COTU MEETINGS ARE HELD MONTHLY

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thank you to everyone in attendance at last night's school board meeting ... Conservatives Of The Upstate again made a strong showing ...

Much to my dismay and disappointment the School Board of Pickens County passed the bond refinancing program.  The vote was 5 to 1with Alex Saitta the only one against.

Saitta did claim that the refinancing should be done in 2016 when the original revenue bonds could be called (at 10 years).  

Franny Hiesel made a quick appearance, and told the Board that the lease-purchase agreement that was contested in the Colleton County Case was opined as Constitutional and statutorily ok.  I don't recall anything about Constitutionally, but I would stipulate that the courts might have ruled that way.  

Still missing was the fact that the Supreme Court also defined SCAGO, the dummy corporation, as a completely separate entity from the School Board.  This made it possible for SCAGO to borrow money and purchase revenue bonds for Pickens County and not have it count against the 8% Constitutional Limit of the appraised county property values.  However, Pickens County cannot handle these bonds in any way because of the Constitutional limit, and because of the separation between the Board and SCAGO.

The School Board is going to borrow another $300,000,000+ so they can have more money to buy all the stuff that they have on their wish list. (They will have to bank the money until the December 2016 payoff date.)

A travesty and it is illegal.  We should insist that the bond revenue be in two accounts: One of general obligation debt and the other for SCAGO's revenue bonds debit and credit.

I tried to talk with the attorney in the hall as she tried to leave, but she blew me off, and said that she didn't have to talk with me.  She said she would only talk to the Pickens County School Board and I said that they worked for me so what was the problem.  She left!

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Conservatives of the Upstate along with the Pickens County Taxpayer Association are conducting a petition drive to stop the tax hike being proposed by the School District of Pickens County. In order to sign you must be a resident of Pickens County or have property in Pickens County.

The petition states: We, the citizens of Pickens County, petition the School District of Pickens County Board of Trustees to vote NO on any property tax millage increase.

We have secured several locations you can stop by to sign the STOP THE TAX HIKE petition in Pickens County. We need businesses in Central, Liberty, Easley, and Clemson to contact us @ johnnelle@bellsouth.net  if you are willing to place the petition at your place of business, or if you are willing to volunteer to help us collect signatures.

Here are the locations:


Durham's Service Station, 132 S. Main St, Six Mile, SC

Durham's Convenience Store, 3210 Walhalla Hwy, SC

Pickens Flea Market on Wednesdays from 8am till 11am Jan 28Feb 4Feb 11Feb 18Feb 25 Table# 241 B under the shed

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stop The Tax Hike Petition ...




Conservatives of the Upstate will be at Pickens jockey lot table 241B on "the new side" (under the shed) to collect signatures for a "no tax increase" petition.

Weather permitting, we will be there the January 28 and February 4, 2015 as well. 

If you cannot meet us at the flea market, find petitions at:

Mobil Station in Six Mile

Grill at Spangler's Gas Station on Hwy 183

Durham's Gas Station on Hwy 183.  

More locations to follow ...

Stay tuned to:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Conservatives Of The Upstate President, Junius Smith Speaks On WORD106.3FM About Recent Delegation Meeting Speech

Listen at the 25:55 mark ...

District 4 House Rep Has Conflict Of Interest With His Printing Business

From The Nerve SC: 

District 4 House Rep Has Conflict Of Interest With His Printing Business

Rep. David “Davey” Hiott, R-Pickens & Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee, reported spending a total of $6,500 in 2012 and last year on his business – the Hiott Printing Company – for what he labeled as “printing materials” and “printing for campaign.” 

He faced opposition in both the 2012 and 2014 Republican primaries, though he had no formal opponents in the general elections in those years.

And other lawmakers have spent campaign funds on Hiott’s business, The Nerve’s review found. Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens and the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, for example, reported spending a total of $6,905 from November 2008 through December last year, mainly for what he listed as “Christmas cards.” Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Oconee, reported spending a collective $4,135 in 2012 for what he labeled as “campaign cards” and a “mailer.”

State ethics law (Section 8-13-1348 of the S.C. Code of Laws) bans campaign funds from being “converted to personal use,” or used to “defray personal expenses which are unrelated to the campaign or the office if the candidate is an officeholder.” 

Another law (Section 8-13-700) prohibits a public official from using his office to “obtain an economic interest for himself, a family member, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is principal owner."

