News Archive

(4406) Week of Nov. 1, 2006

News

2006 Election preview

Journal again topic of political campaign
Jerome Hudson named National Distinguished Principal
Planning commission approves zoning
Jean campaign outspends Wilson
Bonnes Amies announce parade
Boo in the Park a success
Mustang cheerleaders again take first place
Palmetto CC team going to state

Candidate profiles continued . . .
Anderson School District One Board of Trustees
Upton seeking reelection to District One Board
Mary Ann Woodson
Greenville County Council District 28
Judy Gilstrap
Greenville County School Board - District 28
Dan Moravec
Piedmont Public Service District
C. E. “Ed” Poore Jr.

Journal again topic of political campaign

By Stan Welch

Inaccurate wording attributed to The Journal in a political mailout by Anderson County Council candidate Ed Jean became the subject of attention this week.

When contacted about the inaccuracies and discrepancies in two of the brochures mailed out by Jean’s campaign in recent weeks, Jean said, “I am the candidate, and like the old saying goes, ‘The buck stops here’. It was certainly not my intention to put anything out there that wasn’t completely accurate.”

According to Jean, Douglas F. Dent, a Greenville attorney and the owner of Shado Consulting Group, a political consultant that Jean has used in his campaign against incumbent Cindy Wilson, was responsible for the content of the mailout which had eight statements attributed to The Journal.

  When contacted by Managing Editor, David C. Meade, Dent responded that some of the discrepancies were the result of printer errors and that the rest of the content was verifiable and allowed to be used because it was “in the public domain.”

“First, I would say that the use of newspaper quotes and headlines in political campaigns because it is in the public domain is debatable within both the journalism and the legal professions,” said Meade. “Second, if information is used, it should at least be accurate.”

Dent responded by faxing over several pages of reprinted stories from The Journal’s online archives, which he said supported his position.

The Jean campaign has mailed out several thousand copies of at least three different brochures in recent weeks, at a cost of more than $11,000, including Dent’s fees of $2,250.

 The last two to be mailed included comments, which were represented as quotes or headlines from The Journal, as well as two other area daily newspapers. Of the eight comments represented to have appeared in The Journal, two actually did appear as represented in the brochures. Two others appeared in various issues of The Journal but not in the context implied by the brochures.

Upon trying to verify four of the eight comments, a member of The Journal staff was unable to locate the comments in any of the issues cited by the brochures.

Dent, in his fax, attempted to address those issues. He pointed out that one quote, attributed to the July 6, 2005 issue was actually from the November 30, 2005 issue. The quote, concerning a resolution approved by Anderson County Council which declared Wilson an adversary of the County shortly after her first election, was referred to in a deposition by Joey Preston given in preparation for a writ of mandamus hearing. The resolution itself was passed in 2001.

In one case, a comment was attributed to the June 18, 2005 issue of The Journal. Since The Journal is a weekly newspaper, which prints on Wednesdays, June 15 was a press day; so was June 22. June 18th,  however, was a Saturday, and no such issue of The Journal exists. Dent explained in his fax that the actual date was June 18, 2003.

A quote attributed to the June 29, 2005 issue, which read “Wilson presses Beaverdam sewer opposition after loss in court” reportedly appears in the June 29, 2002 issue, though Dent’s fax states “We have not been able to verify this date because of the time constraints in providing a timely response to your inquiry. However, even with these errors as to the dates, the information contained in the quotes is accurate and while possibly not a complete quote, it does represent the facts and language contained in these and several articles in your paper.”

In fact, there was no June 29 issue of The Journal in 2002 either. Concerning Dent’s statement, management at The Journal isn’t in complete agreement with that claim.

“When discrepancies such at these occur, the credibility of the newspaper could be in question.  The Journal strives to provide balanced reporting. We do not endorse candidates. We feel that if our reporting and editorial content are being used in paid political messages, we should at least be asked permission to use it. And, whether permission is granted or not, if used it should be accurately quoted if attributed to our newspaper.”

Two comments, which appear, and in the actual context in which they are presented, include the lead paragraph from a story on Wilson’s February unexpected appearance at county financial offices, demanding to see records. That paragraph, which appeared in the March 1, 2006 issue, is reproduced accurately, and appears in the context in which it was originally written.

