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Wednesday
Jan202010

Mike Buckner To Run for City Council At-Large

Mike Buckner, a real estate appraiser, will seek the Anderson City Council At-Large seat vacated by Blake Williamson, who will not run again.

Filing for the city council’s elections begins tomorrow and ends Feb. 4. The election is scheduled for April 6.

Bucker released the following statement about his candidacy:

"Today I would like to announce my intention to run for Anderson City Council At-Large.  After many hours of consideration by my family and me, we made the decision the best way for me to serve our city is to run for office.

I believe I have much to offer as a city councilman.  I have had the unique opportunity to meet thousands of great Andersonians in my work as a real estate appraiser during the last twenty-five years.  I have found we all share many of the same hopes and concerns for the city of Anderson.  Being an Anderson native and businessman, I understand the challenges and problems experienced by businesses in our city. As a father, I know how important it is to meet the needs of our next generation.

I am currently on the board at Habitat for Humanity, and also serve on the Anderson County Board of Assessment Appeals.  My wife Susan and I are members of First Presbyterian Church where I have held the office of deacon.  My daughter Meg is a graduate of TL Hanna and currently attends the College of Charleston.

Please feel free to contact me at 934-2075 or email to mikeb@maxwellappraisers.com"

Tuesday
Jan192010

Bob Waldrep Says Meals on Wheels Needs Support

Anderson County Councilman Bob Waldrep contributed $1,500 from his budget to help Anderson Meals on Wheels at Tuesday night's meeting. Waldrep said he understood the agency, which delivers a hot meal to many of Anderson County's senior citizens every day, was in "dire straights" and encouraged other council members to support the non-profit group. Council Eddie Moore added $500 to the contribution.

For more information about helping Meals on Wheels of Anderson, visit their site.

Tuesday
Jan192010

Anderson Soldier Helping in Haiti

PFC Andrew (Drew) Fred Stringer III, 1-325 Infantry Btn, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne - the RED DRAGONS, was recently deployed to Haiti to aid that nation in the wake of last week's earthquake.

Stringer can be seen in the background of this report:

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/video?id=7225878&syndicate=syndicate&section=

His division also has a facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Bragg-NC/2nd-Brigade-Combat-Team-82nd-Airborne-Division/121994218975?v=wall&ref=ts

Tuesday
Jan192010

County Council: Coles Honored; Incentives Program Considered; Boy Scout Week

In an uncharacteristically quick meeting which lasted just under 80 minutes, Anderson County Council extended a county resolution passed last year regarding privileged and otherwise protected communications concerning the ongoing county investigations of former Anderson County Administrator Joey Preston, honored Williamston residents Keith and Doris Cole, looked at a potential county employee incentive program, revisited the way the county reviews requests for proposals and set aside a week in February to honor the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

Following the renewal of the resolution on privileged information, Anderson County Council Member Gracie Floyd expressed concern about the ongoing investigation.

"Is this investigation about over with?" Floyd asked regarding the continuation of the resolution.

"We're going to find out very shortly", said County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn.

As the meeting began, however, council set aside time to honor former Anderson County Board of Education Chairman Keith Cole and his wife Doris (a former teacher and principal), for making Anderson County a better place to live and work. Owners of the Cole Family Pharmacy, the Coles and their guests listened as Anderson County Council Member read an exhaustive list of the couple's "amazing civic contributions and their vital roll transforming Williamston into a vital community."

Council then approved the first reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 2, Article V of the Anderson County Code of Ordinances allowing county council to review all proposals and proposed specifications for projects before they are put out for bids. Tom Allen said currently the county puts out about six requests for proposals a year.
 
But after a lack of consensus on the particulars, council tabled a resolution by County Councilman Bob Waldrep to offer incentives for county employees who have ideas which save the county money or make other significant contributions. The plan, available to non-supervisory employees, would offer cash rewards to employees based on the savings realized by the county based on such ideas.
"I had this idea some time back, there are many city governments that do this, but (I) don't know that any county governments do," Waldrep said. "In  my 45 years of public service, I  have found that so many times employees at the service level had great ideas about ways to save money and do things better."
Waldrep also said that on Tuesday he received an exact count on the county's total employees..
"I am kind of excited about having this information," Waldrep said. " We have 550 county employees and 263 in Sheriff's employees, for a  grand total of 813 employees."


