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Monday, December 27, 2021

How You Can Help Keep Pickens County Conservative


It's not hard to see lately that we are in a battle to preserve our freedoms and our heritage.

People tell us at our monthly meetings of Conservatives of the Upstate they want to be more involved; they want to help fight the good fight.

Here's our top 5 ways YOU can help keep Pickens County Conservative:

1. Attend our monthly meetings which occur every 3rd Thursday each month at 7pm where we discuss strategy and action items and have speakers who motivate us! The next meeting is Thursday, January 20th at Cafe' Connections, 319 East Main Street downtown Pickens SC 29671.

2. Tell others about Conservatives of the Upstate (COTU) and bring a friend, a relative, a neighbor, a fellow church member with you when you come!

3. Sign up at our meeting to be a Freedom Pod member. You can make a difference. The Freedom Pod Groups are designed in a way so that you can use your God given talents to help us achieve our goals. 

4. Donate your time and your action to our causes. We do not have membership dues. But we do hope you will donate a couple of dollars each time you come to offset our venue cost, which at present is $75 a meeting. So, if 40 people attend and each give $2, we actually can keep our funds from dwindling away. We use our funds for printing costs, speaker fees, venue fees, and advertising. We recently had Tom DeWeese as our speaker and his fee kicked a big dent in our savings, so if you can spare an extra couple of dollars, hopefully we can get our funds back up to be able to have another great speaker enlighten us! 

5. Last...but certainly not least, we all need to be in prayer daily for God's discernment as to what He wants us to be doing. Esther 4:14 states, "Perhaps you were born for such a time as this." And Romans 8:28 states, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Therefore, please take the time to pray for God's wisdom and discernment as we fight the good fight to hold our elected accountable and keep evil from infiltrating our community. 

Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 and all will be well:

TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN

UNDERSTANDING: IN ALL YOUR WAYS SUBMIT TO HIM. AND HE WILL MAKE 

YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.

Happy New Year to You and Yours! Hope to see you Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 7PM at Cafe' Connections, 319 E. Main St, Pickens, SC 29671

Our guest speakers for January 20th meeting will be Sheri and April Few of United States Parents Involved in Education who will be informing us on how we can regain parental control of a child's education. You can visit their website here: www.uspie.org



 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021


"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord." 

Luke 2: 10-12

Saturday, December 11, 2021

COTU Leadership Critique of the Proposed Draft of the Pickens County Comprehensive Plan

 


PLEASE take the time to read through the draft of the county’s proposed plan. You can find the proposed One Pickens County Comprehensive Plan draft at this link:

https://www.co.pickens.sc.us/departments/planning/onepickens_county_comprehensive_plan/index.php

Conservatives of the Upstate are not against planning. It is a normal function of good management. County governments should be planning ahead for the future.

In fact, we wrote our own proposal and suggestions for a county wide Comprehensive Plan which can be viewed at this link:

Conservatives Of The Upstate: The Complete Conservatives Of The Upstate "Comprehensive Plan"



Conservatives of the Upstate have the opinion our SC State laws on comprehensive planning need amending to provide more freedom of what these plans must contain. We also think there should be a minimum requirement of how many citizens must actually contribute to the input before a county can approve the plan.

See this link on the SC Legislation:

South Carolina Code Title 6, Chapter 29 (2020) - South Carolina Local Government Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act Of 1994 :: 2020 South Carolina Code of Laws :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia


In the interest of history, it is important to note exactly where the style of adopting comprehensive plans that are being adopted in South Carolina originated. The origins and verbiage used in today’s comprehensive plans historically have come as a result of the “United Nations Agenda 21.”

See for yourself here at the United Nations’ own website:

Agenda 21 .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (un.org)

Sustainability is the rallying call and is weaved and embedded within the comprehensive planning roots.

Sustainable development encompasses every aspect of our lives. One of the goals of sustainability is social equity. Social equity is a political movement to replace capitalism with government control of EVERYTHING. Equity is not about providing equal opportunity, but rather equal outcomes. It is a relentless attack of individual property rights and an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This “sustainable” roots rallying call of the United Nations promotes socialism, liberalism, globalism, humanism and environmentalism.

Most of this push for sustainability began during the Clinton Administration and continues today through the Biden administration.



