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Monday, January 16, 2017

Summary of January 2017 COTU Meeting...

Information from the County Attorney under the Freedom of Information Act indicates that the County Council voted to give Southern Wesleyan, a church affiliated School,  $75,000 from recreation funds and $75,000 from Tourism funds for a new track (motion by Trey Whitehurst). There is still the matter of the tennis courts. Since I was told by a Council member that all had come from the recreation fund, I have to think that the $150,000 was divided after I complained that the donation was unconstitutional. Trey Whitehurst said I was wrong about the contribution to the track out of the recreational fund. Seems he is the one that is wrong and he owes me an apology for writing all over the internet that I was wrong again.

"Wrong again", "wrong again",  this was the cry of Jennifer Willis and Trey Whitehurst at the last meeting of the Council. They said these things when I couldn't answer after the public forum. They said that they had checked twice on my complaint and that they had found me in error. So I went over two conditions in our meeting that prove my point.

 First is collectability being set at 95%. Which is what it was for years. This meant that the County over-collected 5-8% every year because if you do not pay your taxes in Pickens County they either fine you or they take your property. So that means you make 5% on collectability alone and another 1-3 % on fines and sales. In recent years, the percent had been changed because of my first complaint. It is my belief that the County has over collected $45 million dollars over the years -1991 to now.

In their 2008 audit, it indicates "The government's total net assets increased $8,377,083. Several elements of this increase was due to the conservative approach council makes toward estimating revenues for the budgetincreased rate of the return on investments, attrition of county employees, and deferral of acquisitions of capital items." Overestimating fuel budgets as gas prices dropped back below $2.00 is also a huge factor. This year Council is spending $23,000,000 to build a new jail. The money belongs to the people under 12-43-285 and should be refunded or credited to them. This act of poor accounting has been going on for years and is in my opinion a deliberate way to raise revenue without raising taxes. The two items in bold lettering belong to the people and should be refunded. All told, the County Council has over-collected an estimated $45 million dollars over the years, has spent an estimated $22 million on projects not budgeted - in effect raised taxes every year through over-collection. They have violated the Constitution in many ways, but one of the most prevalent is Article 10-Section 5 in that they have spent money on items not told to the citizens. They switch accounts or put the money in a general account so you can not tell where the funds came from. The new jail is a perfect example of this.

We want our money back or at least put the Jail on the ballot so the people can decide.

Please take the time to email, call, or communicate with SENATOR Rex Rice to oppose a 7th School Board seat. See posts below for more info.

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

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