Ethics Committee ‘Pre-Approval’

Contacted last week by The Nerve, Hiott, who was first elected to the House in 2004, confirmed that he has spent campaign funds on his business, and that other lawmakers have used their campaign accounts to pay his company. Besides Martin and Whitmire, other lawmakers who have made purchases from his business include Reps. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, and Samuel Rivers, R-Berkeley; and former Rep. Don Bowen, R-Anderson, he said.

“I did some printing for myself, and I paid the company what it would cost,” Hiott said, adding that for other lawmakers, “It’s the same price I would give them what I would give to anyone else.”

Hiott said a House Ethics Committee staffer verbally told him other lawmakers could spend their campaign funds on his business for allowable purposes under the law so long as he wasn’t giving them any special deals.

Asked by The Nerve if he made a profit by spending campaign funds on his business, Hiott said he was advised by the Ethics Committee staffer that “you charge yourself the same thing you would charge anyone else.”

Hiott couldn’t identify the Ethics Committee staffer when asked by The Nerve, adding that he “didn’t have anything in writing” from the committee. Rep. Kenny  Bingham, R-Lexington and the House Ethics Committee chairman, told The Nerve for a story last month on Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, who spent $29,297 from January 2008 through January 2014 on ties and scarves for House members, staffs and others, that informal opinions generally are secret, citing “attorney-client privilege.”

Monday, January 12, 2015

Can you afford an 8% tax increase?

An 8% increase on:
• Cars
• Motorcycles
• Boats
• Rental Homes & Apartments
• Business Property
• Business Equipment

 

The tax increase will also affect your residence.


8%


Could your family use an 8% raise this year? 


The Pickens County School District Administration thinks they need your money more than you do.

There is an attempt to increase property taxes in Pickens County 
School District an additional 8%.

SOLUTION:

 

Go to www.conservativesoftheupstate.com to find out how you can sign a petition to stop the tax increase.

 

Contact your School Board members and tell them to do this: 

 

#1 Stop spending money on wants and learn to follow a budget like the tax payers must do.

 

#2 Don't kick the can down the road; stop raiding the escrow account to pay down debt.

 

These are your ELECTED school board members you should contact to STOP THIS 8% TAX INCREASE:

Henry Wilson

(Call and tell him to vote NO tax increase.)
Dacusville/ Eastern Easley
Easley, SC 29640
(864) 643-8352
hwsc1
@yahoo.com​​

Brian Swords

(Call and tell him to vote NO tax increase.)

Liberty/Western Easley
(864) 221-3642
bswords@tctc.edu​

Phillip Bowers

(voting no to tax increase)
Six Mile/ Central
(864) 868-2789
bowers_p@bellsouth.net

Alex Saitta

(voting no to tax increase)
Pickens
(864) 878-1961
alexsaitta@pickens.k12.sc.us

Judy Edwards

(Call and tell her to vote NO tax increase.)
Easley
(864) 859-7338
randjedwards@aol.com​ 

Herbert Cooper

(Call and tell him to vote NO tax increase.)
Clemson
(864) 654-151
7
No email address


$11,600 is the school DEBT each house owes thanks to our Pickens County School District board.

"In education, they say either property taxes have to go up, or we'll have poor education – that's a false choice."

                ~ Gov. Scott Walker


The school district is trying to raise property taxes at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet. The final vote should take place by March 23, 2015.

 

The district administration is saying there is a financial crisis, so it either has to raise taxes or cut teachers or close schools. They are trying to create the impression there is a financial crisis, when there isn't one.

Since 
2007 there has been a 37% tax increase in the Pickens County School District with no increase in number of student enrollment.


The School District of Pickens County Wants More of Your Money.

Don't Fall for Scare Tactics!

It's Not a Crisis!


Their Wants and Mismanagement of your Money Does Not Constitute a Crisis!  

 

Be there, be heard, don’t be plundered! 

 

January 26, 2015

February 23,2015

March 23, 2015

 

SDPC District Office 

1348 Griffin Mill Road

Easley, SC 29640





Friday, January 9, 2015

Conservatives Of The Upstate Makes Impact @ 2015 Delegation Meeting

Our group made incredible speeches to the politicians.  They were well informed.  

We picked up approximately 50 signatures for our petition.  

