Pickens County is a beautiful county in the upper northwest section of the upstate of South Carolina. The county provides many opportunities for its citizens to participate in the American way of life. Through capitalism and a free economy many of our citizens have increased their wealth and happiness.
There are certain basic principles and goals that foster a well rounded life.
* Private ownership of property that is protected by the Constitution of the United States and the State of South Carolina. Agricultural property is highly valued and is to be controlled by the owner.
* Natural and cultural resources are protected by good training and religious care. The government is discouraged from buying private property since it is removed from the tax rolls, and puts a greater burden on the taxpayers.
* Pickens County citizens have control over taxes and fees and plan to keep them low for economic prosperity. Taxes will not be raised without a vote of the people for any reason.
* The people of Pickens County will create an atmosphere of accountability from our elected officials.
* Pickens County strives for quality education. There are kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools that provide the county with good results and some outstanding graduates. There are technical schools, adult education, and university programs. New construction will provide $400,000,000 in completed and renovated structures which should put a stop on any new structures for the next ten years. The county is limited to 8% of the appraised value of county property for construction of new schools which it now exceeds. Our vision is that the system will be modified to produce more quality students without increasing costs.
*County government is elected by and for the people. County Government will provide fire protection, law enforcement, and road construction and maintenance. Only elected officials can vote to spend county funds. All spending will be recorded on the internet. Non Government Organizations with anti capitalistic and free enterprise philosophies from outside the county are discouraged from influence in government activity. Activities not associated with county functions and setup by towns or cities or private organizations are not to be funded by the county.
* Zoning will be limited and instituted only after careful anaysis and two thirds vote by the County Council.
The people want a Constitutional guaranteed vision of the private ownership of property without government interference. Good stewardship of the land is the responsibility of the property owner and the voluntary agreements that he makes with neighbors and the county government.
Goals and objectives
1. It is not a function of government to dictate the use of private property.
2. There will be no seizure of private property without due process and fair market value compensation. The county or a private company must obtain the owner’s permission to use easements or right of ways on private property . Property lines begin where the recorded deed indicates they do.
3. The County needs to develop a plan to reduce complicated codes and permitting procedures. State laws require proper building codes.
4. Private enterprise should be encouraged to use abandoned sites.
5. County government will not involve itself in speculation and land development.
6. Small towns composition and layout will be determined by the people of that town.
7. Land for Governmental use will be purchased at a fair market price.
8. Shorelines along Jocassee, Hartwell, and Keowee will be managed by the Corp of Engineers and all other shorelines will be managed by private property owners. If county, state, or federal government wants to inflict regulations on the property owner, they must compensate the property owner a fair fee.
9. Specific zoned areas will be zoned at the will of the property owners by vote of the property owners in that zoned area.
10. Non governmental organizations are discouraged and out of the county NGO’s are forbidden to influence land use in Pickens County.
11. Study county wide land use, but be careful not to infringe on property rights.
12. Stop implementation of Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, and comprehensive plans after the order of those developed by Maurice Strong.
13. Meetings of appointed boards and commissions concerning land use cannot act without a two thirds quorum.
Our Vision is to foster coordination and cooperation among all of Pickens County’s local governments.
Priority Investments Element
Goals and Objectives
1. Work with other local governments to study priorities for the various services offered by the county.
2. Promote cooperation between municipalities.
3. Study how to attract new businesses and industries.
Lowering taxes is the number one priority - exemplified by the state law on the subject.
4. Study new and old water and sewage lines and power and communications infrastructure with industry and property owners to see where modification and new construction is needed.
5. Study who funds long term transportation and provide a traffic plan for our road ways and growth.
6. Encourage coordination of public facilities and services.
Our vision is to honor and preserve those resources owned by the county, and promote the unique heritage of Pickens County that serves our residents and visitors.
Cultural Resource Element
Goals and Objectives
1. Study easier, healthier access to cultural resources without infringing on private property rights.
2. Investigate the feasibility of pedestrian pathways for fitness or walking tours through communities. Schools have obtained far more land than is needed, these pathways and trails can be constructed on that property.
3. Further study the county recreation master plan.
4. When promoting lakes, mountains, and natural resources for tourism and recreation, private property rights are to be the first consideration.
5. Develop resources through private industry, private clubs, and businesses for youth in the areas of recreation, sports, art, culture and entertainment.
6. Promote healthy lifestyles, natural resources, available recreation, and safe communities with low incidence of crime. Properly fund the sheriff’s department in the area of crime.
7. All accesses to any public facility or trail must be permitted by property owners if private property is involved.
8. Promote art and cultural opportunities in the communities.
9. Promote the participation of private enterprise in art and cultural activities.
10. Review with property owners historic sites such as grist mills, homes, and churches provided it doesn’t interfere with private ownership of property.