Also on Tuesday night, Anderson County Council:

Unanimously designated Feb. 7-14 "Boy Scouts of America 100 Years of Scouting Week," to honor the 100th anniversary of the scouts and  to express gratitude to the 500 volunteers in Anderson County who make the program possible. The proclamation was introduced by Eagle Scout and Anderson County Council Vice Chairman Eddie Moore.

Approved the final acceptance of the Windham Ridge Phase II Subdivision into the county road system.

Approved on first reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 2, Article V of the Anderson County Code of Ordinances pertaining to county purchasing procedures, which would allow the council to review all proposals and proposed specifications for projects before they are put out for bids. 

Approved on third reading an ordinance amending Chapter 2, Article IV of the Anderson County Code in order to create the Anderson County Animal Shelter Advisory Committee

Approved on third reading plan amending county zoning ordinances for 10.04 acres for Meadowbrook Baptist Church at the corner of McGee Road and Hub Road.

Unanimously approved a new resolution designating Anderson County to develop and implement a Coordinated Rural Public Transportation Service in Anderson County. The resolution was amended to include other potential partners in addition to Senior Solutions. 

Tuesday
Jan192010

COUNTY UNVEILS PARKS AND RECREATION MASTER PLAN

ANDERSON COUNTY, SC--Anderson County Council is proud to unveil the Anderson County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan. Highlighting county-owned and county-leased facilities, the plan provides the framework for Anderson County’s Parks and Recreation efforts during the next five years. Development of the plan, a seven month in-house process undertaken by Matt Schell, involved looking at current residential populations, demographics, community needs, available facilities and current conditions of those facilities. The plan was submitted to Council in early 2009. Utilizing five-year projections to determine future community profiles, the council and staff will align and prioritize efforts with regard to the need for revitalization and enhancement of parks and facilities across the county.

“Anderson County has a goldmine in outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Anderson County Councilman Chairman Tommy Dunn. “It was important for us to review existing parks, their conditions and compare that information with the needs of the varying areas of the County before we could even begin to tackle planning for future enhancement to our facilities. The Parks and Recreation Department was created to further our efforts toward a sensible, phased approach to improve recreational opportunities across the county. Ultimately, this master plan is about setting a new direction for the character of the parks, facilities and programs that will continue to support the high quality of life that makes Anderson County attractive for both residents and visitors.

 “Our Master Plan is a five-year plan, developed to assess current facilities and explore avenues to enhance recreational opportunities county-wide,” said Parks and Recreation Department Manager Matt Schell. “Anderson County decided not to outsource the project, after learning that similar plans have cost surrounding municipalities and counties in excess of $240,000. Now that we have the framework in place, we can continue to engage individual communities to guide us in identifying trends and measuring current satisfaction, priorities, usage and need for new or enhanced services and facilities. To date, we have hosted community meetings at Susan Street and at Wellington Street. Both were met with positive feedback and helped align our vision with the true stakeholders – the residents of Anderson County.”

Councilman Dunn continued, “Public engagement will be a critical component in the success of the Master Plan as we move forward. We plan to proceed, armed with the knowledge that this must remain a ‘living document’ to accommodate changing demographics, population trends, revenue sources and economic conditions. We also plan to work with county staff to explore potential for enhancement of revenues through the creation of public/private partnerships and alternative funding sources. Combined with community involvement, this master plan will reinforce our efforts for the effective delivery of recreational opportunities to visitors, residents and all users of Anderson County’s parks, programs and facilities.”

Tuesday
Jan192010

School Dist. 5 Buys Land for New Elementary School

Anderson School District Five has completed the purchase of 36.69 acres on S.C. Highway 81 for the purpose of constructing a new elementary school.

On June 24, 2009, District Five entered into a purchase-option agreement for 33.5 acres of land located off of Highway 81 near the Sullivan-King Mortuary. That option was renewed on September 10, 2009. In October 2009, three smaller frontage parcels adjoining this land were also optioned by the district.

The purchase of all four parcels was completed in December 2009. The purchase was funded through the district’s $140 million bond issuance, which was approved in an April 2007 referendum by more than 60 percent of district voters.

Planning and design work is now underway for the new elementary school, which will be the 11th elementary school in the district.

Tuesday
Jan192010

Council to Look at Protected Information, Rural Transportation

Anderson County Council will consider a resolution to designate Senior Solutions and/or Anderson County to develop and implement a coordinated Rural Public Transportation Service in Anderson County. County Attorney Mike Pitts will also introduce a resolution regarding privileged and otherwise protected communications, files and information and matters related to such documentation.
Council meets at 6 p.m. in the historic courthouse.

