After a short visit with 2 local talk radio stations we had our transparency rally Monday morning. A rough gestimate of 60 or so concerned taxpayers turned out at the Anderson County Courthouse steps. Considering Monday morning is the worst time you could invite working folks to a public event, we were pleased. I appreciate the public interest, but when you think about it, concerned citizens should not have to attend a public gathering to show support for open government. It ought to be given to them by default. But, as you know, the good-ole-boy system in the Palmetto State is reluctant to let sunshine on government workings.
I’m sure this was encouraging to Anderson local champion, M. Cindy Wilson. Remember Andrew Jackson said “one man with courage makes a majority”. He should have said “one man or woman with courage makes a majority”. Ole Andy didn’t know M. Cindy Wilson. Councilady Wilson has been the lone voice in the wilderness for over a decade. After joining council in 2000, she simply began asking questions on behalf of her constituents. Simple questions like “where is the money going?” and “can’t we open up the workings of government for our citizens?” are all she’s ever asked. After many years of stonewalling, I’m sure most people would’ve given up. She’s been the victim of character assassinations like I’ve never seen in politics. Hundred’s of thousands of dollars have been spent in vain attempts to destroy Cindy, but she keeps coming back. Well, it appears that the membership of County Council has swung the other way. It looks like Cindy Wilson will have her sunny day in the near future. An ongoing investigative audit has been uncovering many questionable activities that would’ve never occurred under public scrutiny. Anderson County is among a few local governing bodies in South Carolina that are making voluntary commitments to opening up the process.
Ya’ll know we’ve been beating this open government drum for years, and we’ve made some progress, but there’s still a long way to go. This issue will not go away. The technology is here. There’s no reason why you, the taxpayer, can’t log on to the internet and have a user friendly, searchable database to track down every cent taken out of your pocket.
SC Policy Council’s Ashley Landess, Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom and myself were joined with several other elected officials. County Council members Cindy Wilson, Bob Waldrep, Tom Allen, Tommy Dunn, & Eddie Moore, Auditor Jacky Hunter, Sheriff John Skipper were here. An unscheduled visit by Lt. Andre’ Bauer was a surprise. Also, many thanks to Dan Harvell, chairman of the Anderson County Taxpayers Association, as he was instrumental in event turnout. The Anderson Independent Mail covered this event on 3 separate occasions. announcement, ediorial, coverage