It has been a while since VUI addressed issues in our own backyard. There are several reasons. First, things in Anderson County are what they are. The so called Republicans on County Council replaced another group of so called Republicans and neither have acted like true Republicans committed to less spending and limited government. What Anderson County Council politics seems to be is two groups of people with personal rancor towards one another who use whatever resources that they can to go after each other without regard to conservative principles or the people of the county. To coin a phrase, they are all a bunch of RINOs.
The only reason that people in other parts of South Carolina would be interested in what is going on in Anderson County is Anderson County is yet another example of how local government is out of control. People who tag themselves as Republicans get elected to offices like county council, and then spend money on investigating their political opponents and the like. One needs a program to keep up with the roster of who is suing who in Anderson County and which lawyer represents which local political official or activist. It is an embarrassment to the good people who live and work in Anderson County.
But, it is going to go on a bit longer. Those who thought the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent investigating the past and going after past officials was over with the report presented to Council this week got a dose of reality. Even after one of the most talked about targets of the investigation, former economic development staffer Heather Jones, got cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by Solicitor Chrissy Adams stating that her acts were not criminal, Council members Eddie Moore, Cindy Wilson, Bob Waldrep and Tommy Dunn voted to spend even more taxpayer money by hiring lawyers to try to get back the buyout of former Administrator Joey Preston's contract. Those lawyers and litigants can be added to the program.
The people of Anderson County work hard and wonder when will the spending of their tax dollars on political retribution stop. Real conservatives do not act this way. Real people concerned about the well being and reputation of their county and community do not sue each other over every little thing or dwell on personal grudges. When will real leaders emerge and move beyond this current Anderson County bitterness?
While Council worries about how much Joey Preston made last year, real problems are up front and center. WYFF has reported that the county funded Honea Path Rescue Squad is facing some serious questions about financial mismanagement. Economic development once pegged for Anderson County has moved elsewhere. Promises of lower property taxes were not carried out. Promises of smaller and smarter government were not carried out. Instead, the current majority of Anderson County Council acts like the previous one, using its resources and time to score points in a personal grudge match with the other group. The so called leaders of this county, in both groups, seem more worried about how to score points against the other side, and help themselves, instead of working for the people.
Anderson County is not alone. There are local governments around South Carolina suffering from such self centered leadership. Those self centered types love spending other people's money for their own interests and hate anyone who calls them on it. It is far past time for we, the people, to say no more of this nonsense. We need to pay attention to what leaders do, not what they say, and hold them accountable. Look to who benefits when they try to promote or prevent some local act. Look at what personal grudges are involved. If someone calls herself conservative, make sure they act like one in office. (Chances are if your local elected official hires lawyers at your expense to sue people they don't like, they are not conservative.) The people of South Carolina and Anderson County deserve better from local government. To get it, pay attention, and call them for what they are.