By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlington County Council convened their first meeting of 2019 on Jan. 2 and started the evening by swearing in the new representative for District 6 (Hartsville), Albert Davis III.
“Thank you to the citizens of Darlington County for giving me this opportunity to serve you in District 6,” said Davis, adding special thanks to his family and to Senator and Mrs. Gerald Malloy for their advice and support. Davis expressed eagerness to work with other members of County Council in the coming years.
Davis takes over for the retired Mozella “Pennie” Nicholson, who represented District 6 for 15 years.
Returning Council members Dannie Douglas (District 2, Society Hill), Bobby Hudson (District 4, Lamar), and David Coker (District 8, Hartsville) also took the oath and resumed their duties for another four-year term.
Probate Judge Marvin Lawson, who also won re-election in November, officiated the swearing-in ceremony.
Council then elected officers for the year. Bobby Hudson resumes his role as chair, with Lewis Brown (District 7, Hartsville/Kelleytown) as vice chair and Dannie Douglas as chaplain.
On the regular agenda, Council held three public hearings and readings for lease agreements.
The first renews a one-year agreement with Louene Baker to serve as caretaker at Lake Darpo. The agreement allows the caretaker to reside in a house by the lake in exchange for performing maintenance services. The lessee pays their own utilities and receives $100 per month from the county. The agreement passed without objection.
The second renews a $600 per month rental agreement with Linda Faircloth to lease space in Lamar’s Robert L. Grooms Building to host the Prosperity Child Care Center. The lease expires on Dec. 31, 2019.
The agreement passed without objection.
The third agreement, leasing space in the Society Hill Neighborhood Center to Jacqueline Dubose for a Jumping 2 New Heights Double Dutch program, was carried over at the request of the county administrator.
Council also approved third reading for Ordinance No. 18-14, which amends the FY 2018/19 budget to add two new employee positions.
The ordinance extract explained that revenues collected by the Darlington County Treasurer’s office would be used to hire an additional tax clerk and provide an additional position for a deputy/assistant administrator. This includes a supplemental General Fund appropriation of $70,174.
Also at this meeting, Mr. and Mrs. James Lee Miller and George Cannon, all citizens from the South Hartsville community, asked for help with persistent flooding problems.
Cannon tempered his comments with thanks for the recent efforts made by Darlington County Roads and Bridges to address these concerns.
Darlington resident Gladys Wingate Jules spoke about the possibility of inviting representatives from the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation to make a presentation in Darlington County. According to their website, www.heirsproperty.org, the Charleston-based non-profit “protects heirs’ property and promotes its sustainable use to provide increased economic benefit to historically under-served families.” Wingate Jules said that if even a small group of citizens expresses interest, a presentation could be arranged. She said those wishing to contact the Center can call 843-745-7055.
“What’s wonderful is that all the services are absolutely free,” said Wingate Jules.
Council member Bobby Kilgo offered his legal services to help, if needed, and voiced support for the idea and the organization.