Anderson will be nominated to chair county council
UPDATE: Joe Wood was re-elected to a 2-year term as chairman with 4 votes to Diane Anderson's 3 votes. Laurens County Council will meet for the first general meeting of 2017 on January 10th, Tuesday at 5:30 pm at the Old Laurens County Courthouse. In order to make Laurens County a greater place to live, work and play council should embrace change and start the year by electing a fresh Laurens County Council chairperson who will demand a greater level of accountability, fiscal responsibility and an open mind to welcome innovation that can better the lives of the people of Laurens County.
The Chairman (Joe Wood), who has served for 2 years now, made a promise to me on the steps of the old Laurens County Courthouse that as chairman he would cut costs and balance the budget.
Unfortunately, I'm sad to say he has done exactly the opposite on numerous occasions including an attempt to pass an illegal tax increase to fund across the board pay increases.
He has been very quick to push for tax increases as the only solution as neighboring counties find innovative solutions, sometimes even outside of government. He has also been the biggest opponent to new ideas and solutions that could help our county. Laurens County government has had many practices for years that while well intended have ultimately put local government in the red, resulting in 7 years of annual budget deficits.
The deficits have been covered by a reserve fund and, unfortunately, the reserve fund could run out in the next few years, if things do not change and council doesn't take proactive measures to ensure growth.
While annual deficits and an unbalanced budget should concern everyone, the real issue is a deficit of ideas and solutions; a stagnation and unwillingness to try new things and welcome partnerships for the betterment of all people in Laurens County.
I call this stagnation the "good ole boy syndrome" and it's why Laurens County is one of the few counties in the upstate of South Carolina that has had a difficult time retaining or attracting more people, growth and resources.
In the two years which I have served on Laurens County Council, I have seen first hand that the opposition to change and outside the box solutions are led by the "good ole boys" on Laurens County Council. I realize and know that things have always been done a certain way, but this stagnation and backwards way of thinking causes higher costs and less opportunities for the people of Laurens County, who continue to pay the price for the deficit of ideas. In order to make our county more competitive and a more desired place to live, work and play; we've got to change the face of Laurens County Council and I believe that it's time for Chairman Joe to go.
The "good ole boys" have continued to protect the old guard and way of doing things even though it's not the right thing to do.
They have continued to attempt to give special favors and special treatment to their buddies. I continue to be appalled by Chairman Wood’s attitude and lack of care for real solutions.
When faced with issues and tough decisions, he has not shown any care for fixing problems ... other than raising taxes. His pattern of apathy toward the people of Laurens County is unacceptable. In spite of his attitude and apathy towards real change and solutions, I am encouraged by the efforts by other council members who do care and their ability to act proactively.
As an individual and council member, I don't expect everyone to always agree; however, when it comes to fiscal responsibility and an openness to change, Council member Diane Anderson has shown real leadership and courage.
We have often agreed and found a common goal in bettering our community. Whether it be questioning departments on fiscal issues or holding government to a higher level of accountability, Diane Anderson has held her ground even when standing alone. For these reasons, I am proud to announce that I will nominate Diane Anderson to serve as Chair for Laurens County Council.
I believe that she will continue to use logic and reason to form opinions and make sound decisions for our county that will help to advance Laurens County into the future. If council can elect Diane, I believe we will be starting 2017 off on the right foot.