The “United Nations Agenda 21” has since morphed into the “United Nations Agenda 2030.” Because all the goals were not reached in 2021.  See for yourself the Agenda 2030 here at the United Nations’ own website:

21252030 Agenda for Sustainable Development web.pdf (un.org)  




Today we are seeing the Democrats in the USA are pushing legislation here in the USA based on the “United Nations Green New Deal.” With their own version of the “Green New Deal.”

You can see the similarities at the United Nations’ own website:

 A Global Green New Deal .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (un.org)  

We also have the World Economic Forum which according to their own website is “An International Organization for Public-Private Corporations…which engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” All one has to do is go to their own website and you will see they too are aligned with the United Nations. The World Economic Forum is calling for "The Great Reset". See for yourself at their own WEF website:

The Great Reset | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)




The elites are not hiding their agenda any longer. This is not a conspiracy theory folks.

And all this “sustainability” agenda trickles down to our county level.

Once you read through the whole proposed draft for adoption in our Pickens County comprehensive plan entitled, ONE PICKENS COUNTY A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR OUR FUTURE, you will see the obvious parallels between what the United Nations agenda and "The Great Reset" are pushing and how these county comprehensive plans across South Carolina and our entire USA are all pushing sustainability to the detriment of our individual God given freedoms. Even though this present plan draft of our county is vague, those of us who have studied what the liberal, globalist agenda is, can see that this vagueness is intentional so as to leave “wiggle room” to actually do just about anything in the name of ‘sustainability” and the “common good”.

The major red flag to Conservatives of the Upstate in this plan is the fact that it is NOT truly representative of the goals and visions of the majority of the everyday citizens of Pickens County.

Pickens County citizens treasure their life, liberty, and property rights as evidenced by the fact the overwhelming majority of our citizens voted for re-election of President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Pickens County is widely known as the most conservative county in the state of South Carolina. 

This present comprehensive plan has come as a result of our un-elected, appointed Pickens County Planning Commission and an Advisory Board chosen by them consisting of un-elected representatives of “community” stakeholder groups such as, The Homebuilders Association of Greenville, United Way of Pickens County, Alliance Pickens South Carolina, Appalachian Council of Governments, Heritage Corridor, Manufactures Caring for Pickens County, Upstate Forever, and Chamber of Commerce as well as many other “groups”. Only one group actually has the word “conservative” included in the name of their group in this Advisory Board which is Conservatives of the Upstate. Two of their leadership team participated in overseeing and providing their thoughts on the development of this plan, and neither are happy with the result.  

Did you know that the company our Pickens County Council contracted out to “help” us formulate this plan is based in Georgia? Wasn’t there a company in South Carolina who could have helped us with this plan? Did you know it cost you the taxpayers $90,000 for this “help” from Georgia?

We think most of the groups or companies that are represented in this chosen “Advisory Board” for this comprehensive planning have indeed been indoctrinated with the ideology of United Nations sustainable development through attending workshops, conferences, and taking college offered courses that the United Nations have helped fund. Training teaches them about the 3 E's of sustainability.


 


It is important to look "behind the curtain" so to speak as to the underlying meaning of the 3 E’s of Sustainability.

Equity meaning social justice NOT personal individual rights. Economy meaning public/private partnerships, NOT free enterprise...and Environment meaning plants, animals and even inanimate objects are valued greater than the human being and his God given rights.

Are we not sovereign? Did God not already create us equal and endow us with certain unalienable rights?

Do we truly want to continue to open the door to the United Nations influencing and mandating our guidelines of what we here in Pickens County, SC can grow, eat, where we can live, the method of transportation we use to get to work, what jobs we can have, how many children we can have, and what kind of education our children can have? The majority of the members of 

Our present proposed draft for our Pickens County Comprehensive Plan Draft states,

 “The core of Pickens County is in its residents. As such, any plan for the County must understand the makeup of the county’s residential populace.”

Going forward, the question we all must ask ourselves is, “Does our County Council and Planning Commission “understand” Pickens County conservatives believe in private property rights, less government intervention and control, free enterprise, less taxes, and capitalism?” And if they do, then this plan should reflect that understanding.

