Nov. 19 runoff to
decideWilliamston Council seats
Williamston voters will go back to the polls for runoff elections Nov. 19 to decide if longtime incumbents Dr. Harold Mackey and Jimmy Rogers will continue to serve on Williamstons Council or if political challengers Greg Cole and Cecil Cothran will help set town policy in the future.
Cole said he felt like there would probably be a runoff election for the Ward One seat currently held by Dr. Mackey.
Cole said he would like to see more open government in Williamston, with more citizen input. He also said he would like to see citizens be more involved in the decision making of the mayor and council.
Cole thanked voters for their support in the general election and said he would also like to see citizen support at the runoff election Tuesday.
He campaigned on recruiting high paying industrial jobs and expansion of jobs already in place.
Dr. Mackey is campaigning on his leadership and experience. He has been a member of Williamston town council since 1976.
Mackey said that during his time on council, Williamston has received more than $7 million in grants for numerous projects.
He says he plans to work for job creation and other continued improvements in Williamston. He also said he will continue to seek grants to fund improvements.
Mackey said, I have deep gratitude and would like to thank the citizens for allowing me to serve for 34 years and to continue to serving to meet the needs of all of our citizens.
The Ward Two seat will also be decided in the Tuesday runoff .
Incumbent Jimmy Rogers will face Cecil Cothran.
Cothran, retired from a position in management with Milliken Cushman Plant, said he feels that it is time for a change and for fresh ideas in Williamstons city government.
He said his training in management and cost control would be an asset to the council position. He thanked voters for their support during the election.
Rogers has been in management with Bi-Lo for 30 years and has held the Town Council Ward 2 seat for 24 years.
Rogers said he has been a part of the growth and improvements in Williamston through the years and there are numerous projects in progress that he would like to see through completion.
He said he is working to bring new industry into the area, would like to see the police department updated and possible hire a code enforcement official for the town.
I cannot say enough thanks to the voters. I appreciate so much their concerns and their support to get out in the cold and rain on election day to cast their votes, Rogers said.
The nonpartisan runoff election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Also, all registered Williamston voters have the opportunity to vote for candidates in both wards, election officials said.
Any persons who were registered to vote in the Nov. 5 election can vote in the runoff election, whether or not they voted, election officials said.
Williamston Town Council members serve four-year staggered terms, with two seats coming up for reelection every two years. The two four-year terms will run from Jan. 1, 2003 to Dec. 31, 2006.
A recount held Friday including failsafe ballots showed John Sherard picked up 1 vote and Greg Cole picked up 5 additional votes in Ward One.
Cole received 330 votes, Mackey, 291 votes and Sherard, 288.
The remains of West Allen Williams will soon be buried alongside those of three family members recently reinterred in Williamstons Mineral Spring Park.
A reinterment ceremony and memorial service for Williamstons founder will take place this Sunday, Nov. 17.
Plans call for Williams skeletal remains to be brought by horse drawn caisson from Big Creek Baptist Church to the memorial gravesite located in the park.
The public is invited to participate in the procession which will begin at Big Creek Church at 12:45 and culminate with the reinterment of Williams remains and a memorial graveside service at 2 p.m. performed by Dale Harper at the burial site.
West Allen Williams is credited with founding the town first known as Mineral Springs. It was later renamed in his honor and was officially chartered Williamston on Dec. 16, 1852.
Williams, a large landowner with holdings in Anderson and Greenville counties, donated a part of his property around the mineral spring, to be used for churches and a school for the town which was growing around the medicinal springs.
After the town was chartered, several grand hotels could be found in Williamston including the Williamston Hotel in the mid 1850s, and the Williamston Springs Hotel, which made Williamston one of the largest resort centers in the South during the few years prior to the War Between the States.
Williams died Oct. 7, 1857 at the age of 56. The family cemetery located in southern Greenville County contained the graves of his mother, father and a brother.
Mary Williams, West Allens mother died Jan. 26, 1811 at age 41. His brother Samuel Williams, Jr., died in 1830 at the age of 27, as the result of drowning in the river near the home place. His father, Samuel Williams, Sr., died June 17, 1852. All three family members remains have been reinterred in their final resting place in Mineral Spring Park.
West Allen Williams wife is buried in Big Creek Cemetery as is Richard, the oldest brother of West Allen Williams.
Williamston Mayor Phillip Clardy first proposed moving the graves into the Williamston township shortly after taking office in January of 2001.
Clardy and family members had expressed concerns about the conditions of the family cemetery in which Williams was buried, which had remained a shambles for decades, hidden under brush and fallen tree limbs on a hilltop in Southern Greenville County.
Clardy said the graves of Williams and his family deserved to be in a place where they could be cared for and where they could be a memorial to the man recognized as the founder of Williamston.
A local family member Connie Barnwell, a great, great, great, great niece of West Allen Williams and other family members from as far as Texas have given their consent and are expected to be present for the service.
Williamston Town Council discussed the request at their September meeting.
Clardy said the timing of the graves being relocated to Williamston is exciting.
It is a very fitting event for one hundred fifty years since our founding, he said. Paying tribute to our founding father during our Sesquicentennial Celebration is a very moving thought, Clardy said.
