LETTER: Observing The Laurens County Council
I attended the Laurens County council meeting last Tuesday (3/13/2018 ) for the first time in 20 years or more. I've never see such a large group of elected officials that were inept in their function as managers of the county’s government. The majority of the time was spent by Jon Cain discussing the employees pay structure. This should have been the responsibility of the Human Resources/ Personal Officer rather than the county administrator.
It's apparent that he enjoys micro managing the county departments. A lengthy discussion as to what the % of increase would be for each pay grade was injected by Mrs. Anderson. The council member referenced the federal government listing of Social Security increases in % rather than dollars. Mrs. Anderson never received a satisfactory answer to her inquiry.
The most glaring issue of conflict of interest came from the County's highly paid employee ($100,000 with a three (3) day, 24 hour work week) lawyer. He took charge of the meeting and entered into a lengthy discussion as to who should pay for the development plan of the county property located behind the Laurens County Hospital. This topic should have been assigned to a county council committee. He should not have been signed the functioning as a real estate agent for the county council, which is not his area of responsibility. (Matter of fact, I recommend the county legal advice be contract labor and bid out as in the past. The taxpayers of Laurens County would be better served if these funds were spent on EMS, Sheriff Deputies or fire protection which are necessary county needs.) He went on advising the council that it was not the responsibility of the EDC to develop said property as it was commercial rather than industrial. Dr. Pitts and Mr. Cain joined the discussion and those three steered the discussion.
This is an outlandish conflict of interest and not the first member of county council called for a point of order. All three are members of the EDC and have a conflict of personal interest. These three cannot in good faith represent both parties (County Council & ECD board ). The County Council Chairman or any member of the council could and should have called this to their attention. When public officials start working both sides of the aisle for their personal interest the law is clear, "they must recuse themselves!", I pointed this out in a past letter to the editor of the Laurens county Advertiser. These three have lost their creditability with the public.
In the future, they need to abide by the law in an ethical manner.
Jayhue Weisner Sr.
Past member of County Council