COTU MEETINGS ARE HELD MONTHLY
* SEE SPECIAL MEETING NOTES & LOCATIONS IN POSTS BELOW *
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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Thursday, August 4, 2022
YOUR NEXT PICKENS COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING
***MOTION TO RECALL FROM COMMITTEE FOR SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE
TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS AND LIMITATIONS ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON THE
SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 11 SCENIC BYWAY AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO***
Monday, August 8, 2022
Auditorium, County Administration Facility
222 McDaniel Avenue, Pickens SC 29671
This agenda is not inclusive to everything the council may discuss
Please note that in response to the increased cases of COVID-19 in Pickens County,
Council Chambers will have limited seating.
Council and staff encourages citizens to please call 864-898-5242 and leave a voicemail for
public forum comments. All voicemails will be shared with each member of Council.
Council and staff also encourage the public to view the live meeting on the
Pickens County YouTube page by clicking on the link below:
1. WELCOME AND CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Chris Bowers
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Councilman Alex Saitta
2. PUBLIC FORUM:
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
June 13, 2022
July 7, 2022 – Regular Council Meeting
July 7, 2022 – Work Session
4. ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT:
5. COMMITTEE REPORT: July 7, 2022
6. COUNCIL CORRESPONDENCE:
7. MOTION PERIOD AND NEW BUSINESS:
8. RECOGNITION OF GRADUATES FOR THE PICKENS COUNTY LEADERSHIP
ENHANCEMENT ACADEMY FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS (LEAPS).
CHRIS BOWERS, CHAIRMAN
ROY COSTNER, VICE CHAIRMAN
TREY WHITEHURST, VICE CHAIRMAN PRO-TEM
R. ENSLEY FEEMSTER
CLERK TO COUNCIL
Pickens County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer
9. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION 2022-21 RECOGNIZING SEPTEMBER 2022 AS
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH IN PICKENS COUNTY.
10. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION 2022-22 AUTHORIZING THE SUBSTITUTION OF
ONE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN (CIP) ITEM FROM A FUTURE FISCAL YEAR TO
THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DELAY OF ANOTHER CIP ITEM
TO A FUTURE FISCAL YEAR DUE TO CHANGING NEEDS IN THE COUNTY ROADS AND
11. FIRST READING IN TITLE ONLY OF AN ORDINANCE THAT PROVIDES FOR
STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR DEVOLVING SURPLUS COUNTY REAL
PROPERTY RELATED TO THE MORE ACCURATE AND EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE
COUNTY ROAD SYSTEM.
12. MOTION TO RECALL FROM COMMITTEE FOR SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE
TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS AND LIMITATIONS ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON THE
SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 11 SCENIC BYWAY AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.
13. CONSENT AGENDA:
a) County Employee Handbook – Committee of the Whole
14. EXECUTIVE SESSION: S.C. Code of Laws, Section 30-4-70 (A):
Legal– Section 30-4-70 (a) (2)
Legal Advice on County Road System
Economic Development– Section 30-4-70 (a) (5)
Project Big Dog
15. ACTIONS AS NEEDED FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION
Please see link below for more detail on the Hwy 11 Proposed Ordinance:
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Friday, July 22, 2022
Mark your calendar for Thursday, August 11th now!
Join us as we show our appreciation and love for our First Responders!
Following a free appreciation breakfast for our First Responders, the public is invited to pray for our law enforcement, fire, and EMS in our community.
See handout below for details:
Friday, May 20, 2022
During the first week of May, COTU sent out 4 questions and 2 Pledge documents to the 2022 Republican Primary Candidates listed below who would be on Pickens County voters' ballots.
1. Would you ever vote for a budget to include funding for Planned Parenthood and explain why or why not?
2. Would you ever vote to increase taxes and explain why or why not?
3. Under what circumstances do you think the government has the right to infringe upon a person's property rights?
4. Under what circumstances would you vote for legislation to allow biological males to compete in biological female sports or have access to women's restrooms or locker rooms?
