Summerville Town Council’s Feb. 10 revision of an ordinance pertaining to mayoral authority starts out: “The mayor shall perform the duties of chief executive officer of the town in a manner consistent with these ordinances and state law.” So why do four council members think that they don’t have to hold to the same standard?
When the ordinance came up on the agenda, Mayor Johnson advised council that the town code provides clear instructions for amending existing ordinances.
Rather than following those directives, council members interrupted with childish shouting, completely disrespecting the attending public’s right to know and understand what the mayor was attempting to explain.
It was a scenario similar to the January council meeting when Mayor Johnson pointed out that state law requires proposed ordinances to be introduced in the form required for final adoption, and that the first reading held last November had not been in such form and therefore wasn’t valid.
Why does the new mayor have to point out state law and town code to four long-time council members who should be familiar with them? If law and code are ignored in this instance, where would that stop? Where does the town attorney stand in all this? The public has a right to answers.
And council better conduct itself professionally if it hopes to attract a new town administrator of the quality that Mayor Johnson campaigned for and that this town so desperately needs.
Linda B. Behling