SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Wednesday night the Summerville Town Council will introduce ordinances to change sections within the Code of Laws.
The two ordinances look to change some of the roles as Mayor and the Town Administrator.
On Mayor-elect Wiley Johnson's website he wrote in part, "This is not the office I was elected to serve by the people of Summerville. They did not elect me to serve as Councilman Johnson. These are powers that Berlin Myers used for decades to run the town in a smooth and coherent manner."
This will be the first reading for the ordinances. Both were added to the agenda this week.
The new proposed Chapter 2, Article II of the Code of Laws of the Town of Summerville entitled "Mayor" and "Council meetings" has several strikes and additions from the current ordinance.
In the ordinances below, it appears the italicized words have been added to the Code of Laws, while the words with a line through them, appear stricken.
Excerpts from the article including the following:
Section 2-69 discusses the compensation for the mayor and town council members.
"(a) Mayor: The annual compensation for the Mayor shall be $15,000 effective as of the first Wednesday, of January 2018; and
(b) Council: The annual compensation of town council members shall be $7,500.00
(c) Compensation of the mayor and town council shall be paid biweekly."
Johnson, said he's willing to take a cut in his pay as Mayor, and give more to the Town Administrator.
On Monday, at a Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Bill Collins announced he will be stepping down as acting administrator of the Town of Summerville effective at midnight on Wednesday.
When Mayor Collins was elected in 2011, he persuaded council to let him be the town administrator instead of hiring one. One reason was to save money.
He's served that position since then. Lisa Wallace will be the interim administrator until the position can be permanently filled.
Johnson has said, several times, that Summerville needs a town administrator.
When council and new leadership takes position in January, they will have the option to appoint Wallace permanently or hire a new administrator.
The new proposed Chapter 2, Article IV of the Code of Laws of the Town of Summerville entitled "Town Administrator" also has a few strikes and additions from the current ordinance.
An excerpt reads as follows:
"This is not what the people just voted for…this is hijacking the powers of a democratically elected officer and giving it away to others," Johnson posted to his website. "We expect to see this kind of coup in a banana republic, but not in Summerville."
In a phone conversation with District 1 Council Member Aaron Brown, he said he would likely vote against these two ordinances.
He said the people voted for Wiley Johnson to become Mayor, and by voting for these ordinances would be taking the right of the people away.
He added that it's wrong to go behind the residents of Summerville and do something like this.
As for an official decision on his vote, Brown said he would take everything under advisement once the ordinances are presented.
Phone calls and emails to the other five council members and Mayor Collins have not been returned at this time.