Only the full website address works when linking on social media. Please use


*You can scroll beyond the COTU Twtter feed to read more in depth articles and see a decade + of COTU archived posts in the right side column

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Conservatives of the Upstate January Newsletter 2023


Let's go to the Lord in Prayer before we read the Newsletter for January.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, we praise YOUR HOLY NAME and thank YOU for all the many blessings we received in 2022 that none of us truly deserved. We thank you for all the successes we have had, but also, we thank you for all the failures and heartaches we have experienced as well that have helped mold us into better Christians. Lord, we want to serve YOU, please help equip us with the attributes necessary to accomplish YOUR goals for us.

YOUR prophet Isaiah didn't balk at YOUR instructions to him; he only said, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8.) 

Lord, just how often do we say this to YOU about our own lives? We sing the hymn "I Surrender All" in church, then go home and try desperately to cling to all the things of the world that are most important to us: our health, and finances, to name a few. Are we serious about dedicating our lives to God's will? Lord, we ask that you strengthen us all this 2023 New Year to assume a posture of being willing to go and stand in the gap, to minister to others, and stand proud of our Christianity and to do anything the Lord chooses to do with our lives.

Lord, we reject settling for the same old stale resolutions, we resolve to have the very best prayer lives in 2023. We kneel before you today and give over every area of our lives to YOU and resolve to make 2023 the year we will seek revival not only in this troubled world of unbelievers but also within our own hearts. Lord, empower and strengthen us to be YOUR people who are hungry for more of the YOU instead of succumbing to worldly things and being prideful. Mold us Lord into YOUR humble servants seeking YOUR will to be done.

In JESUS' precious HOLY NAME we pray, Amen.

Fellow Conservatives, I think we should start out our newsletter by calling attention to the many God given WINS we have had in our efforts to keep GOD, FAMILY, AND COUNTRY in the forefront throughout this past year:

1COTU members with God's help held our elected leaders ACCOUNTABLE throughout this entire year! Just think about how many times this year you attended town halls, delegation meetings, county council meetings and school board meetings to show them YOU are watching, and YOU are their boss, not the other way around. Think about how many petitions you have signed, how many phone calls you have made, how many times YOU SHOWED UP when needed! YOU didn't give pressed on! THOSE TIMES ARE ALL HUGE WINS! Many of you even spoke for the first time during public forums! Celebrate those accomplishments and don't lose this momentum. OUR ELECTED PAY ATTENTION TO US MORE NOW! 

2. COTU members with God's help forced our Pickens Legislative Delegation last year to not just have ONE meeting but several! This was a huge win folks, before WE APPLIED THAT PRESSURE, they only had the one January meeting and that was basically the only time we had direct opportunity to speak to them all at one place.

3. COTU members with God's help encouraged many of our members to apply to serve on local boards such as the Library Board, Elections Board, Planning Board. ( Lori Osborn, Danny Parton, Luke Campbell) We even forced our elected to NOT reappoint an avowed BLM social justice advocate to our Pickens County Elections board and she's gone from that position.

4. COTU members with God's help rallied to keep our School Board accountable and remove the Critical Race Theory book STAMPED out of our curriculum in our schools. As well as removing two other sexually inappropriate books from the curriculum.

5. COTU members with God's help stepped up to the plate and ran for office! Chris Lollis ran for County Council and WON, and Brad Dover ran for School Board and WON! 

6. COTU members with God's help rallied to get Roe v Wade overturned and thousands of babies' lives have been saved due to 13 states now making abortion illegal and our continued efforts to never give up.

7. COTU members with God's help are AWESOME...we continue to meet up at the Pickens County Courthouse every single Saturday morning at 9:30 am at the flagpole and pray to God to help us stand in the gap and hold our elected accountable!





*Your next opportunity to attend a meeting of your elected County Council is a Swearing-In Ceremony of Chris Lollis and the Clemson Democrat as well as an Organizational Meeting for them (Election of Chairman of Council and Committees) on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers of the Administration Building, located at 222 McDaniel Avenue Pickens, SC 29671. County Council meets usually every first Monday at the above location. It is important for as many of our members to attend as possible and to speak at the public forum times offered. It is also important to attend the Committee of the Whole Meetings they have monthly as this is where you actually get to hear their critical thinking skills more and watch the interactions with each other. They don't video record these COW meetings and we need to pressure them to do so in this 2023 year's session.


