Have you cleaned out your refrigerator lately? Not one of my favorite jobs. That's probably why it gets done so infrequently. It doesn't help that the bad stuff in the fridge doesn't smell near as bad as long as it's in there. Take it out, and....well let's just say I've been known to put it right back in. I have to build up the courage to take on that project and face having the stuff out in the open air - and it's usually right before trash pickup.
Over the last 10 months, our county has been cleaning out its own fridge. That's why I want to take this month's opportunity to ease some concerns many of you have about the negative, and sometimes even alarming, news that has been coming out lately about your Spartanburg County Government. First of all, I'm not here to sugarcoat what's going on. Some of the news you've heard is alarming. Anytime there are allegations of fraud, mismanagement or even criminal behavior occurring in your organization, there is cause for concern. Since all this news has been coming out over the last 6 months, many are feeling that the leadership (Council) is not taking control or is 'asleep at the wheel'. Actually, the scenario is quite the opposite. As most of you know, I've made a commitment to not take the easy route as it comes to our representation. We all knew that by asking for change (the real kind) and not settling for the 'status quo', we were in fact asking for a good hard look at our current state and to get back where we need to be. Sometimes when you take that hard look you find that things have not been what you might have hoped and sometimes the findings are pretty hard to swallow. The true test of commitment is when you have to make the tough decisions to deal with the findings, learn from them and move on. Your Council is making this effort and is now having to deal with the tough decisions, the negative press and yes, the embarrassment that this type of 'cleansing' brings. It's up to all of us now, as taxpayers and concerned citizens, to come together and support this idea of bringing these things out into the open and dealing with them as we should. I'm sure many elected officials will tell you that they would much rather not stir the pot than to have to deal with the ramifications of bringing these negative things to light. I happen to be of the mindset that, as frustrated as we might be, we would all rather have these issues dealt with than to have them swept under the rug. Now, it would be very easy for a newly elected official like myself to point fingers at past councils and talk about who didn't do what, when. The fact is that we are working to uncover, examine, correct and learn NOW. That is what is important. For those that would say that those that are just now starting to look are probably running for re-election, I would remind you that a majority of council is not up for re-election for another 3 years. It is my strong belief that Council joins us in our determination to make things right.
Bottom line is that a great deal of negative press has come out recently about your county government. It may even get worse before it gets better. The good news is that your council is taking an active role in changing the way Spartanburg County does business. We are taking a good hard look at where we are and where we need to be. We are more open and transparent than ever before. We are willing to take even drastic action to see that we are the most efficient, service and customer oriented county in the country. This is exactly what 'no more business as usual' and 'open and transparent' looks like. As always, please don't hesitate to call me at any time to discuss any issue. I will gladly discuss any issue that I can. Please go to my Facebook page or www.rogernutt.com for updates, news and commentaries. We are all in this together, and we will solve it and become great together as well. God Bless.