11. Amass data on potential historic sites, but never interfere with constitutional rights of owners.
12. Study a development plan for cultural events, and the potential for a civic center.
Our Vision is to improve transportation networks for the purpose of traffic safety and efficiency, scenic enjoyment, promoting tourism, and to explore local and public transportation systems as a means to foster our growing population and economy.
Goals and Objectives
1. Study long term transportation and traffic plans for our roadways and growth.
2. Study the feasibility of a public transportation plan that can be funded with more cost to the tax payers.
3. A public transportation plan should be self supporting.
4. Study congestion and improve circulation on county roads.
5. Study possible pull off areas at scenic locations as long as they do not interfere with private property rights.
6. Study how to beautify road ways and have well attended public meetings on any decision.
7. Encourage the Sheriff's department to teach bicycle safety.
8. Study the feasibility of bicycle lanes with signage, rest areas, parking, lane delineation without infringing on private property.
9. Study the use of heavy rail routes for industry infrastructure.
10. Study transportation improvements.
11. In any study for transportation; we intend to be mindful of the constitutional rights of the property owners.
Our Vision is to continue the joint stewardship between local governments and private property owners.
Natural Resource Element
Goals and Objectives
1. Cultivate natural resources on government owned property so that the private property owners have a good example to follow without laws that infringe on the private ownership of property.
2. Work with the local water authorities to project future needs of residents and business, and working with water authority help develop a plan to meet those needs.
3. Develop materials to teach property owners to reduce erosion and improved water quality without infringing on their rights as property owners.
Example: Contouring of the land and the planting of grasses that prevent erosion which wasn’t mandatory, but was followed by most farmers.
4. Encourage farmers to use good land management policies.
5. Encourage developers to create open spaces and parks in their developments.
6. Adopt night sky lighting standards for government buildings.
7. Strengthen a tourism industry by marketing the county’s natural beauty and recreation opportunities.
8. Study the recreational potential of several areas in Pickens County.
9. Study the long term impacts of various environmental/ecological issues in the county.
10. Study the placement of air quality monitoring stations in the county.
11. At no time will the county government perform studies on private property without the consent of the owner.
Economic Development Element
Goals and Objectives
1. It is not the job of the county government to use taxpayer money for stimulus. Reduce taxes to grow the economy.
2. Study business and commercial growth in certain area. Make recommendations to business as they ask for permits to build.
3. Promote planned tourism with Pickens County as a destination.
4. Promote the individual identities of communities.
5. Attempt to recruit knowledge based industry such as software development and high tech manufacturing.
6. Study the feasibility of attracting “Green” energy for its low impact and high wage realizing that the few jobs that have been created have cost the tax payers large amounts of dollars.
7. Lower taxes on industry to attract them to Pickens County.
7. Attract members for the workforce in the county by offering education and raining in our local schools.
8. Encourage Tri County Tech to create more programs for training for existing as well as new industry.
9. Build cooperation and coordination between all of the educational facilities to increase the desire of industry to locate in Pickens County.
10. Work with Colleges and Universities to foster programs that benefit private industry.
11. Market our many attributes for having homes in Pickens County.
12. Promote a capitalistic, free enterprise business environment conducive to growing the economy using the expertise of fellow Pickens County economist Hugh MacCauley.
13. Support small business development and growth.
14. Encourage a Pickens County-based, for profit media source.
15. Encourage Pickens County as a retirement center by reducing taxes on Seniors.
16. Encourage recreational activity and venues for healthy recreation and related economic growth by establishing areas on the excessive school properties for the convenience of the citizens.
17. Promote some methods of alternative farming as a local industry and encourage the establishment of local distribution. Never infringe on the rights of property owners to use their property as they see fit unless government is willing to pay a fair market price to purchase said property. Use training
18. Use voluntary training programs to help farmers produce more efficiently.
Our Vision is to provide through a vote of the people strategically located and high quality sewer, water, solid waste, fire and emergency services, along with cultural/educational community facilities, to meet the needs of the residents of Pickens County.
Community Facilities Element
Goals and Objectives
1. Address the water needs for future residents and businesses by developing a plan that includes solving future problems. Property owners must voice their approval by 2/3 vote by petition on any properties affected.
2. Study a long range plan for water resources in Pickens County.
3. Try to develop better coordination and communication with and between water districts.
4, Investigate feasibility of alternative, sewage treatment systems which consider water recycling.
5. Encourage county, municipal government,and special service districts in conjunction with property owners to adopt a countywide master plan for roads, water use, sewage, recreation and fire /rescue services.
6. Expand resources for emergency services, and law enforcement as the population grows.
7. Support the growing needs of law enforcement for training and resources.
8. Enhance within budget priorities interoperability of communication among all emergency response agencies.
9. Obey all laws on the books or get them changed.
10. Coordinate a public use facility sharing program with the Pickens County School District.
11. There should be no future school sites during this ten year period.
12. Study the need county community building with various functions.
13. Encourage the development of farmers markets.
14. All contracts and/or inducements with private industry or public entities will be posted on the internet
15. Study the development of a County Agribusiness Incubator.