S’ville may hire former county chief

The Summerville Town Council'sFinance Committeevoted to enter into negotiations with former Dorchester County Administrator Colin Martin (right).

SUMMERVILLE — Summerville’s next administrator could be a man who knows the area very well.

After a lengthy executive session Wednesday, the Finance Committee, which includes the entire council, voted to enter into negotiations with former Dorchester County Administrator Colin Martin.

The vote, like most since Mayor Wiley Johnson took office, was 4-3, with Johnson and council members Christine Czarnik and Aaron Brown dissenting.

“Colin just wasn’t my first choice, that’s all,” Johnson said after the meeting.

Johnson said three of six finalists dropped out of consideration, leaving council to try to figure out in executive session whether to continue the search or start over. The other finalists were Jason Taylor of Beaufort and Seth Lawless of Knightsdale, N.C.

“Four out of 12 finalists dropped out, so that told us right there that we probably have gotten our best candidates,” Johnson said.

Martin, who was not at the meeting, was deputy administrator of Dorchester County for two years and administrator from 2000 to 2004. In 2007, he became executive director of Berkeley County Water and Sewer Authority. He was one seven department heads fired when Supervisor Bill Peagler took office in January 2015.

He currently is “retired,” Johnson said. Martin is also retired from the Navy.

After the meeting, Councilman Walter Bailey said he felt that all three candidates were strong, but that Martin’s experience put him above the others.

There were 73 applicants for the position, which is expected to pay at least $125,000 annually.