News Archive

Week of Feb. 5, 2003

Cleanup, compenstion top list for Williamston Mayor says
Town of Williamston makes statement on pardon request, approves judges
District One to add four school nurses
Anderson County Council votes to relieve community water problem

 

Cleanup, compenstion top list for Williamston Mayor says

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy said the town is in the process of evaluating employee compensation and that he wanted to gather information to make comparisons with other municipalities. He also said the town is working to provide clear job descriptions for town employees.

During their regular monthly Monday, Council approved a request by Clardy to form a committee comprised of the town treasurer, one councilman and a representative of Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG) to perform the comparisons.

Mayor Clardy said that he had planned to have compensation comparisons and job descriptions for town employees evaluated earlier in his administration. “Other issues have taken a lot of time,” Clardy said.

The information will be used by the town administration and is not for public dissemination, he said.

Information concerning department heads and elected officials  is available to the public, according to Clardyl; however individual job information and compensation can only be released by title and/or job description and in a certain range of compensation.

Clardy said there area other issues to look at including overtime by town employees.

Council unanimously approved the request with Councilman Cecil Cothran being selected to sit on the committee.

The town is also in the process of looking at the comprehensive plan including zoning and planning, according to Clardy.

He said there are currently situations within the town in which there are violations, some criminal and some civil.

“We intend to clean up our town. There are problems with junk cars and lots grown up. If you own your own property, you need to keep it up,” Clardy said.

The mayor stressed that situations throughout the town will be looked at. “We are not attempting to single out anybody,” he said.

Clardy asked each councilman to look at their individual wards and to make a list of any properties that may be nuisances or that are of questionable existence.

Clardy also said he wanted to encourage citizens to call their councilman or the mayor’s office to report any situation they think the town should look at.

Council unanimously approved a motion by Clardy to form the committee to look at town ordinances and the comprehensive plan.

The committee will include the mayor and councilmembers, the town clerk, the municipal attorney, the planning commission chair and the zoning board of appeals chair.

Statement made on pardon request, judges approvedTown of Williamston

Williamston Town Council unanimously approved the reappointment of both municipal judges and passed a resolution stating the official position of the town concerning a request for pardon by former mayor Marion Middleton during their regular monthly meeting Monday.

Prior to the regular meeting at 6 p.m., Council held a work session which lasted approximately 20 minutes.

Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy read through the agenda, item by item, with explanation of each during the work session. There was little or no discussion on any of the agenda topics by Council.

Rev. Mark Roberts, pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, gave the invocation at the beginning of the regular meeting.

Following the pledge of allegiance, a moment of silence was held for those who suffered a loss in the space shuttle Columbia tragedy Feb. 1.

Mayor Clardy read a letter of expression of sympathy from the town  which is to be sent to communities and families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy. A copy of the letter is also being sent to NASA in Houston, Clardy said.

Clardy announced the Municipal Association (MASC) meeting to be held at the Iva fire department on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. Mayor and Council will be attending the meeting.

Clardy also announced the MASC winter meeting to be held in Columbia Feb. 24-26 which he and council members are planning to attend.

Council then voted to go into executive (closed) session to discuss personnel, compensation and appointments.

Upon returning to public session, Council unanimously approved the reappointment of municipal judges James M. “Jimmy” Cox and John C. Neel, III. Both judges were reappointed for a one year term.

Clardy stated that the town code requires the judges be reappointed on a yearly basis. He also said that the judges had apparently served since 1997 without reappointment by Council and it was the intention to correct the oversight.

Councilman David Harvell made the motion to reappoint and Mayor Clardy seconded. The appointments were approved with a 5-0 vote.

Clardy said the town is also in the process of evaluating employee compensation and wanted to make comparisons with other municipalities (see separate story).

The town is also in the process of looking at the Town’s comprehensive plan including zoning and planning, according to Clardy.

Council unanimously approved a motion by Clardy to form the committee to look at town ordinances and the comprehensive plan.

The committee will include the mayor and councilmembers, the town clerk, the municipal attorney, the planning commission chair and the zoning board of appeals chair.

In other business, Council also approved Marion Roberts to fill a vacant seat on the grievance committee which was formerly held by Cecil Cothran.

Clardy anounced that the Mayor’s office will again sponsor an open government tour to meet with representatives in Columbia sometime in April.

The tour will be open to the public and allow an opportunity to meet with legislators and possibly the new governor, Mark Sanford, according to Clardy.

Council unanimously approved a request by Walt Smith to provide a list of three possible sites in Williamston for a Habitat for Humanity project house.

Clardy said the town has several properties which have been acquired through tax sales that could be used.

The project has been on hold since the town approved a request by Smith in 2001 to provide a lot for the project. The organization has not had an approved candidate until recently, according to Smith.

Smith said the candidate has to put in 50 hours of work on the project and in turn will receive help with construction and materials for the new home, resulting in a loan with no interest and a payment of approximately $250 per month.

The town will provide a list of three lots to choose from within the next week or so, Clardy said.

Smith said the organization would like to move forward with the project as soon as possible. The Career and Technology Center will also help with construction, he added.

Council approved a request by Mayor Clardy to allow change collected in the town’s water fountain to be sent to the Childrens Miracle Network.

