I am very pleased to see warmer weather settle on our beloved Pickens County. This winter has been rather harsh at times, and it is always such a thrill to see the beautiful colors that spring brings and the smells that come along with it. It also reminds me that our weather in the spring can be rather volatile, and our historical weather patterns indicate that we are prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the county. I have reminded our citizens in the past of the need to make sure you have an emergency evacuation plan for your home and your workplace, but it is worth repeating. Please include in that plan a designated place to meet after the storm passes in order to account for everyone that you are held responsible. I feel very sorry for those families with missing relatives and loved ones that may have been involved in that mudslide out West. I can only hope and pray that they will soon have answers to the many unaccounted people still being searched for.
Your county government is operating very effectively and efficiently. I am happy to report that all departments within Pickens County Government are operating under budget thru the first two months of the calendar. I would like to thank all the elected officials and department heads for their efforts in staying within their budgets during this period, and I would hope that I can continue to provide our citizens with similar reports as this year progresses. Budgets are very lean and I am hopeful that no unexpected expenses occur this year, but that is highly unlikely.
As we move toward the primary election scheduled for May 20, 2014, I want to respectfully ask every voter in Pickens County to make the effort to cast your ballot. I am embarrassed when I see voter turnout in other areas of the state at 10%, 15%, and even 25%. We have the privilege of selecting our leaders on the national, state, and local levels and I could dream of getting every registered voter to the polls, but, realistically I believe a goal of 75% turnout would be acceptable. Please study the candidates and their positions and cast your ballot for the individual that you feel best reflects your goals and your beliefs. Please also remember that a part of the ballot will contain a question concerning the extension of the current one cent Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and I sincerely hope you will consider that question and how that will impact Pickens County for the next six years. Early voting will begin on April 28 and I sincerely hope you will do your part to help achieve the 75% turnout. Any less turnout would not be a true indicator of the wishes of the citizens of Pickens County.
Until the next time, stay safe and be healthy.