The two pledges were:
Pledge #1 The candidate signs a pledge to oppose any efforts to increase taxes.
Pledge #2 The candidate signs a pledge that protecting an individual's Property Rights will be a first priority in government planning projects that could infringe upon their rights.
Below is a summary results of who responded to us:
McMaster: DID NOT RESPOND
Musslewhite: DID NOT RESPOND
Keith Blandford: DID NOT RESPOND
Mark Hammond: DID NOT RESPOND
Alan Wilson: DID NOT RESPOND
Question 1: No
Question 2: No. Government is over bloated, using resources unwisely.
Question 3: Not ever usually, limited exceptions but strict scrutiny, favoring the landowner.
Question 4: Never
SC House District 1:
Bill Whitmire: DID NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS BUT SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Wally Sparks: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No! I am firmly pro-life and would never vote for funding for Planned Parenthood. Psalm 139:v 13-14 states "For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. your works are wonderful I know that full well." Unfortunately my incumbent opponent, Bill Whitmire, voted to send funds to Planned Parenthood during this budget cycle.
Question 2: No, we do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Government continues to grow at just about every level.
Question 3: Only if it directly endangers others. As an example, if someone was dumping harmful chemicals that tainted a neighbor's water well.
Question 4: Absolutely under no circumstamces should that ever be allowed.
SC House District 4:
Davey Hiott: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: I have always voted against Planned Parenthood. I have a 100% boting record protecting the voice of the unborn. I co-sponsored amendments and proviso to the budget which would defund Planned Parenthood.*** see special note below
Question 2: The current climate of the state of SC does not in any way require a tax increase. Our business climate is at an all time high and tax revenues are above estimates. The only time a discussion should be had about raising taxes should be when we are not able to provide the resources needed for our law enforcement and first responders to protect us. Then and only then, should we discuss raising taxes.
Question 3: The government has no right to infringe on anyone's personal property rights. There are laws on the books alredy that allow utilities to have easements in public right of ways, but they should not be allowed to exceed those guidelines.
Question 4: I voted this session to outlaw males from competing against females. This is one of the most perverted ideas ever talked about. This issue would have been stopped at the federal level, but since they chose not to pass anything, each individual state must pass legislation. SC is in the process of doing that.
*** Davey did admit he voted for the last budget even though it contained allotments for Planned Parenthood that included Federal tax dollars.***
Matthew Kutilek: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: Conception, birth and life is a precious miraculous event. God alone, not man, is the creator of life (Genesis 1:1) and He created man and woman in His own image, (Genisis 1:27), with the intent of producing Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15) and He knits together and forms life in a mother's safe and secure womb (Psalm 139:13) Precious human babies, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) who have not voice or ability to protect themselves. Planned Parenthood is a false moniker. They actually destroy parenthood. Under good conscious and to be consistent in my beliefs, I will not vote for a budget that includes any funding for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers until they stop performing abortions.
SC House District 5:
Neal Collins: DID NOT RESPOND
Dennis Bo Roberts: DID NOT RESPOND
Clay Hamlett: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: While there is no doubt that some of the services Planned Parenthood provides are highly beneficial to the female population (breast exams, cancer screening, etc.) their ties to growing numbers of provided abortions makes funding such an organization a very slippery slope. Ultimately, I would not vote for a budget that allocated funding to Planned Parenthood. Many of the more positive services they provide could be funded through other organizations that don't prioritize abortion as a form of family planning.
Question 2: No, I would not vote for an increase in taxes. The state of South Carolina must learn to more wisely spend the money it already accrues before our citizens ever consider granting it more. My signing of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a reflection of this stance.
Question 3: The government only has a right to purchase someone's property at an adequate market value if it can be proven ahead of time that the land will be utilized for a public purpose. At that point, fair compensation must be provided as well as involving the property owner in all discussions related to planning. In addition, governments should only consider this tactic if no alternative is possible, thereby treating it as a last resort.