A quote which appeared in one of the flyers, and is attributed to the October 20, 2004 issue of The Journal, is in fact a partial quote of the lead of a story which talked about a County Council meeting the previous night. The brochure’s version of the sentence , which appears in quotation marks in the brochure, is as follows: “Wilson continues her lone opposition to county borrowing.”

The complete sentence as it appeared in the paper is as follows: “District 7 Council member Cindy Wilson continued her lone opposition to county borrowing and expressed her frustration with an inability to receive requested financial information at Anderson County Council Tuesday.”

Said Meade, “The use of a period, which Mr. Dent said was mistakenly done by the printer of the brochure, gives the mistaken impression that the quote is a complete one. It seems obvious that the full quote provides a slightly different tone.”

Two other headlines are reproduced accurately as to the content, but are presented in such a way as to misrepresent their original context in the newspaper.

Both appear on a page of one of the brochures titled It’s Time for a Change. Local Media Takes on Wilson.

One of the headlines used, “Wilson approach undignified”, is in fact the headline given to a letter to the editor which appeared in that issue. The Journal has no control over the content of, or motivation for, the letter. The newspaper simply provided a forum for the writer.

Also appearing on that page of the brochure is the headline “Legal battle continues over access to information.” That headline, while accurate in its content is out of place on a page titled Local media takes on Wilson.

The Journal has consistently and aggressively used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about the County’s operations, and has editorially supported Wilson’s efforts to do the same.

Inaccurate and incomplete research occurred even during Dent’s efforts to correct previous mistakes.

For example, one of the Jean brochures contains a quote from the June 22, 2005 Journal, which says that the budget was passed by a 6-1 vote with Wilson casting the lone dissenting vote.

A quick check of the minutes of the June 21, 2005 called meeting which was held at 5:30 p.m. to give third reading to the budget would have

revealed that the actual vote to pass the budget ordinance was 4-3, and not 6-1. Council members McAbee and Thompson joined Wilson in her opposition.

Those same minutes reveal that several amendments were voted on prior to the final vote on the budget ordinance itself. Wilson did in fact cast lone dissenting votes on some of those amendments; but Dent, in his efforts to address his earlier inaccuracies, cited one of those 6-1 votes in his fax, again conveying a mistaken reporting of the actual budget vote.

In his fax, Dent attempts to absolve Jean of any responsibility for the brochures. 

“Since Ed Jean was not directly involved in the preparation of this mailer, please be advised that any inaccuracies are my fault and not his. I sincerely apologize to the Williamston Journal for any inaccuracies as to the dates and method of presentation.”

The fax goes on to repeat Dent’s position that the content of the remarks is true.

“Due to the fact that the statements are attributed directly to The Journal, we feel they are a misrepresentation of what was actually reported in our newspaper,” Meade said. “At the very least, The Journal should have been extended the courtesy of being told that this information would be used for political purposes. Perhaps we could have verified the accuracy of the statements in question.”

Jean said during a recent interview that he has become disillusioned by the political process. “I’m not naïve, but it is a shame that we have to act like this. I’m just trying to be a public servant, and people are trying to make it look like I would do anything to get elected.”

He repeated that the brochures’ content was his final responsibility, saying, “I looked at them before they went out, but I did not review the research.”  He added, “You know, sometimes, you reach a point in life where you have to trust somebody.”

Jerome Hudson named National Distinguished Principal

Jerome A. Hudson, principal of Palmetto Elementary School in Williamston was selected as one of South Carolina’s two 2006 National Distinguished Principals.

The award was announced by AIG VALIC, a national leading provider of retirement plan services to for-profit and not-for-profit education, healthcare and government organizations and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

The 2006 award celebration marks the 22nd year that the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the U.S. Department of Education have presented this prestigious award to our nation’s leading principals.

A graduate of Benedict College, Hudson has served as principal of Palmetto Elementary School since 1994.

Dr. Vincent Ferrandino, executive director of NAESP, commended all of this year’s honorees for being role models for school leadership throughout the nation and the world. “Principals today face endless challenges,” said Ferrandino. “As standards for student learning and teacher competency are raised, our school leaders keep expectations and morale high, often under the most difficult circumstances. The principals we honor today take the challenges in stride and with grace. Students and staffs flourish because of their commitment and their success should be applauded.”

