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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summary Of The August 2016 Pickens County Council Meeting...

I want to first thank those members from Conservatives of the Upstate for attending. We had by far the largest contingent at the meeting. Missing were some of the people I see on the internet lambasting Trump and in general being nasty about our thoughts, yet they do not have the courage to show their faces at an important meeting where millions of our tax dollars were on the line. Here are some of the high points of the meeting.

1. Junius Smith, President of the Conservatives of the Upstate presented definitions and examples of over-collection: Over-collection from resetting millage after reassessment, economy better than expected, collectability % set wrong, conservative appraisals of the value of a mill, errors on accounts, and budgeted amounts like for gasoline and heating oil vastly underestimated. While none of these items are against the law, it is against the law (12-43-285) to keep the money. Smith pointed out that the County Treasurer is required by law to post all overages in a separate account and the money is to be refunded to the Tax Payers by the end of the year or a credit given on their tax bills. It is estimated that at least 45 million has been over-collected over the years. Smith suggested that the County Council put this item on the November ballot to see if the people desire to spend what is left of the money on a new jail.

2. It was noted that the appointment of Gerald Wilson to County Administrator was highly thought of by the Conservatives of the Upstate. We think he will do a really good job and he is a local man.

3. Other items were the appropriation of $1,550,000 in general obligation bonds to replace the same amount that just expired. The County may be limited to 8% general obligation bonds by the constitution and the school board is already at that point so it is our belief that this is illegal.(Articles 10 and 15) .

4. The County Council approved the building of a new jail without the consent of the people. The 23 million dollars is there by over-collecting and belongs to the people. They should at least have a voice in what is done as far as the Jail is concerned. This should come up on referendum.  

5. The council also wants to spend 6.75 million on a building for Tri County Tech which in our opinion is illegal.(Article 11 Section 3)

Junius Smith

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