On The Record
Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield
PO Box 972
Dr. Skip Myers
State and Federal
Local Political Parties
Chamber of Commerce
The Jail Report
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
past articles please visit our Archives
Tensions Evident at County Council Meeting
web posted September 11 2012
EDGEFIELD – The Edgefield County Council
held their rescheduled meeting Monday night in a room that could feel
the tension that began from the opening when Chairman Dean Campbell
asked for a motion to approve the agenda to get the meeting underway
and no motion came. It was only after a much delayed second call for a
motion that Councilman Rodney Ashcraft gave the nod and Campbell
quickly gave the second and the agenda was approved. That set the tone
for the rest of the meeting.
The first order of business, a final reading on setting the
Parliamentary Procedures on how meetings are conducted, met with a
tirade by Councilman Norman Dorn that often times had nothing to do
with the ordinance and was unintelligible at other times. Dorn
complained that he did not know, "who is staff", when mentioned in the
agenda. Of course "staff" consists of the employees of the county
council; County Administrator, Finance Director, Clerk to Council,
County Attorney, and others.
After Dorn's rant, the ordinance was passed on a 4-1 vote with Dorn
The following four items, three second readings of ordinances listed to
have a public hearing that was advertised with the wrong meeting date
and a first reading of a Resolution to adopt a "Pending Ordinance
Doctrine", which imposes the ordinance before final approval, were held
over until the regular October meeting.
Following the appointment of board members; Duane Faust to the Fire
Board, Barbara Jackson to the Hospital Board, and Councilman Willie
Bright to the Recreation Board - all approved unanimously - the tension
grew with the next two agenda items.
The first was to provide additional compensation for County Attorney
Michael Medlock to represent the county is tax appeals to the
Administrative Law Judge. Medlock sought to have additional hours spent
representing the county in court with a fee of up to $2,500 per appeal.
Medlock stated that this was work beyond his required duties.
Councilman Willie Bright stated that the county attorney has almost
always attended these types of hearings in the past at no additional
pay. Following a lengthy discussion, with another rambling tirade about
"taxpayer money" by Dorn, the motion died for a lack of a motion.
Next on the agenda was a related resolution on the filing of a lawsuit
against the Brewers Scrap Metal business on Woodyard Road in Trenton.
According to the agenda, part of the business is located closer than
500 feet from the closest residence and several noise complaints have
been issued to the county. The main focus is the scales which were in
place when the present company took over the property prior to the
current regulations being put in place.
In addition, Medlock was again requesting up to $2,500 for filing and
prosecuting the enforcement of the Land Use Ordinance, which did not
require a vote of the county council. Councilman Dorn stated he would
support paying the extra "fee" if the lawsuit would include the
business owner paying the attorney fees if the county won the case.
Medlock said he would include that in his filing.
Vice-Chairwoman Genia Blackwell made the motion to table the item until
more information could be provided on whether the county could include
recovering attorney fees, which Medlock said was doubtful. The item was
tabled on a vote of 4-1 with Dorn voting against.
During the discussion Medlock said following Dorn's remark that he did
not see a problem in paying him for extra work, which had already been
defeated in the previous vote. He suggested council review the previous
item and that a big case - already filed - was going to be heard next
week and that if the extra funds were not provided, "I'm not going", to
represent the county.
That drew wide-eyed looks from members of council.
Chairman Campbell stated that he expected Medlock to file for a
continuance in the case with Medlock balking at first that he did not
know if it would be continued.
Other ordinances passed were a first reading on the definition of
"manufactured housing" which received unanimous support. A request to
seek a new employee to fill a slot left open by Roger LeDuc taking the
new job as part-time administrator for the Town of Edgefield passed on
a 4-1 vote, Dorn voting no. An agreement to extend a lease between the
Edgefield Catholic Church and the county for use of their parking lot
for $600 a year also passed on a 3-0 vote. Councilman Dorn went on a
rant and then walked out of the meeting and Councilman Ashcraft recused
himself from the vote as a member of the church.
Under the Administrator's Report, Administrator Lynn Strom said that
Vice-chair Genia Blackwell sent a packet to each affected property
owner that would be in the Highway Overlay District (HOD) along
Martintown Road that is being proposed. Strom said that several people
have already contacted her and Vice-chair Blackwell and she supported
Blackwell mailing the information out to property owners. The HOD is
not currently scheduled to be on the agenda and has been taken in as
information only at this time.
Administrator Strom also stated that the South Carolina Department of
Transportation (SCDOT) has reviewed complaints about tractor trailer
trucks on Sweetwater Road and has agreed that some signage needs to be
changed reducing speed limits in some areas and that guardrails were
also probably needed in other areas. Strom said that just because the
road and suggestions had been accepted, there is no timeframe as to
when SCDOT will act upon them.
Vice-chairwoman Genia Blackwell announced at the close of the meeting
that she, Merriwether Fire Chief Joey Smith, Fire Board member Ray
Johnson and Administrator Strom has attended a meeting with Ambassador
Hank Cooper and his wife Bobbye Cooper and that they were willing to
donate up to 4 acres to the county that includes the old "Copper
School", later registered as the Sweetwater Community Center, to the
Blackwell said that it is hoped that public donations would be
available to bring the community center back to life and that there is
a possibility of establishing a fire station and EMS base on the
property as well. Firefighters from Merriwether and the Westiside Fire
Department spent a considerable amount of time clearing the overgrowth
around the building and removing debris from the property.
The acceptance of the property is expected to take place in October.
"This is something very exciting for District 5 and I hope to see it
come together." Councilman Bright said, "That's a nice place.
The council went into executive session to discuss a "personnel matter"
following the end of the business meeting including County
Administrator Strom and Attorney Medlock. Half way through the meeting
Medlock returned to the chambers while the closed session continued.
Council returned to open session and no action was taken.
With no other business the meeting was adjourned.
Editor's note: Other matters discussed at the county council meeting
will be covered in a follow up report on Wednesday.
© Copyright 2012 All material is property of
Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and
cannot be reproduced,
redistributed without expressed written permission.
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in.
Help create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.