County council passes budget

By Nikki Rutledge
For The Courier

COUNTY — Pickens County Council held its last meeting before summer session last week, voting unanimously to approve the final reading of the fiscal year 2014-15 budget, which includes no tax increase.

In addition, council members heard a request for approval to honor Medal of Honor recipients from Pickens County.

Council chairman Neil Smith made the motion to rename four structures across Pickens County after the four local soldiers who have received the medal.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that we have not one, but four unique individuals from Pickens County who have received the Medal of Honor,” Smith said. “I have no doubt that finding a sponsor for this task will be simple.”

The four servicemen are WWII Army veterans William McWhorter and Furman L. Smith, Korean War Army veteran Charles Barker and Vietnam War Marine veteran Donnie Howe. Smith said he would like to hear from the planning commission as soon as possible, as he hopes to dedicate the structures this fall.

During the public forum portion of the meeting, local resident Junius Smith was the first on the list of speakers who wished to address council. Smith told council members he believed they were violating the Constitution of the United States. He noted that, as well as with school board meetings, he did not think a council member should lead those in attendance in prayer.

“I’ve told the school board the same — hold your prayer before the start of the meeting,” Smith said.

Smith’s concerns drew no response from council.

Additionally, council heard the second reading of a motion to repeal several ordinances pertaining to municipal elections.

Ultimately, council member Jennifer Willis was not satisfied with the wording of the ordinances.

“Poll workers are not employees of the county,” Willis said. “Sections of the ordinance that list them as anything other than contracted workers with the election commission need to be corrected.”

Willis’ concern was shared by Six Mile mayor Roy Stoddard, who also suggested to council that the ordinances be changed. Council will send the ordinances to staff to have them corrected before council hears the third reading.