Monday
Jan182010

County Democratic Party to Meet Tuesday

The ACDP Executive Committee will meet Tuesday, January 19, at our headquarters at 115 North Main St. from 5:00 to around 6:00 pm.  At the meeting we will be refining our party platform for Anderson County. 

Monday
Jan182010

SC Realtors Launch Campaign to Stop Tax

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina REALTORS® Association today launched a comprehensive, statewide media campaign to raise public awareness about a bill in the South Carolina Legislature that would reform the unfair point of sale tax.

“The point of sale tax is hurting our economy and is clearly unfair,” said Nick Kremydas, Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Realtors.  “For months we’ve been talking to lawmakers and local governments, telling them that the point of sale law is flawed and is straining South Carolina families and businesses, including REALTORS®.  We’re taking our message directly to South Carolinians so they are informed about the current point of sale tax, and why we need to change it now.”

The current law allows local governments to dramatically increase property taxes on homes, land and businesses when they are sold.  For example, if you buy a home, you pay higher property taxes than an identical home in your neighborhood.

The SC REALTORS© educational campaign will include traditional and new media advertising---including an interactive Web site --- http://www.ItsJustNotFair.org --- to spread the word about the need to change the unfair point of sale tax.  A copy of the campaign’s first TV advertisement is available on a YouTube channel:  http://www.YouTube.com/SCJustNotFair.

Friday
Jan152010

Dist. 5 Trustees to Meet Jan. 19

Anderson County School District Five Board of Trustess will look at construction updates and hear a report from the Building as part of their meeting Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the district's offices.

Friday
Jan152010

Midway Finalist for Palmetto’s Finest Award

Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering is one of 13 finalists statewide for the 2010 Carolina First Palmetto’s Finest Schools Awards.

The finalists were announced Thursday by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA). The 13 schools were named after extensive evaluations by fellow educators and previous Palmetto’s Finest winners. The application process includes elements on student achievement, faculty training, program goals and teaching quality, office practices and community involvement. Midway, which opened its doors in August 2003, was also named a finalist in January 2009 for the Palmetto’s Finest Award.

In May 2009, Midway’s request to be granted theme school status as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school was approved by the District Five Board of Trustees. At that time, the school’s name was changed to “Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering.”

The finalist schools will gather in Columbia on Tuesday, March 23, at the Koger Center for the Arts, at 6:30 p.m. to learn which four of them have won the top honors.

Wren High School in Anderson County is also a finalist.

Friday
Jan152010

"Stanley Brothers" to Visit Electric City Playhouse

Join the Electric City Playhouse as they start their 26th year with the award winning Man of Constant Sorrow, a Stanley Brothers Musical by Douglas Pote and directed by Jimmy O. Burdette. This funny and touching story delves into the backstage and personal life of two brothers, Ralph and Carter Stanley. It contains some of the great songs made famous by The Stanley Brothers - songs that will have you singin’ along and flat-footin’ in the aisles. It reveals their struggle to find an audience for their music and their triumphant journey along the way.
 
Expect to hear folk, traditional gospel, and bluegrass, the music of their home in the hills of Virginia, along with hits like the 2002 Grammy Award-winning songs from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou”? Starring Upstate Bluegrass Musicians: Mitch and Perry Keown along with a full cast overflowing with musical and acting talents.
 
Tickets are on sale now for Feb 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Showtimes at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM. Ticket prices are $17 for Adults, $15 for Seniors, $10 for Students and group discounts are available. Make sure that you come early to hear the Jimmy O Trio pre-show band!

Thursday
Jan142010

Ebenezer Community to Benefit from Quick Response Vehicle

The Ebenezer Community will benefit from the new Anderson County EMS Quick Response Vehicle (QRV). Purchased with existing budget funds, the new vehicle will greatly reduce the response time for residents during a medical emergency. Paired with two part-time quality assurance/paramedic positions and medical equipment, the QRV is a solution that will elevate emergency medical response in Ebenezer and surrounding communities.

Average response time in the County is 6 minutes, but out-lying areas such as Ebenezer have response rates around 12-15 minutes. Ebenezer Fire Department, located on the corner of Hwy 413 and I85, has the distinction of being the pioneer in first response in Anderson County, having initiated the county first responder team in 1998.