Saitta running for county council seat

Pickens — Alex Saitta has declared himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Pickens County Council, representing the Pickens area.

Saitta is 54 and has served on the school board the past 12 years.

Saitta worked closely with many of the council members when the county government and school district successfully sued the Clemson City Council for running afoul of the TIF law. He touts his good working relationship with council members.

Alex Saitta BW“When I worked with the council on the TIF, it was a very good fit,” said Saitta. “It was then I started to pay closer attention to county government and considered running.”

Ongoing and meaningful communication with the public is another benefit Saitta says he brings to the table. He is concerned too many elected leaders every fourth year seek out the press, tell the public what they think and then call on citizens. Once they have their vote, most disappear and no one hears from them until the next election, he said.

“I can’t stand that, so I interact with the public not only during the campaign, but all the time identifying the important issues, educating the people on the facts, the options and where I stand,” Saitta said. “I also encourage public participation, so the solutions are a mix of the ideas of the elected leaders and the people.”

Saitta is still upset how fellow school board members ignored the will of the people and are shutting down A.R. Lewis and Holly Springs elementary schools at the end of the school year. Elected leaders must have the sense to follow a clear and broad message when the people are shouting one, he says. He called the closings an “utter and complete breakdown of representative government” and a “waste” of taxpayer money.

It is a balancing act, though, and Saitta believes elected leaders must also be independent-minded enough to stand beyond the influence of individuals pushing their narrow interest.

“I finance my own campaigns,” Saitta said. “Plus, I didn’t grow up here, so I won’t be looking to cut special deals for relatives or hand out free passes to life-long friends.”

All elected leaders have a responsibility beyond the stated duties of their position, he believes. Most don’t realize this, and this is one of the reasons America is crumbling morally (knowing right from wrong), spiritually (respecting God), economically and socially (people working together for a greater good), Saitta said.

“People used to fear God, so a person didn’t pick up a gun and shoot scores of people, because he knew God would condemn him to hell,” Saitta said. “All the non-believers and Hollywood types who said there was no God convinced too many, and now we are paying the price for it.”

If elected, Saitta said he will govern with morality, spirituality, economic soundness and social consciousness in mind.