COTTAGEVILLE, SC (WCSC) – A day after resigning as the mayor of Cottageville, George White explained his decision Thursday.
"When I got in there I knew I had a fight on my hands," White said.
And after almost four years in office, White has called it quits.
"It's time for someone else to come up with some solutions," White said. "I presented everything I could."
White said when he first took office, traffic tickets were missing, seized money and drugs were gone and the town was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
He worked out a payment plan with the state treasurer's office and tried to find new ways to make money.
"I've tried to get a development agreement through,l a zoning ordinance through, and I've just been met with resistance," White said.
White cut his salary from $400 dollars a month to $20 dollars a month and cut council members to $10 dollars a month. Meanwhile, White said his family had to deal with dirty political smears.
"Personal attacks, articles in the newspaper just berating me," White explained. "They came out with a supposed affair between a former clerk and myself and mismanagement of funds for trips."
This January, when the new council was seated, White said bad turned worse.
"I've been dealing with this council for nine months and we've done nothing but fire our town clerk in nine months," White said.
He said the council's response to his ideas was usually "no comment," and the last straw was when a proposal for a new grocery store and two green industries was denied.
"They just do not want to accept new growth in Cottageville," White said.
Without growth and revenue the town could die and White said that is the council's plan.
"In fact, the mayor that's seated now signed a petition to do away with Cottageville," White said. "If you're on the inside it's a whole lot easier to get your agenda met."
While White was mayor he says his business suffered and so did his family. So now he is done.
"I pretty much threw up my hands," White said. "I knew we were not going forward."