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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Notes about the March 2016 Pickens County Council meeting...

I was disappointed in last night's meeting with the County Council.  There does not seem to be enough interest in preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution of this State and frugally spending our hard earned tax dollars.  

In my presentation to the Council I asked two important questions:

1.  How much money is in the budget to fund the 6.5 million dollars that  Tri-County Tech wants to build a Student Union Building?

2.  How much money is in the budget to fund recreation projects?

Let me be specific as to why I asked these two questions.  First, the request from Tri-County Tech, is in my opinion, Illegal for several reasons.  It violates Pickens County's 8% limitation on bonded indebtedness as the school board has already used all 8 %.  It violates Article 10 Section 5 of the SC Constitution in that taxes must be given a specific use before they are collected and cannot be used for other projects. It violates Article 11 Section 3 that says the state is responsible for funding education.  It is not in the best interests of the taxpayers.

The County Council should not even entertain the project much less be rude to Mrs. Pat Watkins for even talking about it.  It seems that the Council is having a problem with the  Greenville News and surmised that the News had misinformed the public.  This was not the case.  The News had quoted a County Council member as saying I guess we will have to bite the bullet on this request.   I personally have an email from a County Council Member stating the he favored the building expenditure.  I was also told that there were 3 other members that favored the expenditure.  This is why Mrs. Watkins said what she said.  So she did not deserve the yelling from a council member, "where did you get your information" repeatedly.  Mrs. Watkins deserves an apology.

Another issue was the presentation of the 12 mile recreation project.  A citizen from Greenville stated that he didn't believe there would be much economic gain from the project as the folks who brought their boats rarely bought anything  except maybe a drink and they did not need anymore docks or facilities.  Another Greenville resident expressed his belief that there would not be 80 jobs created.  This job increase is being used by the Council to justify the counties expenditures.

Another presentation was by Ms. Betty Roe on a Charter  School for Pickens County.  There will be two local meetings to discuss this project.  March 15 at 6:30 at the Dream Center of Pickens County, 111 Hillcrest Drive, Easley SC, 29640 and April 7 @ 6:30 @ Smithfield Country Club, 100 Pine Ridge Drive, Easley, SC, 29642.  This could be a very important meetings for our children.

Don't forget our meeting Thursday night, March 10 at the Blue Ridge Bible Church.  Rex Rice, candidate for State Senator, will be there at 6:30 to answer your questions!

Junius Smith

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