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Edgefield County, South Carolina

July 18, 2005

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EDITORIAL

Integrity lost

Editorial

web posted July 18, 2005

Administrator Wayne Adams still refuses to be truthful in the matter of zoning the county and not bothering to tell the public. In the July, 13, 2005 edition of The Citizen News Mr. Adams is quoted as saying the new ordinances are, “zoning in name only.”

Well, isn’t that special.

Adams, who is trying hard to distract attention away from his actions, is still refusing to admit his dirty deed. Saying the ordinances create “zoning in name only,” is very much like shooting at someone with, “bullets in name only.”

It seems Administrator Adams is in a bit of a bind. It has been revealed that Adams did not inform council on the impact of the improperly inserted ordinances before the vote on June 22, 2005, a duty he is required to fulfill. Strike one.

Councilmen have stated they thought the ordinances would just prevent a single chicken farm from being placed on property in Trenton and had no idea they zoned the entire county. Aside from voting on legislation that is directed at one individual being ill-advised and probably illegal, having to find an escape hatch to explain their votes to constituents is forcing some interesting situations.

Both Councilmen Joel Hudson and Everett Kitchens were voted into office by those who oppose zoning yet both voted to zone the entire county without notice. Not knowing what they voted on falls at their feet entirely. Even Councilman Willie Bright has admitted he no longer supports the measures and is not very happy with the actions of the administrator.

However, Adams’ troubles go much deeper. After the initial vote Adams wrote a letter on behalf of the council explaining to the planning commission why the council was zoning the entire county. The problem was, however, council did not know they were zoning the county at the time. Adams also worded a Public Notice as to further misinform the people of the county. Strike two.

Once Edgefield Daily.com broke the story on the real intent of the ordinances, zoning the entire county, Adams reworded the notice to inform the people of the intent. Council, who has egg on their face, is desperately trying to find solid footing on which to stand in a sea of quicksand.

Many county residents are calling for Administrator Adams to be fired for his actions, we agree.

The ordinances were drafted by him, inserted by him, misrepresented by him, and the people of the county were deceived by him. Edgefield Daily.com has spoken to over a dozen people regarding the actions of the administrator and all used similar phrases in describing him and his actions. Terms like “dishonest”, “deceitful”, “crooked”, “untrustworthy” and “underhanded” top the list of adjectives used to describe him.

In addition to his actions, his grossly over exaggerated pay, almost $30,000 more than the mayor of Augusta who oversees thousands of employees and hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditures just does not jive with his position. Nor does it agree with the salary survey by the South Carolina Association of Counties.

In similar counties with similar populations and budgets it seems Adams earns more than double the pay of comparable positions. In addition, the report that was sent in by Edgefield County shows Adams’ salary as just over $45,000. We wonder how that happened.

Even at $45,000 Adams would be the highest paid county administrator for comparable counties. Adams makes almost double that in reality.

Councilman Norman Dorn stated that the administrator presented council with figures showing he was underpaid. We have checked the salary survey and can find no such supportive data.

It seems there is a pattern of not being completely honest in giving the council, or the people of Edgefield County, the correct information as he is required to do. Strike three.

Ten years is far longer than county administrators stay in their positions. It appears Adams has become a little too comfortable with his position and is playing loose and free with the truth, or lack thereof.

Edgefield Daily.com agrees with the impression the citizens we spoke with have of Mr. Adams. He has long lost the trust of the people and has now it seems he is not beyond misleading the county council. Maybe many times.

Adams should be removed from his position before he can do more damage to the trust the citizens of this county are supposed to have in their local government. Presently “trust” and “honesty” are not used to describe Mr. Adams or county government.




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