Letter to Senator Ray Cleary

The following letter was sent to Senator Cleary on April 24th.

Dear Senator Cleary:

On behalf of the Georgetown County Republican Party I am respectfully asking you to vote to sustain Governor Sanford’s expected veto of H. 4755, which may be delivered to the state House Monday night.

As you are well aware, the county GOP strongly opposes this legislation because it enables the county Board of Education to fund operational deficit spending with proceeds from a general obligation bond- the same type of deficit spending we see in Washington by Congress that keeps getting this country deeper and deeper in debt.

This legislation very likely violates the state constitutional prohibition on any unit of government borrowing money to fund operational deficits.

Additionally, while economic times are difficult for everyone, the county Board of Education must impose some fiscal discipline and live within its means for a change. Over the last decade the board has been spending taxpayers’ money at levels that are simply unsustainable.

Out of the 86 school districts in this state, only two have attempted to resort to operational deficit spending- Georgetown County and Fort Mill District-4 in York County. Governor Sanford vetoed the Fort Mill District legislation last month.

And Board of Education Chairman Jim Dumm acknowledged in the April 4th edition of the Georgetown Times that if H. 4755 did not pass it “would not be a terrible blow” to the school district.

The party is greatly appreciative of your past fiscally conservative stances on local and state education spending.

Just last year, as reported by the Georgetown Times, you pointed out to the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club, "Money is not necessarily the answer to education," and "At the end of the day, it is not about money, but other issues. And, at the end of the day, we are spending a lot on education."

Your very public candor in acknowledging that you “dropped the ball” by not reading H. 4755 and allowing it to pass the Senate unchallenged is admirable.

We urge you to now stand with the county GOP and Governor Sanford by voting to uphold the Governor’s veto of this irresponsible and unconstitutional legislation.


Tom Swatzel