Council Considers PR Post, Newsletter

Brown: Media Neglecting ‘Good’ News

WINNSBORO – ‘No new taxes’ wasn’t the only news to come out of County Council’s budget workshop on April 5. Councilman Mikel Trapp proposed that the Council hire a public information officer and publish its own countywide newsletter to enlighten the people of the County. Council Chairman David Ferguson agreed.

“We talked about a newsletter the other day, and I think if I read you right, that’s something that most of the Council thinks would be advisable,” Ferguson said. “But a County Information Officer would be an additional salary to pay.”

Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley also revealed that Council had been discussing “hiring a public relations person to help us get started. I honestly think we need a good PR person,” Kinley said.

When Councilwoman Carolyn Robinson questioned how they would mail the newsletter out so that everyone in the county received it, Kinley suggested, “We could purchase lists of addresses for mailing.”

Councilman David Brown also thought the newsletter was a bright idea for Council.

“One of the biggest drawbacks of County Council is that what we are doing isn’t being broadcast to the people,” Brown said. “The good news about the County is not getting out there.”

Brown said he didn’t think the county’s two newspapers and TV station were doing enough to get good news about the Council to the people.

“You have people in the County who have no idea why they are paying taxes or what we’re doing as far as making decisions for Fairfield County,” Brown said. “We’re in the process of doing something monumental as far as this I-77 Alliance is concerned. How many people know this?” he asked. “It will make a difference for this county, Chester and others.”

As an example, Brown brought up the $24 million bond that Council passed last year.

“We have a plan for that bond and we shared that plan here a couple of times and at Rotary. We have a good staff and they do a good job, but no one knows what we’re doing. It’s creating a life of distrust because people are not aware of this stuff,” he said. “When we did the $24 million bond, we had in there what we were spending money on. . . . No one knew this. And it was presented to the public properly.”

Brown said, “We need to plan ahead and we need to toot our own horn and communicate that to the public. We need to all be working together.”

Information outlining how the $24 million bond is to be spent was published in a quarter page chart in an article about the bond in the April 4, 2014 issue of The Voice.

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