The principals are nominated by their peers based on their commitment to excellence and their contributions to guiding students, forging positive relationships with parents and serving their community with distinction. Nominees must serve as a principal for a minimum of five years to be eligible.

“The women and men of AIG VALIC are proud of our 16-year commitment to sponsoring the National Distinguished Principals Award Program,” said Bruce R. Abrams, President and CEO of AIG VALIC and the VALIC Retirement Services Company. The program serves as an important reminder of how excellence and leadership can influence the lives of our nation’s youth in so many positive ways. We extend a special thank you to this year’s honorees for their guidance in helping others realize a bright and rewarding future.”

Criteria for selection of the principals, established by the NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education, require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

Despite a high-poverty student population, Palmetto Elementary ranks with the state’s highest-achieving Title I schools, regularly fulfilling the requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. A strong advocate of service learning, Hudson has instilled a service ethic in students by having them participate in a number of school and community projects.

AIG VALIC is one of the leading retirement plan services providers in the United States. For more than half a century, it has specialized in providing retirement programs and related investment, recordkeeping and administrative services to a variety of employer types, including for-profit and not-for-profit elementary and secondary education institutions, hospitals and healthcare organizations, higher education institutions and governmental entities. AIG VALIC serves 28,000 client groups and more than two million participants.

AIG VALIC is the marketing name for the group of companies comprising VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc.; VALIC Retirement Services Company; and The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (VALIC); each of which is a member company of American International Group, Inc.

NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education started the program in 1984 to recognize public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The distinguished principals are selected by NAESP state affiliates, including the District of Columbia, and by committees representing private and overseas schools.

NAESP represents 30,000 elementary and middle school principals in the U.S. and overseas. Each affiliate uses its own selection process. The guidelines include: nomination by peers; demonstrated commitment to excellence; evidence of support by students, colleagues, parents and the community; high standards and expectations for students and staff; and service as a principal for at least five years.

Planning commission approves zoning

By Stan Welch

The West Pelzer Town Council held a called meeting Monday night for the sole purpose of resolving a zoning issue that had dragged on for months.

The Council gave final approval to a zoning ordinance amendment that will allow a home at 81 Main Street to be used for neighborhood commercial purposes.

The request had dragged on for months, entangled in the reestablishment of the town’s planning commission, which came midway through the rezoning process, and which delayed the decision by several weeks.

It was those delays which led to an interesting resolution to the problem. Council had given first reading approval to the proposed zoning change the week before Monday’s meeting, after the two owners of the property had contacted Chip Bentley at the Appalachian Council of Governments, seeking an explanation of why the process was so convoluted and drawn out.

Bentley has been involved in trying to clarify and reestablish the Town’s planning and zoning procedures, with mixed results. Following the call from the owners of 81 Main Street, he in turn called Doris Turner, chairman of the planning commission. According to Bentley, he urged the commission to make a recommendation one way or the other, so that Council could act on it at the upcoming meeting the following week.

“Mrs. Turner indicated that the planning commission wanted to visit the property and inspect the house, which is simply not the role of the planning commission. Nor is it their job to review the Town’s zoning ordinances. It is simply their job to recommend whether a request is in accord with those ordinances,” said Bentley.

“I told Mrs. Turner that the commission was running out of time. After thirty days, a request not acted on by the planning commission proceeds with the assumption that the commission recommended approval. That is in the law. She said that she didn’t think there was time to schedule and hold a meeting before the Town Council met. She asked me if she could call her members on the phone.”

Bentley said in an interview for this story that he made a bad call. “I did not give her the best guidance. I gave them bad advice and I regret it. I told her that technically that would be a violation of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, which prohibits polling the members of a board or council. But I did not specifically tell her not to do it. I should have been more direct in my advice. So when the members of the planning commission say that I told them they could poll their members to get a decision, they are not entirely wrong.”

Jean campaign outspends Wilson

By Stan Welch

If dollars equated directly into votes, the race for District Seven’s County Council seat would be over, and Ed Jean would have carried the day.

A review of both Jean’s and incumbent Cindy Wilson’s latest campaign disclosure filings show that Jean has outspent Wilson by five to one. The forms, which were required to be filed with the S.C. Ethics Commission within fifteen days of the November 7 election date, show that Jean surged ahead in the second half of the campaign, raising almost $18,000 in the weeks between July 14 and October 18.

