MOUNT PLEASANT — Planning Commission Chairman Steve Brock, who faces a possible Town Council vote of confidence Wednesday night, resigned from the commission during a previous term, but he indicated Monday that he has no plans to step down because of the current discord.
Brock said he has asked for a chance to respond to any charges made against him in an executive session that Councilman Joe Bustos said he has called to discuss Brock.
Mayor Harry Hallman sent Brock a letter on behalf of Council that cited his combative attitude toward Council and suggested that he consider resigning. Brock said Monday that he is assertive, not disrespectful. "If they're going to vote me out, fine," Brock said. "At least I don't have to spend the month of December worrying about it."
Brock denied Council's charge that he is waging war in the press. He said he did not provide a copy to the Moultrie News of an Oct. 22 attorney general's opinion that he requested, and he does not know who provided the legal opinion to the newspaper that says council changes to the comprehensive plan require commission approval.
Brock requested the attorney general's opinion on behalf of the Planning Commission, which Council and some commission members questioned because the commission did not vote on whether to ask for the opinion. Brock said the opinion would have been the same whether he requested it as an individual or on behalf of the Planning Commission. "I wasn't intending to say they (commission) voted for it (opinion)," he said.
Commission member Jim Dooley said Monday that he and other commissioners have expressed concern about Brock speaking on behalf of the commission to Council and the media without consulting the commission first.
"While he (Brock) had majority support to become chairman, he didn't have majority support for speaking independently or acting independently. I believe that the chair is a single vote and has a responsibility to take action as directed by the majority of the body he represents," Dooley said.
Council appointed Brock to the commission in 2005. Midway through his four-year term, commission members elected him chairman by a one-vote margin. During a previous term on the commission, he resigned because he disagreed with how Council's Planning and Development Committee handled an application from Seacoast Church.
Brock attended a Planning and Development Committee meeting Monday, during which Planning Commission member Phil Siegrist expressed support for him in an interview. Siegrist said in hindsight the Commission probably should have voted on whether Brock should seek the attorney general's opinion, but if a vote were taken today a majority of the commission would likely support Brock's action.