Davis joins Darlington County Council; Hudson to continue as chairman

January 3, 2019
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With his wife, Whitney, holding the Bible, Albert Davis III of Hartsville takes the oath of office to become the newest member of the Darlington County Council as Darlington County Probate Judge Marvin Lawson administers the oath.

DARLINGTON, S.C. - Three returning members and one new member of the Darlington County Council took the oath of office Wednesday to begin new four-year terms.

Albert Davis III of Hartsville is the council’s newest member. Davis will represent District 6 on the council. The Democrat defeated a Republican candidate, former Hartsville High School athletics director Phyllis Griggs, in the Nov. 6 general election.

He replaces former council member Mozella “Pennie” Nicholson of Hartsville, who did not seek re-election in 2018 after 16 years on the council.

Returning members are Dannie Douglas of Society Hill in District 2, Bobby Hudson of Lamar in District 4 and David Coker of Hartsville in District 8.

After the swearing- in ceremonies, officiated by Darlington County Judge of Probate Marvin Lawson, members got down to the business of electing officers for the new year.

Hudson was elected unanimously to serve a fourth one-year term as chairman of the council. Lewis Brown of Hartsville will serve the next year as vice chairman. Brown received five votes to two for now former Vice Chairman Le Flowers, who received two votes. Flowers was not at the meeting.

And Douglas was unanimously re-elected to another term as the chaplain of the council.

Members welcomed Davis to the council. And Davis expressed his gratitude to voters. “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to the citizens of Darlington County for allowing me to serve you,” he said. Davis said he would work to be a council member for all of Darlington County.

Members looked back on 2018, which nearly all characterized as challenging, and thanked particularly first responders and emergency services staff for their efforts during hurricanes Florence and Michael and heavy rains from other weather events during the year.

“I have never in my life seen as much water as I have in the last three months,” Douglas said.

Members also heard more concerns about poor drainage conditions in neighborhoods in the South Hartsville area.

But they also heard something a little different this time when Hartsville resident George Cannon, who has appeared before the council many times about drainage problems in the South Hartsville area, expressed encouragement at recent responses and efforts and better communications from county officials. “Right now, I have strong faith in what I see,” Cannon said.

In other business, the council gave final approval to an ordinance amending the current budget to include just over $70,000 for salaries and benefits for two new county employee positions.

The money is additional funding collected by the Darlington County Treasurer’s Office and will cover wages, insurance and retirement payments for a tax clerk position in the treasurer’s office to track vehicle renewal stickers and an additional position in administration for a deputy/assistant administrator.

By law, the county has to approve an ordinance to amend the budget to allocate the additional $70,174. The funding comes from parts of two supplements from current tax revenue ($50,000) and miscellaneous revenue ($20,174).

The miscellaneous revenues are generally unexpected refunds or money turned back to the county that was not itemized on that year’s budget and can come from a various number of sources.

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