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Is Your Voice Being Watered Down? You Be the Judge....

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It's no secret that I am a fan of full disclosure and making sure that We, The People are calling the shots, not We, The council.  Last year I made it a point to let you know all the ways that your council listened to your voice.  There was certainly a great deal of change that took place last year - Much of it came straight from the taxpayers letting their voices be heard.  I will certainly continue to acknowledge council when it opts down the path of less government / more freedom because your positive feedback is essential to maintaining that path.  Obviously full disclosure must work both ways.  When I see council infringing on your voice (in my opinion), I will also share that with you so that we might help steer council back in the right direction. 

There are several actions that council can take that can have a real effect on your life.  Some are very obvious and typically get the most focus.  Council can overtly raise your taxes and it will make the front page the next morning and they will have to deal with hundred's of emails, letters and calls for weeks to come.  Some are not so obvious and go quietly unnoticed.  One of these actions is the appointments that council makes to boards and commissions.  Even though most of these appointments go unreported, they can certainly change the direction a board takes - therefore changing your life in ways you may have never known.   

Tonight at our January Council meeting, Councilman Mintz proposed an ordinance that in and of itself looks very harmless.  In short, he proposed to change,among others, the ordinance of the Planning

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Presidential Primary

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I need to clear up some potential misinformation concerning the news article about the GOP Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) in Spartanburg County.  First of all, I do not share the belief that the PPP is a mere “beauty pageant”.  Although the vote is not binding, it does show on a local, and more importantly, on a national level the preference of the voters of the state of South Carolina as to who should lead our country for the next several years.  As we all know, the media and the nation are paying close attention to the process that our party is going through to choose the nominee.  The role that South Carolina should, and will play in that process should not be understated.  The State Election Commission (SEC) has said that the PPP will be held in each county, but they have offered no guarantees as to the funding.  The position that I have taken on this issue is one of principle:  Our state and federal government can not continue to mandate actions to the local government without providing a method of funding.  I will, when possible, fight every instance of this over-reaching of government control and ensure that your tax dollars are not committed without your consent.  Remember, the State has reduced its funding to our county by around $10M in the last few years, with no reduction in the mandates that the funding is connected to.  I feel it is necessary to fight these unfunded mandates anytime they pop up – not just the times that I may feel the mandate itself is worthwhile.  That is not a principled approach to representation.

 

There are some important facts that need to be stated in connection with this issue.  I have been assured, personally, that the PPP will be funded by the SEC and the SCGOP.  They have never waivered from this position from day one, and continue as of today to confirm.  The SCGOP understands the importance of the PPP, nationally and locally, and is 100% committed to raising the funds necessary to get it done.  The State has set aside approximately $600K+ to fund the PPP as well.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I personally have no doubt in my mind that Spartanburg County will once again show its influence and leadership by participating strongly in the PPP.  My commitment to you is that I will fight both for your right to representation and for your opportunity to show your preference to the rest of the country. 

 

Text of Parks Audit

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PARKS AND RECREATION AUDIT 8-31-11

TEXT AND VIDEOS

Click here to read the text of today's Parks Audit.  You may also find the videos of the entire presentation / meeting here.

 

VA Right Interview

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INTERVIEW WITH COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER ROGER NUTT of SPARTANBURG SC

Here’s my email interview with my latest hero, Spartanburg (SC) County Council member, Roger Nutt.  He is a fascinating elected official who was successful in getting ICLEI OUT of his county.  (The City of Spartanburg is STILL an ICLEI member but that may change!  I’ll keep you posted!)  Here’s Roger Nutt:

How did you get into politics?

I’ve been in the Civil Engineering, land design business for about 20 years and have seen for a very long time how government tends to put regulatory burdens on the very people who are trying to help the community and the economy grow.  I decided about 4 years ago that I wanted to do something and not just sit back and complain and beg my representatives to help these taxpayers out.  Last year I

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Breaking News! Tax Break Coming in 2011!!

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You read that right....Your County Council just passed the 2011-2012 County Budget that included, among other things, a tax break for county taxpayers, outside agencies (such as senior centers, child's advocacy,etc.) funded back to last year's level (instead of the proposed 50% cut), no reduction in staff, and no insurance premium increase for employees. 

It would have been very easy for your council to pass the budget that was presented on day one.  It had everything that you could ask for: No Tax increases, No reduction in service, and it was balanced.  But that was not good enough for your council and they stood up and said 'the taxpayers deserve better'.  We refused to even give it a second reading and that brought us here today.....

Folks, I don't know if I can express to you how big this step is in giving the taxpayers what they should expect from their county leadership.  The way the administration and all the departments (especially the PARKS DEPARTMENT!) worked together to come up with this budget is exactly how government should opperate.  Please, please, take a moment out of your day and send an email to your representative and call or email your administrator Glenn Breed and tell him and his staff "thank you" for watching out for your money!

This is a big day and a great victory for Spartanburg County Taxpayers.  Since we have one more reading to go, please let your rep know how you feel - we can't lose this momentum. 

This is big.  I mean really big.....Did I say it was big?  It's big.

(Stay tuned...videos to follow....you've got to see this one to believe it!)


 

May General Session Videos Posted

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The videos of the Spartanburg County Council May General Sesssion have been posted here. This session includes the Public Hearings on the budget, parks departament, and hospitality tax.  They also include council's discussion on ICLEI and proposed insurance changes.  Pull up the comfy chair!

 

You Tube - Budget Workshop #1

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"In a world where decisions are made and budgets are discussed, seven individuals come together to fight for the taxpaying citizens of Spartanburg County...." You've read the book! Now see the movie!

In a continuous effort to shed light on your County's efforts to serve you, the taxpayer, I am trying to post all of our meetings online in their full Technicolor glory - as it happened! You've seen the trailer on the news....now see 'the rest of the story'!

Budget Meeting - The Movie

Want free tickets to all the sequels?  Subscribe to the channel - HERE

 

Proposed Budget 2011-2012

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Read the proposed 2011-2012 Budget HERE

 

 

Agenda

Spartanburg County Council

Special Meeting

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10:00 a.m.

County Council Chambers

County Administrative Office Building

 

 
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