Courier Letters to the Editor 10-19-16

The Pickens County Courier gladly accepts letters to the Editor. Letters must be no longer than 500 words. All letters must be signed, including first and last name, address and phone number in order to be considered for publication. Only the name and city where you reside will be printed. Submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. No slanderous or obscene material will be accepted. Letters to the Editor and columns do not necessarily the Courier’s opinion. Send letters to

In support of Saitta for school board

Dear Editor,

I have attended nearly all Pickens County School Board meetings for the last five years. In 2014, the school board was composed of Ben Trotter, Jimmy Gillespie, Judy Edwards, Herbert Cooper, Jim Shelton and Alex Saitta. The public wanted change, but change is not always good.

The new board led by Edwards, Cooper, Phillip Bowers and Brian Swords closed two schools. Schools bind a community together. The school district had just spent $6.1 million to renovate A.R. Lewis and Holly Springs elementary schools. Now those like-new schools sit vacant, leaving two communities gutted.

Betty Garrison and Betty Bagley, two retired school administrators, are running unopposed in Easley and Clemson, and will be elected to the school board in November. Half the school board will be administrators (Brian Swords is the administrator at Tri-County Tech’s Easley campus). They most likely will support district administration wants — possibly more school closings, more administration buildings, extra pay raises and higher taxes for us all around to pay for it.

Voters in Pickens will decide who fills the last seat on the school board. Five of the six school board members from the past two years will be gone. The change we have seen is two communities losing their schools, a panicked approach to spending and attempts to raise property taxes on all county residents. Pickens County cannot afford any more of this kind of change. I support Alex Saitta, the last board member with any common sense.

Steve Haynie



A known quantity

Dear Editor,

Everyone has been talking about the presidential election, and most are sick of it. Some may skip voting, but they should not because there are some local elections down on the ballot in the state and Pickens County that are important. There is a U.S. Senate, a State House and the school board election. These local officials affect our lives as much, if not more than the presidential choice. This is in our backyard.

If you do not have children in school, you should still care, because all of us pay taxes. As we in Pickens County have received our property tax statements the last two or three weeks, school taxes are 70 percent of what we pay. Is this not an important issue? Of course it is.

I think Alex Saitta is a known quantity like Sen. Tim Scott with a proven track record. Saitta has children in public schools and insists our tax dollars be spent in the classroom. He is financially knowledgeable, communicates with the public and stood with us against closing Holly Springs and A.R. Lewis elementary schools. He stood up for prayer against the naysayers and was right in the end.

When you look at the newcomers on the ballot in the competitive elections, they do not have track records and only promises for change. Many newcomers run on hope and change, and often their change isn’t what we hoped for or were led to believe.

Barry Gravely



Bottom line in the race for president

Dear Editor,

Bottom line, either Trump or Clinton is going to win.

I don’t care what meme or what video or what quote from a famous person says … or even what Pickens Legislative Delegation member Rep. Neal Collins says … everyone with half a brain should know that the reality is no matter whether you like it or not, Hillary or Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. They are the only viable candidates. Do I like that? No I don’t, but it is what it is! I am a realist.

It would be so nice to be able to say I can vote for whomever I want — it’s my vote and it is not a wasted one — however, that is not reality!

You are delusional if you think because you go vote for someone other than Trump you have helped our country. Voting for anyone other than Trump means you are saying you are fine with Hillary, period. I honestly wish we did have a viable third-party candidate, but we don’t, so get over it!

We must keep Hillary out of the White House. That is the goal!

The only possible way to maybe save our nation is by giving Donald J. Trump a chance. We already know what Hillary will do. She will continue down Obama’s path of destroying what’s left of our once-great nation. If we don’t make sure Trump is elected, our country will be in final stage of cancer and there is no cure. Kiss your constitutional republic goodbye.

Johnnelle Raines