Wilson, meanwhile, raised approximately $5,200 during a similar period. 

Jean received a number of donations that were the maximum allowed by law, including $1,000 contributions by James Swistock, of Allied Waste, Dr. Bob Austin, a former candidate defeated by Wilson twice, Peggy Durham, Marshall Meadors, III, W.J. Durham and Matrix Construction. He also received several contributions of  $500 each from Marshall Carithers, James Johnson, Jr., JKR Development, and Dr. Bruce Howell. Jean also loaned his campaign $2,000 in personal funds.

Jean, a newcomer to elective politics, at least locally, has run a highly visible and aggressive campaign, spending more than $8,000 on three mailers; as well almost $1,000 more on the bright yellow and black tee shirts that he  and his supporters have worn for the last few months. A high school football official, Jean also placed ads in the booster club programs of each of the high schools in the District.

He has also employed Shado Consulting Group, political consultants, who according to Jean’s disclosure forms, were paid $2,250.

Jean raised his funds from sixty two contributors, for an average of approximately $300 per contributor. Of the total of approximately $18,443 raised, Jean had spent all but $750 as of the October 18 filing date on his most recent forms.

Wilson, meanwhile has run a much more modest campaign, spending just under $3,500, or almost exactly one fifth of what Jean has spent. Her two largest single contributors were Ron Wilson and wife Cassie, who each donated $1,000.

She also ran a more traditional campaign, advertising in local newspapers, and spending more than $1,700 on yard signs and stands. She spent $300 on a hot dog and ice cream social at Callaham’s Farm, which drew her largest crowd of the election season.

She raised her total of $5,200 through twenty four contributors, for an average of $216.

Bonnes Amies announce parade

The Piedmont Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 9th at 11a.m.. This years theme will be “Christmas - A Time For Giving”.

The Bonnes Amies Club will sponsor the parade. Organizers ask spectators to bring items for needy families which will be picked up along the parade route. Items needed are: flour, sugar, and canned goods.

Area businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to participate in the parade, as well as Marching Bands, dance groups, school groups, and Boy and Girl Scouts. “The parade is a great opportunity to advertise your business or organization and show your Christmas spirit in the community,” said organizer Betty White.

The club will also sponsor their annual Veterans Reception immediately following the parade at the First Baptist Church social hall. All veterans from any branch of service or any war are encouraged to ride in the parade.

The Bonnes Amies Club will provide the bus or float for the veterans to ride. “It is an honor each year to highlight our veterans who have done and are continuing to do so much for us,” White said.

Miss and Master Merry Christmas will be decided by “penny a vote”, and a float for the winners will be sponsored by the Bonnes Amies.

There will be trophies for the winning floats in several categories. For more information call Betty White @ 845-5543 or Paige Crawford @ 244-3435.

Boo in the Park a success

The First Annual Boo in the Park held on October 28 in the Mineral Spring Park was a sucess with over 2000 people attending, organizers said.

There was face painting, ghost stories told, entertainment, costume contest, fire truck rides and much more that entertained the large crowd.

Organizers would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible.

Springwater Park Committee, Cash USA, The Journal, Ragsdale Home and Gardens, Ragsdales Decks, Community Bank, SunTrust Bank, First Citizens, Brian Davenport from Larry Used Cars, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church, New Propsect Missionary Church, Kempie Shepard of Grace United Methodist Church, Ann Cothran of Stong Communites, Palmetto High School.

Also: Williamston Police Department, Forest College, Ed Jean, Cindy Wilson, Gray Mortuary, WAHC, GWBA, Modern Supply, Butler Guard, Williamston Fire Department, Bunton Exterminating, Palmetto High School Dancers, Buttons The Clown, New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church Dance and Praise Team, Beth Watkins, Kelly McCullough, Randy Attaway, Mike Creamer, Jill Cannon, Janice Allison, Jennifer Smith.

The Springwater Committee includes: Dianne Lollis, Barbara Davis, Shirley Pace, and Ellen Harvell.

Mustang cheerleaders again take first place

The Palmetto High School Competition Cheerleaders took first place Saturday at the Debbie Rogers Classic in Columbia this Saturday, competing against 13 other AA teams.

The win was their sixth first place in a row. So far, they have competed at Liberty, Hillcrest, Woodruff, Daniel and Dorman since competition began in September, placing first in each.