After reading this proposed draft plan, many of the Conservatives of the Upstate members think that it does not reflect our core beliefs. Why do we think that?  Because, number one, there was not enough input from those regular majority conservative citizens that this plan is supposed to represent and secondly, there was not enough verbiage in this plan that reflect conservative values, beliefs, and attitudes.

When one takes the time to read through the draft of our Comprehensive Plan there is not enough data provided to show exactly HOW MANY of the non-Advisory Board members participated and provided input or feedback. We have approximately 126,000 citizens. So, what percent of that population participated in any of the activities that produced this plan?

This present proposed plan states, there was “broad public input opportunities.” That is a misleading statement. Not only were there not enough public input opportunities, but now they are saying they want us to send in our thoughts in just a couple of days after the unveiling! In the email communication to the Advisory Board it was stated, “we would appreciate you sending any thoughts you may have BY THE END OFTHIS WEEK, which would be December 10th. The unveiling to the public occurred on December 7th… 3 days for comments? Really? They did say they would continue to collect comments but reiterated, “but the sooner we receive the comments, the easier it will be for us to update the document.”


Folks, there were 68 members listed in the introductory section of the Comprehensive Plan as being on the
Advisory Board. But, on the activity graph chart that requested these board members’ input on “Big Ideas” where dots were placed on how much they agreed or disagreed with each statement, there were only 26 total dots placed. That data reflects that approximately only 1/3 of the board responded to that input activity.  That is not good. Also, there was no mention of how many Advisory Board Members participated in the 2nd and 3rd meetings. There was no data presented stating how many Advisory Board members participated in the Scale Activity provided by the company POND

POND is the name of the company our county council hired to “help” us formulate this plan. Here is their website:

Pond & Company - Top Ranked Architecture and Engineering Firm (pondco.com)

In the introduction on their website it states,

 Pond is a progressive, full-service architecture, engineering, planning and construction firm providing quality services to government, corporate and private sector clients throughout the world. We help clients achieve their missions by being Responsive People and Real Partners.

Their verbiage of first of all identifying their company as a “progressive” service is a red flag to conservatives.

Another red flag to conservatives is apparently it seems only 62 regular citizens responded to the first online survey POND used to get input from the community. But please, ask for verification on the data of how many responded to the first survey. 

And, according to several of our members who attended the one day, 2-hour Open House from 5pm to 7pm at the County Administrative Building recently, where the plan was unveiled, less than 10 regular citizens showed up. If there is that little input from citizens, then these numbers of feedback and participation in developing this comprehensive plan are worrisome and would not truly reflect what the majority of our citizens want for their future.

Below are some random thoughts and concerns Conservatives of the Upstate have received from our members of on this present draft that need to be answered.

Why doesn’t the plan include the following verbiage? "In the event any part of the planning or recommendations resulting from the process and passage of any tax increase, ordinance, planning or zoning or agreements with any private/public partnership as well as any NGO agency that should potentially negatively impact any property rights of the property owner or the value of their property that those affected property owners shall be brought into the discussion as a major stakeholder, and be justly compensated if the Council votes to invoke Eminent Domain and that before any County Councilman or their agent come on a citizen's private property for planning purposes, that they must obtain permission from the property owner."

How can this plan state as a fact that we have a “great” k-12 Education System when our 3.3% dropout rate is higher than our surrounding counties?

How can this plan state as a fact we have low taxes when our County Council just raised the property taxes by nearly 10 mils?

Why are we changing the Character Map for area off Hwy 183 between the towns of Six Mile and Pickens from rural to residential?

What protections EXACTLY are included in this plan that protect our property rights as landowner? 

What protections EXACTLY are included in this plan to protect us from the Biden Administration’s 30X30 Land Grab?

What protections in this plan do you have to prevent doing away with Single Family residence zoning?

Why are we promoting opinions from public/private partnerships/ non-governmental agencies that are non-elected people instead of our regular citizens that live here?

What Federal Grant monies have we accepted that come with “strings” attached that push equity and the United Nations Agenda?

Define what “conservation” means in this plan.

What is the “Mixed Project” pilot program mentioned in the goals for Housing Section and where did that proposed program originate?

Whose “Master Planned Development” are you encouraging in this plan?

