Herrington to take over as Meggett mayor; council will have one newcomer

Buster Herrington

Kristen Hankla

MEGGETT -- Voters decided Tuesday that an incumbent and one of two challengers will fill the two open seats on Town Council.

As expected, Councilman Buster Herrington, who ran unopposed for mayor, was chosen to succeed Mayor Grange Coffin Jr., who is retiring after 30 years as the town's highest elected official.

Herrington, co-owner of Herrington Equipment Inc., received 97 percent of the votes, according to unofficial returns. There were six write-in votes cast for others, Gail Seabrook, Meggett's Planning and Zoning Administrator and also a poll worker, said.

Herrington said after the votes were counted that he was both "relieved and excited." He noted that nothing can be taken for granted in elections, even when you are running unopposed. He said he hopes to continue the work Coffin did to preserve the town's rural character.

Seabrook said about 26 percent of the town's approximately 900 registered voters turned out.

Councilman Tom Hutto, who was seeking a second term, was the leading voter getter in the council race, where he received 46 percent of the vote. Joining him on council will be Matt Zender, who received 38 percent.

Richard Douglas, 37, a former Charleston police officer, received 16 percent.

Hutto, 50, is a geologist and environmental consultant with The GEL Group (formerly General Engineering). Zender, 70, is a former Marine who retired after 23 years with Ford Motor Co., and is currently a member of the Meggett Board of Zoning Appeals.

Tuesday's winners will be sworn in May 23, when Coffin, 81, Meggett's mayor since 1981, will step aside for Herringrton. Herrington is currently mayor pro tem.

Herrington said he hopes to streamline town operations and improve communications between the town and its residents. He said he'd like to upgrade services, "especially the anti-litter campaign and recycling program."

Meggett residents presently must haul their recyclables to a Charleston County facility in Hollywood, and though that is not likely to change, Herrington said he'd like to encourage more residents to participate.