The JV squad continued their winning season, again placing second as they have in each of their four previous competitions.

The Varsity competition squad will compete in the Region Competition at Mauldin High School on Nov. 4 and will host the Upperstate qualifying competition at Palmetto High School at 6 p.m. on November 8. There is a $5 admission charge to see the top 16 cheerleading squads in the upstate.

The teams will compete for eight qualifying positions to compete in the AA State Meet on Saturday, November 18, at the Colonial Center in Columbia. The Mustangs are the defending State AA champions, under coach Sheri Alexander.

AAAA Upper State qualifier will be held at White Knoll High School at 6 p.m.  November 6.

AAA Upper State qualifier will be held at Blythewood High School at 6 p.m. Nov. 9.

All lower state qualifiers will be held at Sumter High School on Nov. 11.

Palmetto CC team going to state

The Palmetto High Cross Country team will compete in the State AA Championships this Saturday, November 4, at the Sandhills Research Park in Columbia. Class A and AA girls will compete at 10 a.m followed by AA boys at 10:30 a.m. Both boys and girls teams will compete this year for Palmetto. The Mustangs are coached by Kellie Eaves.

 

Candidate profiles continued  . . .

Upton seeking reelection to District One Board

Nancy O. Upton, a former District One teacher and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is running for Anderson School District One Board of Trustees, Area 7, a position she has held for 16 years.

She is currently serving as Vice-Chairperson on the board and also serves as an appointed representative on the Board of Anderson Districts I & II Career and Technology Center, a position she has held for 14 years.

Upton said she is running for the District One board position again because she is  interested in the education of the 9000 students in Anderson District One. 

“I want to help our district to remain as one of the top districts in the state.  We will have to be innovative and resourceful to deal with funding and growth while maintaining the high quality of educational services we are accustomed to.:

“I am proud of our school district.  I grew up in it, I’ve taught in it. I’ve been on the board that made some tough decisions and I feel like I still have contributions to make in the future.” 

“I am proud of the academic achievements our students proved with their recent PACT and SAT scores.  Equally so, the Career and Technology programs of the district produce qualified students ready to enter the work force as skilled employees.”

She said that her experience as a former elementary school teacher and high school choral director in District One has been valuable in helping her understand the educational needs of the students.  In addition, her present career as a CPA has allowed her to be helpful during the budgeting process for the school district.

“I am a product of District One schools and proud of our school district.  Having served on a board that has made some tough decisions, I feel like I still have some contributions to make in the future.”

She cites her involvement in the building plan development, budgeting process, the growth planning philosophy and curriculum development for the School District and the Career and Technology Center.

“This teaching and Board experience combined with my skills as a CPA give me a broad focus on issues without being caught up in individual agendas.”

Issues facing the District, according to Upton, include the property tax/sales tax issue and continued growth.

“The tax swap moves the millage burden from property owners to a sales tax burden for all purchasers of goods in South Carolina.  This will reduce the property taxes for most homeowners by about 60 percent which was the school district operating cost part of their property tax bill,” Upton said. “We will have to stay in close contact with our legislators to be sure the distribution formulas are fair and equitable to our district.  We have traditionally had the lowest millage rate of all districts in Anderson County.  We could very well be penalized for being such good stewards in the past.”

According to Upton, the tax changes could affect funding for District One negatively.

“The new tax swap funding mechanism  puts our ability to pay for new schools and new teacher positions to fill those schools in jeopardy because of our historically low millage rate,” she said. 

“We have had to weigh tax referendums versus tax hikes in the past.  We have faced discipline hearings with students and teachers.  We make budget decisions every year that affect every aspect of school life.  We have to look at these issues from the fiduciary stand point of a board member as well as from the tax payer point of view.”

Concerning growth in the district Upton said there will be a need for a building program in the near future.

 “Our future building needs are a critical issue.  We are a growing district,” Upton said.  “We only have excess capacity for 500-600 students now, so building or expanding present schools is a necessity for the future.

Upton said the Board will seek input from the community on their support for a building program.

Upton, 57, is partner with her husband Mike, in the accounting firm of Upton & Upton, CPA, PA. The Upton’s have two sons, Jeff and Jon.

She also serves as the Music Director at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Piedmont.

