Time to decide

March 25, 2014

By now you’ve all read numerous points and counterpoints about the Pickens County School Board. You’ve heard that accreditation doesn’t matter and that it does. You know in your heart that it does.

You’ve all read about the various problems within the board itself. They have gone from denying the problems, to shifting/sharing the blame with the administration (which got an A), to arguing over property values if accreditation is lost.

You’ve heard from Taxpayer Association and ultra-conservative types. Remember the US government shutdown? It proved what? We have folks here that would shut down schools rather than repair them. All to make a point. Didn’t want big new schools. Didn’t plan for big new schools.

Who has spoken out against the board and their actions? Many parents have, folks with school age children, the “customers” of the system. Business also has spoken. We also are customers of the system, and depend on the other ancillary benefits of an excellent school system to attract employees, and grow this local economy.

Who else? Retired educators and principals. Who better knows the various and complicated issues schools face? Mr. Oscar Thorsland, a retired Principal, respected community leader, and former school board member, has not only spoken out against this board, but he has also endorsed Dr. Brian Swords.

Anyone else? Oh yeah- the Teachers and Principals who have left SDPC for better jobs- not just pay, but a better work environment.

The entire business, chambers, education and manufacturers alliances, the envy of other counties, has spoken.

I think the positive voices far, far outweigh the status quo. Pickens County needs to continue moving forward. That “big building program” IS an investment in the future.

Please vote April 1. Vote for Brian Swords, clearly the most qualified and experienced candidate. It’s time to put petty differences aside, and vote our hearts, for our children, and let’s show the world that we can take care of our schools.

Tom O’Hanlan