After a contentious meeting in which North Charleston Councilman Bobby Jameson believes he was publicly embarrassed, Jameson has told the mayor and colleagues that he will no longer attend City Council meetings.
Jameson apparently does not plan to resign his council seat, with two years remaining on his third term in office.
Mayor Keith Summey said he hopes Jameson will reconsider his plan to stop attending the meetings after this week. Summey was on vacation last week and missed the Sept. 19 meeting when a vote on a zoning issue upset Jameson.
“He’s been a good councilman for 10 years,” Summey said. “I told him that if he were to do this, it could be seen negatively.
“It will all blow over,” Summey said. “I think some feelings were hurt.”
At issue last week was a plan to build a Sunoco gas station next to homes in the Deer Park neighborhood, in Jameson’s district. Jameson supported zoning and land-use changes needed for the gas station and convenience store, and typically on a zoning issue, other members of council would go along with the desire of the member representing the district.
However, the Sunoco rezoning was voted down 6-3, and Jameson blamed Councilman Ron Brinson, whose brother and sister-in-law live in Deer Park. Brinson has denied attempting to sway other members of council, and said he hopes Jameson will remain involved on council.
“This is about doing the right thing for the people,” Brinson said. “This is about maintaining the dignity of City Council.”
Jameson said Friday that the zoning vote outcome “embarrassed me, and it embarrassed me for my city, in front of people who were ready to invest $4 million in my city.”
He said Brinson “messed things up” and “hasn’t been on council long enough to know the rules of the game.” Jameson also directed some frustration at constituents; some neighborhood residents had spoken against the Sunoco plan at two council meetings.
In an e-mail obtained by The Post and Courier, Jameson said residents of his City Council District 3 should direct future concerns about zoning and land use to Brinson or his relatives, because “they seem to know what is best for my area.”
“I am no longer going to waste my time and effort working for people who have no appreciation for all that I have done for this community over the past 17 years,” Jameson wrote, referring to his time on City Council and his time as a neighborhood council leader.
Deer Park Neighborhood Council President Beth Evans said she hopes Jameson will continue to represent the area’s interests.
“I’ve been told that he’ll no longer attend meetings at City Hall, and will no longer attend Deer Park neighborhood meetings,” she said. “My concern is that, if it is true, how will the residents of District 3 be represented for the next two years?”
Jameson did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment Monday or Tuesday.
Councilwoman Rhonda Jerome, who is Jameson’s sister, said that like the mayor, she has urged Jameson to continue serving and attending meetings.
“I think, in his heart, he’s dead serious,” she said Tuesday. “I’m working on him, because I want him to finish out his two years the right way.”
“He does have a temper, but we all do,” Jerome said.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.
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