Last night the Pickens County Council had their last public meeting before the Christmas Holidays.
It was the pleasure of the Conservatives of the Upstate to wish each and every member of the Council a Merry Christmas and remind them of Jesus Christ's birth.
Junius Smith presented Mrs. Patricia Watkins' Children's book featuring her doggy. Was very professionally and interestingly done.
Junius Smith represented The Conservatives of the Upstate and he covered the following items:
1. The performance of the County County Council is far better than that of the School Board for the following reasons. The School Board failed to follow law 12-43- 285 at the last meeting and even after being warned that they were breaking the law in spending some of the $789,000 dollars over collected that should be refunded to the people, they voted to spend some of the money anyway on assistant principal pay raises.
2. They refused to stop refinancing the revenue bonds that they do not own; thus violating a court order and the law concerning the limitation of borrowing by schools to 8% of the appraised property in the county. SCAGO owns the bonds. and cannot transfer them or the money to the Board.
3. The County Council just recently came out in favor of a non-admittance to unvetted Syrian refugees at the request of the Conservatives of the Upstate. Johnnelle Raines led this discussion for COTU. We all are proud of their foresight in light of the San Bernardino massacre.
4. The County Council was praised for their swift action in eliminating the fire fee on vacant land. They were reminded that the mobile home fee is still too high and were asked to lower this fee.
5. The Conservatives of the Upstate recommend that the Council study the following requests for action in 2016:
A. Over-collection of taxes and their disposition.
B. Refuse the $6.5 million demand by Tri-County Tech for the purpose of building a Student Union building because Pickens County has spent $10s of millions already on a career center which duplicates the Tri-County mission that they have practically abandoned.
Article 11, section 3 SC Constitution says the state is responsible for school infrastructure not the counties.
C. Reclassifying road front property
D. Change Comprehensive Plan to a more free enterprise, capitalistic, plan.
E. Fix the County Jail problem without building a completely new jail. Lead a forum on the Judicial system which is broken and causing the jail to be over occupied.
F. After requesting relief for the umpteenth time, sue the State of South Carolina for not funding the county properly.
G. Involve the Pickens County Auditor and Treasurer in the setting of millage and the over-collection as per 12-43-285.
H. Establish a system for monitoring the internet and instructing the Sheriff's office to follow up on dangerous items posted.
Then Pree Hamilton of the County Humane Society thanked Neil Smith for contributing $500 dollars for a computer and asked for any available funds. Mrs Patricia Watkins and Junius Smith also made contributions.
The auditing of the County books revealed no major problems.
The League of Women Voters continued to insist that there is a problem with the funding of elections. The Council insisted that there was not a problem.