By Stan Welch
Anderson County Council spent more than an hour in executive session Tuesday night, receiving legal advice on several issues. Key among them was the recent ruling by the South Carolina Court of Appeals in the County’s favor in the matter of former administrator Joey Preston’s severance agreement. The court declared that agreement null and void.
The action taken by the Council following the extended session was to instruct the county attorney to “preserve all legal arguments in the Preston case.” The move is essentially a pre-emptive one, in anticipation of a further appeal by Preston’s attorneys.
An attorney familiar with, but not associated with, the case said simply that Preston’s attorneys had little to lose by continuing their appeal. “They have a lot of fees still on the table, so why wouldn’t they keep fighting?”
The Council also gave second reading approval to the budget, with the understanding that additional budget workshops and changes to the budget will precede the third and final reading later this month. District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson stated that there were sizable discrepancies on several budget items, but blamed a large part of the problem on the failure of the state to provide accurate numbers on the amount that will be returned to the counties as the local aid to subdivisions.
“It makes it very difficult for us at the county level to budget funds that we don’t know the actual amount of. It’s almost impossible to reach accurate figures in our budget.” District One Councilman Craig Wooten voted against the proposed budget after expressing his concerns over the budget process itself.
Economic development director Burriss Nelson released information concerning the dissolution of a partnership between Bosch and DENSO International America Inc. The Associated Fuel Pump Systems Corporation, or AFCO, was established in 1989 in Anderson County. It currently employs 346 people. Upon dissolution next year, Bosch will relocate its operations to Campinas, Brazil, while DENSO will relocate to Athens, Tennessee.