She has a Bachelor of Science from Winthrop University, Masters of Education from Clemson University, and has taken additional accounting courses  at Clemson and Furman University.

Anderson School District One Board - Area 4

Mary Ann Woodson

Mary Ann Woodson is running for Anderson District One School Board, Area 4. The seat is currently held by Fred Alexander who is running for reelection.

Woodson, 64, is a recently retired employee of District One where she worked for 34 years. She served as a school secretary at Palmetto Elementary and Concrete Elementary and more recently as a receptionist in the District One offices for 9 years.

She is a graduate of Palmetto High and attended Greenville Tech and Anderson College.

She and her husband Sherman reside in West Pelzer and have two children and three grandchildren.

Woodson said she is running for the school board seat because she wants to help provide the best education possible for students and because of the experience gained working with the District and volunteering in the school system when her children were in school.

“My heart is for children, and I want to help provide the best education possible for all students,” she said. “Most of my adult life has been spent working in Anderson District One, and I enjoyed all 34.5 of these years as an employee.”

“I’ve gained a lot of experience during these years of employment and volunteering that will aid me if elected to the school board.”

Woodson also said she is concerned about safety of students and will work with other board members and administrators to make sure schools are safe and secure.

Issues facing the district include the challenges of the new property tax/sales tax; keeping high test scores; and growth.

“We have one of the top rated districts in the state,and score above the national average,” she said. “If elected, I will do my best to see that we continue to stay on top and improve in these areas.”

Woodson said she will do this by seeking the best teachers possible and providing adequate facilities and curriculum.

Building new schools will be a priority as the district continues to grow and Woodson said financing through a program implemented by Greenville County could be an alternative to raising taxes.

The Building Equity Sooner for Tomorrow (BEST) program is a non-profit foundation established by the Greenville County school board.

“Schools are built, and the cost is paid off over time. Under this form there is no tax increase and millage for school construction remains the same,” she said.

Woodson said the district needs to have a long range facilities plan and capital improvement plan to be updated annually.

Her platform indicates support for teachers and students, respect for taxpayers, safety of children, all of which equal a better future for Anderson One Students, she said.

Her goals include more money to the classroom, keeping teacher pay competitive, making sure tax dollars are spent wisely, making sure every school in the district is safe and working to give students and teachers the facilities they need while making sure taxpayers can afford the plan.

 

 

Greenville County Council - District 26

Judy Gilstrap

Judy Gilstrap is running for reelection to the Greenville County Council District 26 seat she has held since 2002. The District includes the west side of Greenville County from the Berea area to near Ware Place.

A native Greenvillian, Gilstrap attended Greenville County public schools, graduating from Carolina High School. She attended Draughon’s Business College, Greenville Technical College and the Wyatt Institute of Real Estate. She has a certificate in Management from the American Management Association.

Councilor Gilstrap is a real estate broker and is the recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Committee Chairman Award in appreciation for outstanding services as Chairperson of the RPAC Committee by Greater Greenville Association of Realtors (GGAR).

For more than 25 years she worked with several Greenville law firms and during that time she was an assistant to former Governor/U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. While working in the legal field, she served as President of the Greenville Legal Secretaries Association, President of the South Carolina Association of Legal Secretaries, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Office Systems Technology Department of Greenville Technical College and was an instructor for NALS in the areas of law office management, ethics and law office accounting.

Gilstrap is also a member of the Board of the Appalachian Council of Governments and a member of the Board of the Appalachian Development Corporation.

She and her husband, Bob, have one daughter and three grandchildren. She attends Tremont Church of God.

She cites growth and other related problems that are facing the County.

According to Gilstrap, Greenville County is on the threshold of one of the most exciting periods of its history. “We are seeing more interest in technology and research with the ICAR project and other firms moving into the area. This means higher wages and a better tax base. It also means wide spread growth,” she said. “This growth needs to be handled properly to ensure that our children and grandchildren can enjoy well planned retail and business locations along with green space and residential areas that are peaceful and free of problems of pollution, flooding and other deterrents that interfere with quality of life.”

“In District 26, we have many older neighborhoods that have fallen into neglect and have become infested with drugs, prostitution and crime. We have many absentee or negligent landlords and homeowners with no pride in ownership. For the past almost four years, I have worked hard to attempt to clean up these neighborhoods. We have made progress but there is much work still to be done.”