Clardy also asked town attorney Richard Thompson for advice in wording a statement concerning the pardon request being made by former mayor Marion Middleton.

Clardy said the town is the victim in the situation, and he recommended that an official statement be made by the town concerning the matter.

Thompson recommended that the statement be made by resolution and approved by council.

Council approved a motion to add the resolution to the agenda.

Because citizens may be for or against the pardon, according to Clardy, the motion was made that the town oppose the request for pardon, but include verbage that the issue has divided the town. Thompson and Mayor Clardy were to work on the exact wording.

Council approved the resolution 4-0 with Councilman Wade Pepper abstaining.

 

 

District One to add four school nurses

Anderson School District One is moving ahead with plans to add four school nurses to an existing staff of seven nurses. The district is in the process of interviewing applicants and should have the positions filled by the middle of March. The schools to receive nurses have not yet been determined according to district spokesperson Joanne Avery. Avery added that some nurse reassignments may be necessary to adjust the current work load.

The plan is part of a four-year initiative recently announced by the School Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). The program will be funded through a $350,000 grant from The Duke Endowment as first year funding of a four year request exceeding $1 million. The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.1 million according to SHIP. Additional funding from AnMed Health, the school districts of Anderson County and the S. C. Department of Education will be used.

Partners for a Healthy Community has agreed to help coordinate the initiative which will increase the number of nurses in schools to meet the recommended national standards of one nurse for every 750 students, put greater emphasis on prevention and wellness, create healthy school environments with the involvement of school health teams, and link students to community health and social services.

The organization will also work with each school district in developing and evaluating the program, linking school nurses to county resources, and developing additional funding  sources according to spokesperson Eleanor Dunlap.

Sharon Lothridge, a school nurse for District One is excited about the program. “Parents will have the peace of mind that their child’s health and safety needs are being handled by a real health care provider. Student screening for visual problems, hearing problems, scoliosis and high blood pressure will not only identify problems but the followup will be much more timely and extensive. Health problems which have been overlooked due to time constraints will be addressed,” Lothridge commented.

“Not only is The Duke Endowment grant making a school nurse’s dream come true but it promises to increase the possibility of a healthier future for the students, families, staff and communities that school nurses of Anderson County serve,” Lothridge added.

SHIP includes Partners for a Healthy Community, The Duke Endowment, AnMed Health, the five Anderson County school districts, the state Department of Education and Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Anderson County Council votes to relieve community water problem

Anderson County Council developed a solution to a water supply problem after several residents of a Honea Path community addressed the Council during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Carrie Long told the Council about contaminated wells and a lack of safe drinking water in her community which is located one-half mile outside the city limits of Honea Path on Oaktree Drive.

Long distributed copies of tests by the S. C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reporting that the water contains E. coli and fecal bacteria. Residents of the 13 homes in the area currently buy bottled water in order to have a safe water supply, she added.

Tonya Toran reported that her three children had suffered from skin rashes and that her mother had become physically ill when she visited them recently.

District 7 Council member Cindy Wilson requested that $35,000 from a matching grant fund be used to help solve the problem. County Administrator Joey Preston advised that those funds were already designated for other projects including a depot project for the Town of Pelzer.

After discussion of several options, Wilson eventually proposed that the funds come from the paving account for District 7. Six council members endorsed the proposal. Council member Fred Tolly abstained citing his position that paving funds be used only for that purpose.

In other action, Wilson proposed a resolution expressing that Council be involved in a proper bid procedure for the procurement of accountants to conduct the annual audit.

Wilson said that a “firewall” is needed between consulting and auditing referencing substantial amounts of money paid in consulting fees to the accounting firm which conducted this year’s audit.

Other comments from Wilson about reviewing the budget brought response from Council member Gracie Floyd who commented that Wilson was telling constituents that council members are not doing their job. “I’m on the job!” Floyd countered.

Council member Larry Greer took exception with the wording of the resolution saying that the word “proper” implied that past audits had not been conducted properly. An ensuing vote defeated the resolution. Wilson cast the only vote supporting the resolution.

The second reading of an ordinance regarding council procedures on agenda time limits received approval from six council members. Wilson cast the only opposing vote.

The third reading of an ordinance authorizing the leasing of office space at the Anderson Regional Airport to William Epstein received unanimous approval.

The council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance to rezone 10.68 acres on Lebanon Road from R-A (Residential Agriculture) to PD (Planning Development).

The second reading of an ordinance amending the master road list of all roads located and maintained by the county received no opposition.

Council members unanimously supported a $5000 request by Tolly for Anderson Sunshine House. Chairman Dees received approval for $625 for a sign at Pack Park in Piedmont and $4225 for electrical work at Hurricane Springs Park.

Wilson presented an extensive list of questions concerning the financial audit and budget matters to Preston for response. Preston asked for the questions in writing in order to research and properly respond.

A motion by Wilson to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in the Building and Codes Department died for lack of support from other council members.

Greer made a motion to cancel the council meeting scheduled for February 18 due to the involvement of several council members in a meeting in Columbia. Six members supported the motion; Wilson abstained.

The meeting ended with comments from Tolly about the history and progress of county government. Tolly said that “every facet of county government” has improved describing the difference as “day and night” over the last 10 years. He reminded the council of past financial problems and commented that things are now “running smoothly” in a “good, functioning county.”

 

 

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