Question 4: Under no circumstance will I vote to allow biological males to complete in women's sports. With that being said, it is important to protect the inverse right: granting females the right to compete in men's sports. This ensures that females will not be hampered by a limited number of sports offered only to males (ex. football), while also providing them with the opportunity to compete in a different division if they so choose.
SC House District 10:
West Cox: DID NOT RESPOND
Thomas Beach: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. I do not barter life for dole unlike my opponent, Rep. West Cox.
Question 2: No. Lawmakers like to give away $115,000,000 to Liberals who live in New Jersey and pay for 18 staffers and a director who makes a six figure salary to oversee tax money spent on Zumba classes and shared cooking recipe campaigns.
Question 3: Governments exist to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. Unfortunately, i n the course of our history we have allowed the government to infringe on our rights through undue taxation. But it's up to us to vote out representatives who raise our taxes.
Question 4: I am 100% against the unfairness to our young ladies. My opponent, West Cox, is 100% for these things and he is recorded on video promoting "trans" athletes as well as hormone therapy for boys as young as 10. This is located on my facebook campaign page, beachforhouse.
Mark Durham: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No, I would not. Planned Parenthood is an evil organization that goes against my Christian values, this group exists primarily for the purpose of providing and monetizing abortion services. Any organization with the history tied to harvesting human tissue for profit should not receive one dime of your tax dollars for any kind of service. Any funding they receive will not have my vote.
Question 2: As a true Conservative, I firmly believe that lowering taxes benefits individuals, families, and businesses. Any fiscal problem we have at the state or local level can always be fixed by cutting spending. I will not support a tax increase of any kind. I will use 3 Core principals when making decisions on votes, (Does it increase taxes? Does it increase the size or power of government? Does it infringe on personal liberty or property rights? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then I will vote no.
Question 3: None, I believe the federal government has overreached way too much on property owners' rights.
Question 4: Under no circumstances is this acceptable. Was this question designed to make me cuss?
County Council District 2:
Phillp Bowers: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. i would not. Innocent life must be protected.
Question 2: I can't think of a reason why that would be necessary given the increasing value of the mil funds on hand.
Question 3: Property rights should be a foremost priority. However, when conflicts arise between two or more parties, then the government typically steps in to mediate the situation. I don't disagree with that approach.
Question 4: I would not support such legislation.
Chris Lollis: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES
Question 1: No. planned Parenthood, although marketed as a source for women's health care, is in the primary business of providing abortion services. It does about 350,000 abortions a year. As a Christian, I'm opposed to abortion completely and will not support any organization affiliated with this practice. The county tends to regularly fund two types of outside activities. 1) It collects hospitality and accommodations revenue (restaurants and hotels) and tends to give that to events and groups that generate or service tourism. The county gives some of that money to things like the Central Railroad Festival, Issaquena Festival or Mile Creek Park. 2) County recreation money is given to the rec departments of Six Mile and Central typically. Planned Parenthood would not qualify for either of those sources of funds.
Question 2: I am opposed to tax increases. Given that Pickens County currently has around $23 million in savings, has received an additional $20 million in Covid relief funding, and its revenue is growing naturally $3 million a year, I cannot imagine any situation that would create the need to increase taxes.
Question 3: Individual property rights are fundamental to what our country was founded on and continues to be one of the hallmarks of our freedoms today. I cannot see a circumstance that should allow the government to infringe upon a person's property rights.
Question 4: This would be something the state legislature or local school board would vote on because they control the sports that occur in our public schools.. However, I see no circumstances that I would support any effort to allow biological males to compete in female sports or to give access to women's restrooms or locker rooms. It is a biological fact that males and females are different and even if an individual identifies as another gender, that fact does not change. Allowing these things not only poses real challenges to the female athletes but also creates a safety concern for all women. I am also strongly opposed to drag queen story hour at the libraries, and the county does have a library system that it funds. That may be coming our way at some point and the council and library board will have to deal with it.
Voting will take place on Tuesday, June 14th. Choose wisely...Elections have consequences!
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
The Bible tells us in Proverbs to “train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Also we know what the road of “good” intentions can lead to.
