Courier Letters to the editor 1-8-14

Unhappy with board action

Dear Editor,

I am disappointed the Pickens County School Board voted against selling the abandoned Gettys Middle School for $300,000. Legacy Charter School was going to buy the school and renovate it for the students of Easley.

Even trustee Judy Edwards said the school district should keep the school because it may be needed in the future for another school. Legacy would have given Easley that extra school Edwards talked about, at no cost to the taxpayers of Pickens County.

This is what Legacy did in Greenville. Their non-profit organization funded the purchase and renovations to Legacy Parker and Legacy Elementary, and these schools now serve 1,100 low-income students on the west side of Greenville.

This plan was embraced by the Greenville School Board, and those students at risk of dropping out are now scoring better on standard tests with a rising graduation rate.

I can’t see why Edwards, Jim Shelton, Ben Trotter and Herb Cooper voted against a similar plan for Easley, other than they wanted the school district to run the school. It was a battle over control, and the students and taxpayers of Pickens County lost.

If the school board opens the old Gettys School again in the future, all of it will have to be brought up to code, costing upwards of $25 million. It will have to be funded by more borrowing and higher tax rates for Pickens County.

Dan Winchester


Sheriff and solicitor set to speak

Dear Editor,

Sheriff Rick Clark and Solicitor W. Walter Wilkins III will answer questions Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at a meeting of the Pickens County Taxpayers Association at the Pickens Farm Bureau on Highway 178, 2.5 miles south of Pickens.

Come hear the public express their views and tell their elected representatives what they want.

Common sense tells us that not placing people who victimize others in jail allows them to continue to commit more crimes. Unfortunately in Pickens County, our jails are full; more criminals are admitted faster than we can process them. As you can imagine, this is a serious problem, one that requires serious discussion between those who are required to deal with these criminals and the citizens.

Since blowing up the bridges between Pickens and our neighboring counties won’t work, we are fortunate to have Mr. Clark and Mr. Wilkins agree to come to our meeting and share their experience, along with their plans to deal with the challenges we face.

Plan on attending, get the facts, get your questions answered, and leave with a much better understanding on the problems, and possible solutions, we face.

Dennis Reinert


Pickens County Taxpayers Association