Vote for change on June 28

Thank you for voting in the recent primary. We turned out in force and made a big difference, but our job is not done. We must vote again on June 28. If you missed voting June 14, you can still vote. And like every election, absentee voting is allowed.

We must rejoin business alliances and make friends with the agencies and organizations that can be of the most benefit. We must look for opportunities to expand and grow places where we can play and picnic, build homes and communities, provide good jobs that pay well, and create a solid economic foundation we can build upon for many, many generations.

These opportunities don’t come about when we stagnate. A small but persistent extreme group of anti-government zealots has molded our county council into its current state. When our county employees bring to the table forward-thinking ideas, this group responds with conspiracy theories about UN Agenda 21; when ideas are suggested to expand recreation or introduce cultural opportunities, these same folks cite the Delphi Principle. Regional planning and broad economic thinking are compared to communism. And to heck with Tri-County Tech. That’s just a ploy to advance “illegal over-taxation.”

If all this sounds like scare tactics and bullying, then you understand why it has been so hard to free ourselves from their vitriol and close-mindedness.

Is this your vision of Pickens County? It’s not mine. It’s not most of ours. So let us unite once more and send the message that we are all ready to stop the regression. We want to progress, as our neighboring counties have done. We understand that it’s not all about taxes, and tax increases. Those are also scare tactic words, like “progressive” and “tax-and-spend” liberal. Notice where all the labeling and rhetorical garbage comes from? The same crowd. Always the same.

Let’s restore civility. Let’s make the Doodle Trail the pride of the county. Let’s acquire new industrial property. Let’s create more jobs and partner even more closely with the schools, both from a job-skills standpoint but also for long-term countywide overall fiscal planning. Let’s cooperate with cities on fire protection and recreation for our own safety and for cost savings.

And for the love of all that is good and right: Let’s support Tri-County Tech, so that the young people from Pickens County who seek a better life for themselves and their families by attending there don’t have to shoulder the cost burden on their own with increased fees that will ONLY be passed along to residents of our community.

The county has $6 million in new revenue, $25+ million in reserve, and we can’t even discuss an unconscionable jail situation? Or put $55 thousand annually into real, proven economic development?

We need to end the practice of legislating and leading from the rear-view mirror. Vote for change on June 28. Vote Wes Hendricks District 3; Roy Costner for District 4; and Chris Bowers for District 5.

Tom O’Hanlan


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