Thursday, January 14, 1982

Aiken County Rambler

Location: Aiken, South Carolina

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Aiken County Rambler (Newspaper) - January 14, 1982, Aiken, South Carolina SECOND CLASS POSTAGE PAID AT AIKEN, S. C. 29801 Volume 5 — Number 21    Aiken,    S.    C,    Thursday,    January    14,    1982    25c    Per    Copy Copyright 1981 by Rambler Publications, Inc. County Council Replies to Suit Q. What will be done with Eustis Park School, now that classes will no longer be held there? Also, what is the status of Burnettown School? Didn’t somebody take an option on it? - B. H., Aiken. A. Randy Davidson, public information officer for the Aiken County School District, said the Aiken County Community Action Commission was considering leasing Eustis park for offices, but this plan has been abandoned. At present, the fate of the 30-year-old school is undecided. Burnettown School, closed at the end of the 1979-80 school year, was once proposed as the site of a gasohol plant by a group of investors. but opposition developed in the community. Davidson said the school was advertised for sale last fall, but drew no bids. “It is still open for sale," he said. Q. I thought the library at USC-Aiken was open to the public, but one afternoon when I was there (Continued on Page 16) >vberrv St. SW pi# Aiken, Sc 29301 HOTLINE Filed by Officials By KAY LAWRENCE AIKEN -- Replying to a suit filed by the county auditor and treasurer in November against Aiken County Council, County Attorney C. Wesley Smith has asked for dismissal of the case. In the reply filed Monday in the Clerk of Court’s office, Smith contends the plaintiffs have failed to state facts to support their claim. In the suit which named individual members of county council as defendants, Auditor George Williams and Treasurer Margie Plunkett asserted that the governing body failed to provide them with adequate funds, personnel and equipment to carry out their duties as prescribed by state law. As a result, the two elected officials contended, the mailing of personal property tax notices (which amount to $4 to $5 million annually) was delayed by several months. Both Auditor Williams and Mrs. Plunkett said at the time the suit was filed that they had repeatedly brought their needs before Aiken County Council during budget preparation. Point by point. Attorney Smith denies allegations of the two plaintiffs. He contends 12 full-time employees are not needed in the treasurer’s office, nor are eight needed in the auditor's office. He asserts further that salaries paid employees in the two offices are not inadequate and that they are commensurate with salaries paid to other county employees with similar responsibilities. Smith also contends computer service is not needed by either office for efficiency. The plaintiffs have presented no facts on which to base any cause of (Continued on Pogo 16) Twirling to a lively French song are Joan Tower and young Claire Servy at an Epiphany party held last week by Alliance Francois d’Aiken, a group devoted to French conversation and customs. For other photos off the event see Page 9. FRENCH CEtEBRATTON Beth Gantt Keeps Phone Switches in Order By VIVIAN MILNER AIKEN -- On April 30th Beth Gantt will have worked for 34 years for Southern Bell Telephone Company here. Two years ago she took a job which has traditionally been a man's. She s p switching equipment technician at the company’s Laurens Street facility. “It was a job promotion. I applied, was tested, took a physical and was selected, ’’ explained erect little Mrs. Gantt. “I can shinny up a ladder as good as any man." In her department there are six men, including her husband, J. R. “Pete” Gantt. Shes the only woman. “It meant an increase in salary, a change and a challenge,” she declared. For her new work Mrs. Gantt had on the job training, then formal schooling in Columbia and then a four-week course in Salisbury, N. C. “Actually, Southern Bell has a continual training program, to keep up with new equipment,” explained her immediate boss, H. L. Evans. In her main duties she analyzes defects in equipment; tests, repairs and maintains telephone switching circuits and equipment in the company’s Central offices; and installs, repairs and adjusts equipment, such as switches, relays and amplifiers, using hand tools. Besides routine equipment maintenance, she may remove or place connections on wire distributing frames and solder wires to terminal lugs. Mrs. Gantt may go out and maintain telephone switching equipment at hotels and office buildings. She moves and lifts up to a maximum of 60 pounds. “This job is involved with electronics. I read electronic blue prints," she explained. “I was a little apprehensive whether the men would resent my coming in,” she admitted. “It s just the opposite. They're very helpful, including the boss.” "For the past IO years the telephone company has not considered whether men and women are in traditional jobs," commented Evans. “All have been one of the guys, both men and women, with the common purpose to serve the customer. "Beth has adapted extremely well to this type of work," Evans declared. “She has shown enthusiasm and she holds her own with the group with no problem." Mrs. Gantt was single when she first became an operator in the traffic department. After 13 years she became a service assistant there, helping the operators. After several years she went to the commercial department, handling business accounts with (Continued on Pogo 2) Photo by Vivian Both Re-Trained for Highly Technical Job