Letter to the Editor

Advertise ◇ Today is November 28, 2023 ◇ Subscribe
102 Foxhound Road ◇ Simpsonville, S.C. 29680
Phone: (864) 275-0001View our Old Website

Let us know if you have a possible news story to include in The Simpsonville Sentinel.


July 29, 2023 by Michelle Rogier Shuman - Views: 55

Share this Page on Facebook

Letter to the Editor

How many water bottles, coffee cups, and coffee tumblers can you buy for $60,000?

Yes, you read that question correctly. The actual amount spent by our county staff on new water bottles, coffee cups, and coffee tumblers for the new office buildings is $59,978.24. Why? How many did they get? Why so many? Or did they buy really expensive ones? Who are they giving them to? This is just a few of the questions that my deep dive into the University Ridge County Office building expenses has left me with.

Other “promo” items they bought were: totes - $1,350.49, pens - $1,783.86, badge holders - $1,105.44, and lanyards - $1,284.24. Why? Last time I checked we still have a Visitor and Convention Bureau to do our marketing for the area. If this is for the employees, they already have badges and lanyards, so why do they need new? Are we going to force everyone to use the new pens, totes, coffee cups, coffee tumblers, and water bottles and leave their own personal stuff at home. Is that kind of work environment we are going to start having? 

Then, there are the appliances for the building. We have spent $131,154.31 in new appliances for the building. If we spent, $1,000 per appliance that is 131 appliances. There are only 10 floors between the 2 buildings. Even if we had 2 break rooms on each floor with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, ice machine, and water cooler in each that’s only 100 appliances. My understanding is that we are not even using all of the floors so we shouldn’t have appliances on the unused floors. They certainly do not need high-end appliances; this is an office not your home. A basic refrigerator/freezer without ice and water in the door will work nicely. We are just helping people bring premade food from home for their lunches. Somehow, I’m not surprised though at this number because in another piece of unrelated research I found out that Joe Kernell buys high-end coffee for his personal office at the County.

Another item is the furniture line. $4,256,313.81 has been spent on new furniture. They are going to mainly cubicles in the new building so that can be costly, but what we’ve been told in the news media is that they are not taking any furniture with them. I guess they bought all new chairs and desks. Did they buy new filing cabinets, too? My guess is probably. That stuff can get expensive especially if the purchaser/decision maker doesn’t care how he spends other people’s money.

Other items of interest are: when all the bills are paid at least $58,160 in artwork, $38.96 door stoppers, $513.60 new cash drawers for the tax office, $831.56 new flags, and $279.70 new smoker poles. Keep in mind that while these are little amounts some if not all of these could be taken from the old office. In addition, the small amounts add up.

Then there are the new computers. Everyone down there has computers they currently work on. I don’t know anything about the condition and software of each situation, but in the expenses for the new building in computers, software, and hardware, we have spent $2,220,75.64. This is besides what was spent to get the building wired and the network and security up and running.

If some of the above-mentioned things are replacement for current equipment because it is no longer useable that is not a construction expense, but a general fund expense. So that would mean more sloppy accounting work. 

So, why question these items? Again, we are missing a list of expenses for June 2020. Also, we have no idea what the individual invoices read. When I look at the auditor’s report, they didn’t investigate this either. Their report basically tells us how much is left to spend on the building according to their numbers. There is no detail. 

Where are the actual invoices? Who is overseeing this besides Joe Kernell, John Hansley, and Shannon Herman his assistant? Is this really being overseen and watched or are they just signing of on the invoices and paying the bills without concern about the budget and contracts?

If there are these kind of questions on what we can see, what kind of questions are there on what we can’t see. And then how about the day to day running of the County? No wonder we question them and wonder if there isn’t mismanagement going on.■

Michelle Rogier Shuman


Support Our Advertisers

Elect Bill Smith

Fountain Inn Christmas Events & Shows

Clark's Fine Jewelers

The Simpsonville Sentinel

The Simpsonville Sentinel

Home | Contact Us | Subscribe

Back Office

Copyright © 2010 - 2023 The Simpsonville Sentinel
Website Design by TADA! Media Services, Inc.