Gilstrap said she would like to see Greenville County continue to maintain the AAA credit rating, be able to expand recreation facilities to provide the necessary accommodations for our needs in youth athletics, meet the needs of citizens who are caught up in alcohol and drug addiction and protect against undesirable growth.

“We are working toward obtaining better salaries, benefits and equipment for our safety and emergency personnel with the recent 5% pay raises and addition of four new ambulances,” she said.

Greenville County School Board - District 28
Dan Moravec

Dan Moravec is running for the Greenville County School Board of Trustees, District 28, the seat currently held by Dr. Crystal O’Connor. 

Dr. O’Connor has decided not to seek re-election to a third term.

 “With her urging, my family’s blessing, and my own sincere concern for both our children’s education and our county’s future prosperity, I decided to throw my hat into the ring,” Moravec said. “Our school district is entering a difficult period because of the uncertainties that lie ahead resulting from the legislature’s recent property tax reform and how it will affect our schools.” 

Moravec said he is most concerned with legislature getting in the middle of the budgeting process, improving student achievement, and how to manage the growth in the area. 

“I believe now is the time when we need a School Board representative that understands these issues, understands the school system, and has the experience to make a difference.”

A Greenville County resident for nine years Moravec said he has  worked for the betterment of public education since moving to the area.

“I have been actively involved in creating change in our community through working with the school district on the Student Assignment Advisory Committee and leading School Improvement Councils in Plain Elementary and Hillcrest High Schools.  Since 2003, I have served on the board of directors for the Alliance for Quality Education.  I feel we have made some progress, but more is needed.”

He said he brings a balanced view of public education from three perspectives; as a volunteer, a parent and a taxpayer.

“As a volunteer in education both in and out of the district, I am very involved in the current issues facing our schools; as a parent I see the positive effect of education on my children every day and expect continued improvement in student achievement; and as a taxpayer, I know that the board must be good stewards of the funds provided,” he said.

“I hope to serve as a Trustee to continue the effective work of Dr. O’Connor and address these issues that face our district, with an eye toward our future, with respect toward the taxpayers students, and teachers, resulting in a brighter future for Greenville County.”  

Moravec’s oldest daughter attends Hillcrest High School and his youngest, Woodmont High School.  “Like most families, we chose where we live based on the schools for the area,” he said.  

Moravec said he has two issues associated with school safety; keeping our children safe and keeping their parents informed when a school has activated their crisis plan.

He also said the county board should work toward controlling access to schools before spending over $25 million and adding 11 technicians to install and use video cameras in classrooms.

For more information at visit Moravec’s website at www.votemoravec.com.

Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners
C. E. “Ed” Poore Jr.

By Stan Welch

Ed Poore,Jr.,  candidate for the Piedmont Public Service District, is hoping for a birthday present from the voters.

 Asked his age during the interview for this article,Poore said he tells voters they can give him a birthday present for free. He will be sixty eight years old on November 7, and he hopes to get still another job that day.

 Poore has retired twice so far; once from the South Carolina departent of Revenue, after thirty seven years, and also from the S.C. National Guard, as a Chief Warrant Officer 5, with thirty years service.

 Despite the retirements, Poore is now a partner in a tax consulting firm, PPM&Associates,LLC. It is those accounting skills that Poore feels can be put to good use on the public service commission.”I have some skills and talents that I know can be put to good use. There are no particular issues or problems that I want to take on. I just think I have something to offer” said Poore.

 A life time resident of the Piedmont and Williamston areas, Poore has three sons and six grandchildren living in the Upstate. His wife, Ivar Dell, is also a retiree from  the SCDOR.

 “My father was in public service most of his life, ending up being the last elected county supervisor in Anderson County before the form of government was changed. I’ve been in a political family all my life.”

 Poore is a 1956 graduate of Palmetto High school, and a 1961 graduate of Erskine College. His degree is in business administration.

 Despite having served three and a half years on the Commission, Poore says he has no preconceived ideas about what needs to be done. “If people ask me whether I would be in favor or raising or lowering taxes, I tell them they probably shouldn’t vote for me if that’s the only measure they’re using. I’ve been off the Commission for four years, so I would say that I need to get back in the flow and see how the money is being managed. I think I have the education and the experiences and skills to offer something to the community, and that is why I’m running,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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