What EXACTLY is the priority investment plan and why do we have to wait till after this plan is adopted to find out?

Why does this plan repeatedly mention “high quality access to Interstate 85, we already have Hwy 11 connector and 178, and 153, why do we need more? Which property owners’ backyards will be affected when you plan for MORE access to the interstate?

Why is this plan so very vague? It seems to be designed for a “progressive” agenda, not a conservative agenda. The verbiage is so vague and not specific that this plan could actually justify any liberal/progressive/Marxist/Socialist agenda that any County Council going forward could point to as a reason for an ordinance.

Define “healthy lifestyle opportunities” that you say we will be promoting for our youth in Pickens County.

Anyone who supports this plan “as is” must believe that land can NOT be treated as an ordinary asset controlled by the individual. They must believe that private land ownership is an instrument of wealth accumulation and therefore contributes to social injustice. They must also believe that social justice, urban renewal, and providing decent dwellings and health conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the best interest of society as a whole. They must believe in Collectivism not Individualism and therefore they must align with Marxism.

According to the data we see in this plan concerning participation from the community, are we just being fooled into believing our citizens had major input or in actuality was this plan already pre-conceived with little input from regular citizens who live, work and play here?

My understanding a Comprehensive Plan is a ten-year projection of future goals of where my tax dollars will be spent. Looking at this draft put before me to approve, I am seeing a plan that concerns me. It does not promote a conservative approach to spending my taxes. 

We are sacrificing our freedoms as we know them for a sustainable community that wants our growth only to occur in certain places, and that wants us to herd us into mass transit and live in walkable, bicycle friendly communities with private land ownership being highly restricted as to what we can and cannot do. If I wanted that, I’d bought property that has a Homeowners Association.

 


The takeaway after many of our Conservatives of the Upstate read this proposed “ONE PICKENS COUNTY A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR OUR FUTURE”, is that it is more in line with “Biden’s Build Back Better” and the “Green New Deal” and NOT focusing on “Making America Great Again.” It appears to be about more government control and less about protecting our private property rights and that’s not what conservatives want for our future.


Conservatives of the Upstate Leadership, therefore, cannot approve this plan “as is”.

Conservatives of the Upstate suggest that ALL citizens of Pickens County read this article about WHY property rights matter and then contact your county councilman and demand they sign the Property Rights Resolution we presented to them that had over 600 petitioner signatures:

https://americanpolicy.org/2018/07/30/why-property-rights-matter-prosperity-stability-freedom/

After reading the above article, read the proposed comprehensive plan a second time at this link:

https://www.co.pickens.sc.us/departments/planning/onepickens_county_comprehensive_plan/index.php

Finally, please submit your own critical thinking skills comments on the proposed COMPREHENSIVE PLAN at this link:

 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G95Y8CH

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Open Letter from Santa to Pickens County Council

 


Dear Pickens County Council,

I’m sorry, but I have some bad news for Trey, Roy, Chris, Ensley, and Henry.  You 5 are quite firmly on my naughty list this year. I’ve checked it twice, and yep…there is all your names.

Alex, you have no worries, you are firmly on my nice list and let’s keep it that way next year too!

Now guys, I know that all of you are really great guys and have the potential to do great things, but I’ve been getting a lot of reports of your naughty behavior. Especially raising the taxes on people. Shameful. So, I’m sending you the gift I always send the ones on my naughty list... a bag of coal.

But guys, Conservatives of the Upstate tell me they actually think if you tried really hard you could make it on my nice list for next year!

They told me that if you would start being more transparent about your plans with them, and if you would pass the resolution they turned over to you to promise to protect their private property rights, and if you would stop over-taxing them, and if you would promise you aren’t conspiring to get revenge on them for speaking up about their concerns to you, that next year they are confident they would recommend to me that you be placed on the nice list, like Alex is this year.

Remember, Santa is always watching, and knows when you’ve been naughty or nice or when you’ve been lying or being truthful and when you are respectful to your citizens or when you are disrespecting them. So, try hard to be nicer this coming year guys, so I can put you on my nice list!

And Alex, congratulations for being on my nice list! You got candy this year for being good to the people. Keep up the good work Alex on being transparent with the people and trying to keep their taxes low and protecting their God given rights!

Love,

Santa