Summerville Council votes to limit mayor’s powers, hire administrator

Wiley Johnson

Summerville Town Council moved ahead with limiting the mayor’s powers Wednesday night.

Two ordinances stipulate that Mayor Wiley Johnson will preside over council meetings, but an appointed town administrator will handle daily business, according to a report by the Summerville Journal Scene.

Mayor Bill Collins did away with the town administrator position, saying it was a way for the town to save money. Some objected that it gave the mayor too much power.

The votes clear the way for the town to hire a new administrator. One of the ordinances denies the mayor the authority to give direction to the administrator or to any of the department heads without a vote of council. The other clarifies the mayor’s role on council.

Immediately after the meeting, a citizens group calling itself Summerville Concerned Citizens announced it will begin collecting signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot to restore the authority of the mayor’s office. The referendum will ask voters to approve a change in the form of town government from a pure “council” form of government to a “mayor-council” form of government.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.