Billy Cannada Staff Writer
October 22, 2013
PICKENS COUNTY – Pickens County Republican Party leaders say adding a seventh member to the Pickens County School Board would mean more spending.
The GOP passed a resolution opposing the idea prior to a public input meeting hosted by the Pickens County Legislative Delegation Tuesday night.
Michelle Wiles, Chairman of the Pickens County Republican Party Resolution Committee, said the party will not stand for more spending in the county.
“We feel that this is just to spend more money,” Wiles said. “All areas in the district are equally represented the way the lines are drawn right now. We feel as if leaders in Easley went to the delegation and asked for the extra seat so they can tip the scale and have spending with no limit.”
Wiles said the party rejects legislative delegations’ reasoning behind the proposal.
“Davey Hiott said he wanted an odd number of seats and Sen. Martin said he wanted the seats to match the attendance lines. We just don’t feel those are good reasons,” Wiles said. “We don’t agree with the $30,000 or $35,000 we would need to re-district with. The money is the problem here.”
In the resolution, the GOP states its content with the current alignment of the board and says problems with representation are essentially non-existent.
“The current structure of the board has worked very well,” Wiles said. “There has only been a handful of votes where you’ve had a tie, and they still were able to get things done. This board has been very fiscally responsible. The current board is very conservative in spending and does not want to add more taxes.”
Wiles said she feels the resolution represents a vast amount of Pickens County voters.
“We hope the delegation will pay attention to the majority of Pickens County voters, which are members of the Republican Party,” Wiles said. “We want them to know that we oppose redrawing the lines and that this is not a good idea.”
Comments from Tuesday night’s meeting were not available at press time.