Though damaged by vandals, the original marble and rock mausoleums were renovated and reassembled with the graves spaced as they were originally in the family grave plot on Holland Ford Road in South Greenville County, Clardy said.
Additional acknowledgement and memorial of the Williams family and their contribution to the township will also be placed at the gravesite, according to Clardy.
By respecting the families wishes, we are able to reacquaint our town with the legacy of its founder and make that vital history tangible to Williamstons people, Clardy said.
It will be something the town should be very proud of, Clardy said.
Duke Power will close its Main Street Williamston office Friday Nov. 15.
John Geer, Duke Power District Manager, said the closing is an effort to control cost and to serve more customers with fewer employees. He emphasized that Duke has done a good job of controlling cost since their charge per kwh hasnt increased since 1987. He also added that the average bill is 15% below the competition.
Improved customer services such as the call answering center at 231-5803 and the 1 800 POWER ON outage reporting line now give customers constant around the clock service.
Geer admits that collecting bills is one of the companys largest expenses. In addition to mailing payments, other payment options available are bank drafts, telephone payments with a credit card, and online payments at dukepower.com. Customers who prefer paying in person may still do so at Clinkscales Drug, 724 Anderson Street, Belton or at the main office at 200 Bleckley Street in Anderson.
Grace United Methodist Church is in the process of buying the building currently occupied by Duke Power.
The sale should be completed by the end of the year acccording to the churchs pastor, Rev. Karen Radcliffe.
The congregation has many ideas as to how the building could be used for the growth of the church according to Radcliffe. The Board of Trustees of the church will make the final decision about the future use of the facility, Radcliffe added.
The Williamston Fire Department has been awarded a $53,100 grant from the 2002 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Fire Administration announced the grant this week, according to Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison.
Ellison said the grant will be used to purchase a breathing air compressor, air cascade units and an emergency power generator for the fire station.
Congressman Lindsey Graham helped secure the grant and will make a check presentation to Williamston officials in December, according to Ellison.
Donaldson Center Fire Service Area also received a grant of $43,830
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is designed as an opportunity for the United States Congress to work with FEMA to enhance basic fire service delivery across the United States. Over 5,000 departments will receive $360 million to support fire protection, EMS delivery, vehicle purchase, and prevention programs in 2002.
The men and women of both volunteer and career fire departments confront new and changing life safety challenges every day, according to USFA Administrator R. David Paulison. President Bush has provided the USFA an opportunity to take some much needed steps in providing these people the right tools to be able to do their jobs safely and more efficiently.
It is our hope that this grant assistance program will demonstrate our commitment to improving fire and life safety across the country and will provide the necessary incentive for all Americans to join in supporting these brave men and women as they face the challenges of today, Paulison added.
Over 19,000 fire departments applied for grant awards this year. The request of the Williamston Fire Department has been through a national peer review process involving over 300 fire service leaders. FEMA is proud to announce the Williamston Fire Department is a 2002 grant award recipient. For further information, contact Chief Steve Ellison at (864) 847-4950 or Tom Olshanski, USFA Grant Information Coordinator, at (202) 646-3068.
USFA, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, serves the American public and the nations fire services through training, data collection and analysis, public fire education, and fire protection technology research. For more information including national fire statistics, visit the USFA web site at www.usfa.fema.gov.
West Pelzer officials approved the purchase of a used police vehicle and discussed providing waterlines to a mobile home park during their regular meeting Tuesday.
Council approved the purchase of a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice from Linda and Roy Bell for $6,000. The vehicle has low mileage.
Council also discussed the possibility of providing pipe to be installed in Atkins Trailer Park. The new owner, Jerry Atkins is working with the Town to upgrade and clean up the aging trailer park by providing new water lines and individual meters for each tenant. Atkins is also planning to pave the roadways in the park, Councilman Joe Turner said.
Atkins is also requesting a zoning change to allow 5 year old trailers in the park. The current town ordinance states only trailers less than 3 years old can be brought into the park.
Atkins stated in a letter to Council that the change will allow older trailers to be replaced.
Council members also thanked Peggy Paxton for her efforts in organizing the fall festival recently held at the Pelzer ballpark.
Paxton said she is planning a Christmas parade in West Pelzer for 10 a.m. Dec. 7. Plans call for Santa to ride in a horse drawn buggy.
Anyone interested in participating in the first West Pelzer parade in many years can contact Town Hall or call Paxton at 947-2807.
Council also heard comments from several citizens including Terry Davis and Hulon Ford.
Davis asked council to remove Mayor Alexander from his position because of comments allegedly made by Alexander after the July meeting of Council.
Ford requested that questions he asked at the July meeting be read from the minutes of that meeting.
Council then went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter.
At the October meeting, newly elected council member W. E. Bud Brown was sworn into office by Municipal Judge Roger D. Scott. Brown was elected Oct. 8 to fill the unexpired term of Wendel Trotter.
Also at that meeting, Council approved a recommendation by zoning administrator Charles Ellenburg to rezone property at 84 Main St. from residential to light commercial.
Also Mayor Alexander informed Council that sewer lines were being replaced on Ponderosa Drive at a cost of $3,800 by Owens Grading.West Pelzer trailer park
may see upgrades