Charleston County Council has tentatively decided to televise and Webcast the council's regular meetings, but not the committee meetings where most discussion takes place.

Council members were divided on the question of televising the committee meetings and voted 4-3 against recommending that they be broadcast.

That decision could change Tuesday when the full council meets. At the Finance Committee meeting Thursday, Councilmen Vic Rawl and Paul Thurmond were not present for the vote.

Councilman Dickie Schweers called for having council's regular meetings and committee meetings broadcast and was supported in that motion by council members Joe McKeown and Colleen Condon. They were outvoted by Council Chairman Teddie Pryor, Vice Chairman Elliott Summey, Henry Darby and Curtis Inabinett.

Pryor did not give a detailed reason for opposing the broadcast of committee meetings but expressed some concern that having cameras at council meetings could cause "some people to seek stardom."

Similar concerns were raised in the city of Charleston on Tuesday, when City Council voted to have Comcast broadcast their meetings.

For the city and the county, council meetings would be filmed and broadcast by Comcast Cable at no charge, as part of the franchise agreements with the governments.

Schweers said he wants the public to be able to view County Council meetings without having to attend, and he's concerned that broadcasting only the regular council meetings won't serve that purpose well.

Typically, County Council votes on many items at the main Tuesday meetings without any discussion or explanation because the discussions took place the previous Thursday in committee meetings.

"Our council meetings don't have much detail," Schweers said. "I really think we'd only be giving the public 10 percent of the package if we just do the main council meeting."

In other business at the Finance Committee meeting, council members voted to extend County Attorney Joe Dawson's contract for four more years. Schweers cast the lone vote against the extension.

Dawson's contract was due to expire in November. He works as a contract employee, so his pay varies month to month, but county records show that he's been paid about $21,500 each month this year.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or