Council work session previews March 2 meeting

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By David Meade

During a work session held Monday, three members of Williamston Town Council and the mayor aired out differences which have led to an effort to change the town’s current form of government. The issue of how the mayor and council should govern came up for the second time in recent months after public blowback resulting from the town’s street enhancement project.

A representative of the SC Municipal Association was also present at the meeting.

Williamston operates under a strong mayor form of government, which basically gives the mayor authority to run the town on a day to day basis and to make major decisions as the town’s administrator. Council sets policy and has budget oversight.

Councilmembers David Harvell, Otis Scott and Rockey Burgess have all expressed frustration with what they say is a lack of being informed by the mayor on projects and issues affecting the town.

The issue of changing the form of government will be addressed at the March 2 meeting of council. Specific wording on an ordinance setting a date and other details of the referendum will be presented for council to consider at their next meeting.

Also in preparation for the council meeting next week, there was discussion on accepting a lot needed for the Gatewood temporary access project and use of hospitality tax funds for events.

Council will entertain a request by The Greater Williamston Business Association for funding for a Party in the Park event in May.

There was also brief discussion on concrete testing on the Mineral Spring Trail project which is expected to begin soon.