*We need to praise the SC FREEDOM CAUCUS and recognize them as the true leaders of the SC HOUSE that are actually DOING something to fight the good fight! Newly elected REP. THOMAS BEACH of District 10 is a member of this SC Freedom Caucus fact, he is the ONLY one of our Pickens County elected representatives that is a member!  Why is that? WHY isn't Rep. Davey Hiott in this caucus?  WHY isn't Rep. Neal Collins in this caucus? WHY isn't Rep. Jerry Carter in this caucus? WHY isn't Rep. Bill Sandifer in this caucus? WHY isn't Bill Whitmire in this caucus? They all profess to be Republicans...aren't they interested in FREEDOM preservation?  YOU NEED TO ASK THEM WHY! Here is the link to read more about the SC FREEDOM CAUCUS:  

Home - State Freedom Caucus Network are two links to show you the success stories this SC Freedom Caucus is having and how they are taking ACTION: HUGE KUDOS TO THEM!

*You have an opportunity to talk to all the Pickens County SC Legislators representing our area who aren't members of the SC FREEDOM CAUCUS at this IMPORTANT upcoming meeting below:

 Pickens Legislative Delegation Meeting on January 9th at 6 PM to be held at the Pickens County Performing Arts Center in downtown Liberty. The address is 314 W. Main Street, Liberty, SC 29657. This is YOUR opportunity to speak to ALL of the elected from Pickens County who vote on laws in Columbia! 

*Below are the next few School Board Meeting dates that will be held. These meetings are important, and we need COTU members to be in attendance and to speak during public forums.

 For verification on these meetings/times/locations, please call (864) 397-1029

  • January 23, 2023

  • February 27, 2023

  • March 27, 2023

  • April 24, 2023

  • May 22, 2023

  • June 26, 2023

*Our County Council and Administration support sending employees to this NACo training and in reviewing NACo's website, there are a great number of things that show too much agreement with the federal government's Agenda21 policy, looking at the below link should nail it for you why Johnnelle Raines opposes this NACo training our county sends employees to. She thinks we need to mention our concerns during public forum time in the future.

*Here is the link to the newly pre-filed legislation that our SC legislators are sponsoring. You might want to take a look at them to acquaint yourself with what we need to be agreeing with or opposing...

 2023-2024 Prefiled Legislation - South Carolina Legislature Online (

*Here is the link to the scorecard of freedom of our SC legislators so you can see WHO exactly we need to be paying more attention to and getting rid of in their next bid for re-election.

Freedom Index - South Carolina Freedom Index (

*Here is Councilman Alex Saitta's take on the recently passed ordinance on Hwy 11: As well as a link to the map showing the areas in green are the view-shed areas and the red dots show the major intersections referenced in the Ordinance.

As you may have read or saw on TV there was a final vote on Highway 11 Monday. The plan does "very little" to protect the highway. As a result, I voted "No" on the plan. Below is what I said before the final vote (see the video too). 

I’m calling this the Highway 11 Land Development Act of 2022. Our section of Highway 11 will be developed, sadly and will end up looking like Oconee’s Highway 11 in time. 

The council had 4 choices on this: a) do nothing, b) do very little, c) do not enough or d) do what is required to keep the highway as is -- scenic and beautiful. 

This plan does “very little”, as it allows manufacturing, commercial and subdivisions development all along the highway. Really, it just controls the look of those things.

The dollar stores will come. They will just have to look like a tree. In time, you’ll see storage warehouses, they’ll just have to look like the side of a mountain. 

If you went to the meetings or talked to those who live on the highway, a large majority do not want new commercial, new manufacturing or new subdivisions on the highway.  
If you read the ACOG report it stated, “Almost all the feedback received did not support any type of manufacturing development along the corridor.” Yet that is in this plan.  

