to thank all those Conservatives of the Upstate that took their valuable time to come to the meeting. They were Carol Smith, AP Laws, Steve Haynie, and Junius Smith. There might have been others and if so, I apologize.
President of The Conservatives of the Upstate