Last night's meeting with the County Council went as follows:
Junius Smith, Conservatives Of The Upstate President, thanked council for being at the forefront of the Syrian refugee resettlement issue and listening to the petition of the people to deny any funding or the acceptance of the issue.
1. Paulette Murphree talked about the excessive cost of fire fees. Her main points were as follows: the fire fees on mobile homes are the same as a five thousand square foot house, that it takes less equipment to work a fire, that the mobile home is usually destroyed when the fire fighters get there, and the $100-150 charge will put mobile home owners out of business.
The Council's main point was that no one had put out a complaint until last night. This was answered by Mrs. Murphree that no one minded paying a $25 fee over the years, but $100 or over was too high. She also said that one of the Council members had a negative attitude and that she would have nothing else to say. The Council member changed his approach at that point and the meeting continued.
Deana McAnulty also spoke on the topic of mobile home fire fees ~ stating that she rents 9 affordable mobile homes and that the fire fees would cost her $900 a year.
2. Junius Smith, President of the Conservatives of the Upstate talked about 5 issues: Excessive fire fees of $100-150 on mobile homes, The fact that the Council has to approve any increase or monetary expenditure by a local fire board, that there have been multiple trips to the same fire and counted as more than one fire. Smith cautioned the Council that they were not getting all the facts before approving the items a fire board wants and that when a fire fee was $25 citizens didn't mind paying.
Mr. Smith also brought up other points like the the school board had over-collected $789,000 during the first three months of the fiscal year which means that the county and cities had over-collected because they use the same worth of a mill. There is a slight difference in collectability of taxes between the county and school board. They all need to refund the money under 12-43-285 or break the law.
3. Smith talked about Tri-County Tech -asking the County for $6.5 milllion dollars to build a building which is illegal under the SC Constitution Article 11, Section 3. He also reminded the Council that Tri-County Tech was originally set up to train workers for industry and not be a junior college for Clemson University. It also should be noted that Pickens County has spent 10s of millions on building, equipping, and staffing a school exactly like Tri-County Tech was supposed to be doing in the form of the Career & Technology Center.
4. Mr. Smith pointed out that the Six Mile water district was making property owners that rent to others responsible for collecting water bills. While the County Council is not responsible for water, this was another example of government pushing responsibility back on property owners and not reducing payments.
5. Mr. Smith ended his talk by pointing out that he, his son, Neil Smith and others had been castigated by a web site called "anonymous" and that he could not get help from anyone in Pickens County to nail down the threats and libel that the person who put this up on the internet. He said that the system of justice in Pickens County was not justice any more, but based on procedure only.
6. Pree Hamilton, President of the Board along with the Director for the Humane Society of Pickens County said that they were putting on a comedy show on December 5th in order to raise money for the care of the animals. She also asked the Council for money for a new computer for the shelter. Neil Smith, Council Member, volunteered a check for $500.00 to pay for for the computer. The Royal Order of Police donated $2500 to the shelter to help them run the operation.
7. Ellenor Hare talked about money for the elections. The Council assured her that there would be enough money to hold all the elections. Better communications were recommended by Ms. Hare.
President Conservatives of the Upstate