County council meets new prison director

By Nikki Rutledge
For The Courier

COUNTY — Interim county administrator Ralph Guarino introduced Pickens County’s new prison director to county council members on Monday night.

Drew Sisco has been with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for nine and a half years, starting out on road patrol and quickly moving up the ladder, becoming lieutenant of the Pickens County Jail. In 2008, Sisco was named the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Officer of the Year.

During his address to council at its meeting Monday night, Guarino also asked for the approval of $2,000 coming out of the county’s contingency fund to pay to have portraits made of District 13 judge Eddie Welmaker, who is soon to be retiring. The portraits would be hung in the Pickens County Courthouse. Welmaker’s tenure marks only the third time in 100 years that a Pickens County judge has served on the judicial circuit, Guarino said.

Councilman Trey Whitehurst offered opposition to the request, sending it to the administration and finance committee for further discussion.

“Who exactly is asking for Pickens County to pay for this?” councilman Trey Whitehurst asked Guarino.

“The Bar Association would like for us to have the pictures made,” Guarino replied.

Easley resident Steve Haney took advantage of public forum to express his disapproval with Easley City Council approving a 75 percent cost increase in a contract with a company that has been hired to remove and dispose of old railroad ties on the Doodle Rail.

“The cost of the contract just increased from $80,000 to over $140,000,” Haney said. “I wouldn’t be too surprised if that in the next few months, the City of Easley approaches county council needing more money.”

Council also held a public hearing and a second reading of Ordinance 480, which will expand the Joint Industrial Park of Greenville and Pickens. The park is jointly owned and operated by both Pickens and Greenville counties.