A speech by President of COTU, Junius Smith, centered around the fact that the majority of the School Board trustees are breaking the law and have done so in recent years - mostly state constitutional law but also some statutory law.  

Points made to the delegation:

1. The school board of Pickens County needs to be stripped of all financial responsibility. I have given you all an official statement concerning the Lease Purchase agreement dated 12/21/ 2006

A. They have gotten us in a lease purchase agreement far beyond our means - Over $400 million.

B. They do not abide by the 8% law. They recently told the public that they would refinance a debt that did not belong to them as you can see from the handout that is before you. 

C. They violate their oath of office in that they do not preserve, protect, and defend the constitutions of the state and federal government. They subvert the constitution by spending interest on money they do not own ($55,000,000). They have added projects that were not part of the original lease agreement. They are currently asking for more money in order to buy such items as roofs on a 12 1/2 year wear out basis. Even Lowes guarantees 20 years on their worst roofing, 30 years on some of the best. Not a single member of the Board has gone to look at maintenance problems at the schools; neglecting their own committee's meetings. They are asking for hundreds of thousands for grass mowers. Where are the booster clubs? Millions for other technical projects that funded by the State and will be obsolete before they are used two years. There is a myriad of other reasons that this meeting will not allow because of time restraints. 

D. They subverted the constitution when they voted recently to spend $13,000,000 without authority on various projects using money that did not belong to them and disenfranchised the voters in the Liberty District as Ben Trotter had resigned that same night. The same night they voted without any authority to spend $3,000,000 out of a "contingency" fund that was actually money that had been over-collected from the taxpayers by using a wrong percentage of collectibility. 

2. The State of SC is responsible for education, but has shoveled it down to the counties, and yet wants to maintain control. The State has put in 50/0 in sales taxes for education over the years: Selling it to the people "for the children". The revenue goes into the "General Fund" and is spent on a conglomeration of things other than our children. Yet the Governor has so much money that she wants to do away with the income tax. 

A. Funding is sent down to the districts as line items and many times the whole plan is not funded by the State. A good example is K4 kindergarten in which the buildings and other things are not funded and yet Clarendon county is fully funded. 

B. Most all our buildings are funded by the county and the treasurers' office has the repay accounts set up wrong as the revenue bonds and the general Obligation bonds revenue are mixed. The school board should not have any control over the revenue bonds. The school board uses the revenue indiscriminately when they should be issuing payments to SCAGO as lease payments and SeAGO should be paying the brokers who have sold the bonds. The State should be making all the payments as operating expense as they are in 6 other districts. 

3. The School Board has sold mortgaged SeAGO properties. The money from the sale should have gone to SeAGO to reduce payments on the lease agreement, but has been used for whatever the Board wanted extra.

4. All operating expense such as teachers salaries should be set and paid for by the State. Pickens is a poor county and cannot afford to pay what Greenville pays. Counties should not have a say on salaries because it creates a problem between the counties and Pickens cannot compete with Greenville without causing a major problem for many taxpayers. 

5.Closed primaries are wanted and demanded. 

Lets see how long it takes for our Delegation to respond to actual law breakers.

Junius Smith
President Conservatives of the Upstate

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Pickens County Delegation Meeting ...

The Pickens County Legislative Delegation Annual Public Meeting has been set.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015 @ 5:30PM

CARR CONFERENCE CENTER
WEST END HALL
201 SOUTH 5TH STREET
EASLEY, SC 29640

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Clemson senior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has just finished a successful student athlete career at Clemson University.  

Jarrett had a career high 3.5 tackles for loss in his 48th and final game in the 40-6 thumping of Oklahoma. He also was voted as one of the football team's permanent captains for 2014.  

He posted the following to his Instagram account on why he worked so hard during his time at Clemson. 

"When they said no one makes it out of Rockdale County.. I'm just getting started. This is much bigger than myself. This for the kids they tell are too small to play division 1 sports n chase their dream, for the kid they tell they aren't smart enough to graduate college, this for the kids that sacrifice just to chase a dream, this for the kids that's out there grinding while no one looking and all ya other friends out running around "having all the fun", this for the kids that continue to study their books and challenge themselves in the classroom while others make fun of them, this for the kids that made a promise to their family, this for the kids that refuse to let any friend, coach, teacher, scout, hater, family member limit what they can accomplish.. Keep working baby boy and baby girl, keeping believing. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! ALL THINGS. Love."

Junius Smith