by Jake McElveen
The Clarendon County Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Jan 10. The meeting began with the usual formalities before moving on to service awards. There were nine separate individuals from the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office that all received a pin and a certificate for five years of service. None were able to make it to the council meeting due to COVID-related issues.
After the service awards, Council moved into a publid hearing for Ordinance 2021-10. The ordinance reads as follows:
An Ordinance PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF ELECTION DISTRICTS FOR THE ELECTION OF A GOVERNING BODY OF CLARENDON COUNTY AS PROVIDED FOR IN SOUTH CAROLINA CODE ANNOTATED SECTION 4-9-90 BASED ON THE 2020 DECENNIAL CENSUS.
What this means is that Council redrew the district lines within Clarendon County due to recent findings in the 2020 census.
This was done just ahead of the 2022 elections set to take place in April. At the public hearing, citizens were allowed to approach council with questions.
The first citizen to speak to council was Clarendon County GOP Chairman Moye Graham. Graham began his comments by giving council his certification to speak on the matter.
“I am here today to ask that we be fair to all the members of Clarendon County,” began Graham. “I was involved in [this] process 10 years ago.”
Graham went on to give his issues with the current re-districting.
“[Concerning the 2020 census], we have to go by what the numbers are today, not by what the numbers were in 2020,” said Graham. “We know that growth in this county has been fueled by Lake Marion. [...] I would like to see our County Council districts be drawn to have four or more County Council Seats, and only have one council member per seat. At the present time, District 2 has two elected members, Districts 1 and 3 have one. In other words, if you live in district two, you get to elect two members, if you live in District 1 or 3, you get to elect one.
Graham explained that this district seat organization started in 1972.
Following Graham, another citizen stood and discussed his issues, asking council to re-distrubite the citizens differently.
Robert McFadden took the stand next to speak his issues to the council.
“What we have right now is from 1972,” said McFadden. “I don’t know about the other citizens here, but I am tired of living in 1972.”
After hearing from a few more citizens, Council closed the public hearing before hearing finance, administratives, and chairman’s reports and then adjourning.
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