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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Meeting Notes From The October 2013 Pickens County School Board Meeting
• Phillip Bowers, Six Mile, chair of Pickens GOP spoke that he is in favor of a 2nd Middle School in Easley by means of a sale of Gettys to Legacy Charter School = no cost to taxpayer
• Michelle Wiles, Pickens, vice chair Pickens GOP seconded the idea of a sale of Gettys to Legacy.
• Johnnelle Raines, Pickens stressed to the board that Common Core standards were bad and that they can and should make a resolution against it
• Philip Smith, Liberty, expressed concerns over a speaker at last month's school board meeting that suggested a lynch mob follow trustee Ben Trotter home. Smith stressed that the speaker was a vengeful person and tries to ruin the life of anyone that gets in his path.
Smith also pointed out that according to the Pickens School Board "about section" of the School District website - three trustees maintained Easley addresses and that an additional "at large" seat or redistricted board would most likely come from Easley - making 4 of 7 members have an Easley address. Completely unfair to rest of the voters.
• A preacher stood up to give a prayer for his three minutes.
• ___________ Bearden, Pickens, appealed to the board for something to be done at Pickens Middle about his daughter getting beat up and bullied. The matter brought tears to some eyes. Bearden ended with a legal action statement.
• Weldon Clark, Liberty, affirmed Bowers and Wiles statements.
• SDPC superintendent Kelley Pew was given a raise from $500 to $750 a month for travel expenses. Saitta & Gillespie opposed. Motion passed 3-2. Saitta noted inflated figures for Federal mileage standard. Shelton noted it's not just gas, it's wear & tear on car.
(Note: Pew makes $120K plus benefits a year! It's almost certain she takes mileage off her taxes!)
• Clark Accountant Firm gave the annual financial report and the district received the highest rating possible.
• The district has 19.7 million in the bank. Which is good.
• Concerns: booster clubs, PTAs not keeping proper receipt records "ultimately although separate legal organizations, these entities are tied to the school district and their actions would result in consequences for the school district."
Concern was also expressed over booster clubs and school fundraising orgs not properly maintaining 501c3 charity status/records/taxes
• Healthcare and significantly risings costs of retirees are a major concern for any government body heading into 2015 - especially school districts. Current trend is unsustainable.
• Trustee Judy Edwards spoke out against the sale of Gettys - saying "we'll need the property someday"
• Trustee Alex Saitta spoke in favor of the sale of Gettys to Legacy charter saying "they are coming anyway, we might as well make some money off them" ... "Maybe we can find a way to partner with them."
• Trustee Jimmy Gillespie thanked the Clark Accounting Firm for their hard work and noted to the board and public that they "warn us if anything is going wrong and keep us in line"
• Trustee Jim Shelton said that he was in favor of selling Gettys but not lowering the asking price.
Executive session lasted until 7:30PM meeting lasted until 9:30PM - most attendees were there for 3.5 hours!