Mayor Bob McLean and a political opponent, Ricky Martin, parried again at Clinton City Council, McLean accusing Martin of slander and pointing to Martin’s failure to complete required paperwork during his unsuccessful attempt to unseat the mayor.
The remarks McLean reportedly found slanderous concerned the lawsuit involving Clinton and other members of the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency regarding electricity rates. Laurens Commission of Public Works is one of the entities on one side, and the City of Clinton is on the other.
Martin said he read of bribes alleged by “my mayor,” and McLean said later that his name was nowhere in the text of the lawsuit.
Another topic of Martin's remarks was the former Martha Dendy school property. He criticized the city for being unresponsive to activism within the African American community regarding the former middle school.
Other than that, the Monday meeting was reportedly smooth.
McLean read aloud the text of a city media release stipulating that electricity rates are stable. He said media reports about the possibility of a rate increase, tied to PMPA deliberations, had caused an uproar in the town.
Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Clinton Economic Development Corporation’s attempt to secure a loan of up to $4,900,000 in order to build a third speculative building to attract business. General Electric bought the first spec building. The CEDC is close to selling the second, according to director Marvin Moss. Responsibility for the loan to move ahead on a third building is with the CEDC, not the city.
In order to refurbish and repair the clock downtown, at Main and Broad, Council approved $6,056.20 for work to be performed by Verdin Company.
City Manager Bill Ed Cannon reported that he is working with urban forester Dena Whiteside and the state Department of Transportation to plant new trees and repair sidewalks on South Broad Street. The DOT removed many large trees from the scenic area that runs from downtown south with Presbyterian College on one side and Thornwell Home on the other.
Council agreed to sell property to CrossFit864 LLC for a space on which it already operates a fitness business.
Members of City Council apportioned themselves on various boards and commissions by unanimous approval.
The appointments were: Ronnie Roth as Mayor Pro Tem; Danny Cook, Shirley Jenkins and Megan Walsh to the Audit Committee; Robbie Neal and Roth to Economic Development and Mayor McLean to the economic-development Executive Committee; Roth to the YMCA Board; Cook, Jenkins and Walsh to Community Assistance Grant; McLean, Gary Kuykendall and Cook to Gas Authority; Kuykendall, Roth and Walsh to Judicial; McLean, Neal and Kuykendall to Recreation; McLean, Cook and Jenkins to Rules; and Jenkins to Council of Governments.
In addition to Martin, Sherri Amick participated in the public-comment period to discuss calls to police regarding the trashing of her property and disturbing the peace.
Council took no action after spending two hours in executive session to deliberate over a contractual matter regarding School District 56, a contractual matter regarding sale and purchase of city-owned property, a legal matter regarding PMPA and a personnel matter relating to the Office of the City Manager.
The September City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 6 p.m.