Their Plan: 
There are 4 primary reasons I oppose the plan:  
1) It allows light manufacturing along the highway. Light manufacturing is defined as plants up to 200,000 sqf in size, and no more than 500 employees per shift. As a comparison, Liberty High School is 180,000 feet. Big plants for Pickens County.  

The definition of light manufacturing includes things like wholesale warehouses, carpet or rug plants, and equipment storage yards.  
People will say, that will never ever happen up there. I’m looking out over the next 25 years – we don’t know. 

2) This plan allows commercial development all along Highway 11. And at 6 major intersections, up closer to the road. This would allow a restaurant to be built right across Grant Meadow and Table Rock Mountain, at the corner of Carrick Creek Road. 

Commercial buildings on highway 11 can be as high as 3 ½ stories under this plan. 

3) I have issues with the process and how the public was left behind. For the first year or so, there were public meetings, lots of public input that centered around a plan with a narrow corridor of 660 to 1,000 feet off the centerline. Toward the end, 4 or 5 new proposals were thrown out there by council and the public was left behind. I would bet next to no one knows if they are in this new heritage area or not. 

The way it should work is, take this final plan, hold one or two meetings to formally notice and present it to the public. Had out copies, formally solicit public input and answer questions. Then you vote after that.  

This final plan did not have a formal public notice/ presentation and formal input has not been solicited. That's bad government for something of this scope and size.

4) The 150 foot buffer in the plan provides next to no additional protections. Aunt Sue’s closest building is more than 150 back. Most commercial buildings you see on the highway now are 150 feet back. Going forward, you are just going to have more and more of them.

My Alternative Plan:
I proposed an alternative plan. 
I did 3 or 4 mailers on Highway 11, knocked doors on Highway 11, chatted with many of the residents on the highway. 

The overwhelming majority of those who live on Highway 11 want to keep the highway as is – scenic. They want no new manufacturing, no new commercial, no new subdivisions and unrestricted residential single lots, in a narrow corridor around the centerline. Existing establishments would be grandfathered in. 
I proposed an alternative plan that was residential only in a +/- 660 foot area around the centerline. It got one vote.

Property Rights:
I heard the property rights arguments. If it wasn't a scenic highway with a national designation, I would agree. But this highway deserves an exception, so I supported putting in land use restrictions.

Plus the majority of those on Highway 11, those who will be regulated, are willing to give up some of their land use rights to keep the highway scenic. I heard it with my own ears on their doorsteps. 

My proposal was residential only – single lot homes and small subdivisions. Residential only areas are all over the county, the state and country. Very legal. In court, not a violation of land owner rights.   

If you tried to put a dollar store on Glassy Mountain Street in Pickens, you would be denied a permit. If you then sued saying your rights were violated, you’d lose in court.

My plan only regulated 7 square miles of the 512 sq miles in the county. Far more narrow in scope than this plan.

You have to hold on to what you have, because with the way this area is changing, in the end that is all you will have left. We lost our two mountain schools, about to lose your water tower and now give up this Scenic Highway. In 25 years, sadly, we may not recognize this place.

*Please pray over whether or not COTU members should rally over convincing Pickens County Libraries to cut ties with the American Library Association (ALA)… as it’s clear the ALA is 
ANTI God and Family. This will be discussed at our January Meeting. Read this link for more info:

*COMING SOON (if the Lord leads one of you to step up to the plate)
Members Ann and Steve Corbin have graciously offered the Cafe' Connection venue for use as a place where we can begin to help sponsor and promote a CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE CHILDREN'S STORY HOUR. What we need NOW is someone to lead this effort. Please pray and ask God if this is something YOU would like to spearhead for the children in our county! 


CAFE' CONNECTIONS, 319 E. MAIN STREET, PICKENS. Our guest speaker will be District 10 Rep. Thomas Beach who will update us on the SC Freedom Caucus in Columbia's accomplishments and goals and how we can help them. We will also view a short video about a Prophetic Message to President Biden.

Hope to see you there! WE DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. COTU MATTERS! 

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Your comment will be posted as soon as possible.

• Do not resubmit or duplicate comments.

• You are not required to leave a URL/website

Feel free to leave an anonymous comment but owning your comments, even if by an alias, is honorable.

Thank you for visiting.