What happened at Pickens Middle School is unacceptable. Training children to think it is appropriate to separate them by race for special presentations and lunches violates not only the Bible's advice but also Civil Rights under Title VI and the 14th amendment.
A policy needs to be put in place ASAP to prevent this type of ill advised event from ever happening again. I suggest that going forward the approval for any event or speaker on our campuses that influence children's training be approved ahead of time by this board. That way we will know WHO to hold accountable at the voting booth.
The fact that ANYONE employed by the School District thought that segregating students by their race for a special presentation and lunch while leaving white students out was a good idea is horrendous. It points to our School District joining the “woke” culture of Critical Race Theory.
And when I watched the YouTube video Ms. Young presented on what she was going to say, I was horrified that she was praising Socialist Representative AOC as someone she admired and loved. A speaker using their position of authority to promote political influence in a situation where children are forced to watch is wrong.
WHO do we the taxpayers blame for this catastrophe? Just the Principal? I think not. I have a hard time believing he alone planned this event. Someone else in the Administration must have given him the green light. And all parties involved that knew and did nothing to prevent it should face consequences.
Monday, April 25, 2022
Lots of important meetings and opportunities lie ahead for all of us as we try to keep Pickens County SC the most Conservative County in SC! Below I am updating you on issues and dates and information that I think are very important for your edification!
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Sometimes good intentions which are not thought out properly can go bad.
Such is the case of a situation that arose at Pickens Middle School where the administration thought they were doing something good on how to address a situation of racial tensions but ultimately did not think about the consequences of segregating students.
Shouldn't our School District of Pickens County's lawyer have been consulted about their plan?
Under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance are prohibited.
President John F. Kennedy said in 1963:
The Principal of Pickens Middle School as well as the School Board and District Administration is now having to deal with backlash over his plan.
This whole controversial situation went viral on a Facebook page which ended up having over 1K comments. You can view those comments at this link:
Below is an email which was sent by a concerned citizen to SC Attorney General Alan Wilson which explains why there is such controversy over what was planned. But please note NOT ALL PARENTS received prior notification of the special lunch arrangements or the fact a speaker was going to address the racial tensions. Many white students weren't aware of the special lunch date with the speaker until the students of color bragged about receiving the special invitation.
Dear Attorney General:
It has been brought to my attention that during the week of April 11th 2022 the Pickens Middle School in Pickens, South Carolina planned and conducted a series of presentations by a guest speaker in which the school segregated students by skin color. The students were given special lunch sessions and divided into the following groups: "African-American," "Hispanic," and "Two or More Backgrounds." Students who did not fall into these categories, such as white, Asian, and others, were not invited and were excluded from these special presentations and lunch meals. This appears to be a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VI, which prohibits excluding individuals from programs or activities on the grounds of race, color, or national origin by entities receiving Federal financial assistance.
According to letters and emails from the school Principal, Mr. James King, the segregation of students by race was intentional to allow the guest speaker, Ms. Adrienne Young, "a chance to talk with students about how to cope with being a student in a predominantly white school." Setting aside how this is highly inappropriate and just plain racist, a glaring irony must have eluded the school’s leadership and the guest speaker in that the subject of her talk was "unity at schools."
Please see the attached email and letter received by the school’s parents indicating specific lunch times their students were assigned:
Mr. Wilson, would you please review and investigate this incident, as well as similar presentations given by Ms. Young at other school campuses as alluded to by Mr. King in his letter, and pursue all appropriate legal action as it merits under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and specifically regulation 34 C.F.R. §§ I00.3(a), I00.3(b)(l), and nondiscriminatory statutes of the SC Human Affairs Law? For reference, I am attaching a determination issued by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in a similar case where a school segregated students and staff by race into “affinity groups” during race trainings and programs. The parents and students of Pickens Middle School are -- quite justifiably – very upset with this and would have legal standing in court.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Name removed due to privacy concerns
For your information, the video of Adrienne Young's speech she prepared has since been removed and no longer available for parents or taxpayers to view.