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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summary Of The August 2017 Pickens County Council Meeting ...

Written by Johnnelle Raines:

Reflections on attending the Pickens County Council meeting last night follows ...
(opinions are all mine) ... and are based on my perceptions...  

County Council Meeting on August 14th 2017 was a definite eye opener. 

Public Forum : 

Speaker Pree Hamilton spoke on the need for County Council to help out the Humane Society or else they would probably have to fold and read aloud a written piece about the value of dogs. She went over her time limit and said she was going to use the other lady's time that was scheduled to speak on behalf of the Humane Center...(this set precedence... {So I think if any of our COTU want to speak longer than 3 minutes allowed we need to keep this in mind!) Roy Costner wanted a copy of the written piece about dogs...

Speaker spoke about the upcoming event in the newly renamed Performing Arts Center on the 17th and invited everyone to this event ( RSVP to 864-898-2485) He also spoke about the upcoming Solar Eclipse event to take place at SWU 

And I spoke to them about following the Republican Platform of lower taxes, over collecting taxes and calling it reasonable and not running up debt and property rights

My husband and I both attended and it was very interesting to be able to hear his thoughts on what took place. Sometimes I wonder if my perceptions are just mine but when you have someone else go and then ask them first to tell you what their perceptions are and they line up with yours...well it's validating for sure.

I was disappointed more people didn't show up to speak against the Council raising the ceiling on borrowing money from 25 million to 32 million. And there was no explanation as to WHY they went up the amount.  The Public hearing and second reading was held and only Dan Winchester of PCTA and myself voiced any concerns on behalf of our members in Pickens County Taxpayer Association and Conservatives of the Upstate. I realize that we represent at least a thousand members in our county but I would have thought more citizens would have shown up and spoke...”apathy” is what is causing our County Council to be so progressive and it is quite evident they think YOU don't care that they are putting YOU in debt for 20 to 30 years and raising millage on property taxes.

What was troubling to me is when the Finance Director was asked to answer what the millage rate increase would be and the interest rate he couldn't answer...he said that was uncertain and would depend on the economy at the time; but his goal was to close on this loan by the end of the year. I don't know about you but if I am going to borrow money I want to know what the interest rate is right now and how long the payments are going to take place and if I can afford to pay it back.  There is a great deal of uncertainty in our economy with our Congress fighting Trump at every turn and unrest in North Korea and the Middle I don't think it is wise to run up such huge debt on the local citizenry.

Roy Costner wanted to make it known that we should be happy because they “found” a way to “save” us a million dollars on refinancing an existing debt... LOL... that's like saying my husband decided to  refinance our truck and saved us a bunch of money but yet turned around and borrowed  30 times as much money to buy us a lake home on Keowee that we can't afford.

Wes Hendricks also wanted to make a point about the fact that by spending OUR money on a private college's (SWU) track and tennis court that our ROI was huge...why just look at all the money this Solar Event is going to bring into our county by hosting this once in a lifetime event....

Chris Bowers didn't seem to be concerned about passing on Ordinance 534 First reading of amending the building codes to “further safeguard citizens”...but Trey Whitehurst was!  Trey recognized that the wording was not clear as to WHO exactly has the right to come on to your property and declare your property a safety hazard...and well … THEY ALL SHOULD BE CONCERNED about this wording! That's exactly why COTU presented the Private Property Right Resolution to the council! Chris Bowers seems to think that because they haven't overstepped their authority on bulldozing someone's house down without due process before it won't happen in the future? SMH...saying well a miscarriage of justice on private property hasn't ever happened before is not a reason to NOT make sure it doesn't happen in the future!

Council decided to designate the way past month of April 2017  as FAIR HOUSING MONTH... why you ask? Because they need to make sure they can access YOUR Federal tax dollars for a grant if need be.

Gerald Wilson introduced a new employee, I failed to write down her name. She is a former Television anchor/reporter for local TV station and I have requested more information on her job description and guess is she will be like the John Eby of the School Board ...but I will know more when Council gets back to me on her job description.

Dan Winchester got up during public hearing time over the borrowing for the jail and asked some very relevant questions ….none of which were Roy Costner said he didn't want to get into a debate with council versus one man...but promised Mr. Winchester they would get his questions answered eventually. I have asked Mr. Winchester to send me his speech so I can post it on Facebook.

Well that's pretty much the highlights...wish you were there! MORE PEOPLE NEED TO BECOME ACTIVE IN being a WATCHDOG of what our elected officials are doing with OUR MONEY!

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