||Last Updated: Apr 17, 2013 - 9:24:27 AM
Divisiveness has been a frequent part of Berkeley County Council proceedings for the last several years, so it likely came as little surprise to many when a disagreement arose in recent weeks over the Clerk to Council position.
Supervisor Dan Davis argued the position was his responsibility, while several Councilmembers countered that any person placed in the job was to be approved and managed by Council. It seems now, however, that a new tone of accord has been established between the two entities – one they hope will foster an environment in which problems can be addressed in a more diplomatic and productive manner.
In what both parties view as a resolution inspired by the constituents they serve, County Supervisor Dan Davis and Berkeley County Council members put the controversy to rest after reaching a compromise last week.
“After extensive discussions, I am very pleased that an agreement has been reached that is in the best interests of Berkeley County," said Supervisor Dan Davis. "I appreciate the efforts made by members of Council to set aside our differences and resolve this issue. I look forward to continuing to work with Council members to build a better future for Berkeley County."
According to a press release on the resolution, the agreement provides that the Clerk to Council shall be appointed by a positive majority vote of Council. A new position will be created under the Supervisor to serve as a liaison between staff and the Clerk to Council office. This proposal fulfills the needs and addresses the concerns raised by both the Supervisor and some members of County Council.
Councilman Tim Callanan said he was “pleased with the resolution that was reached and believes his concerns over Council’s authority were recognized and protected.” According to Callanan, the liaison position will be created by transferring a job from one department to another, at no additional cost to taxpayers. The Council is currently working on job descriptions for both positions.
Councilman Ken Gunn, who participated in the meeting and resolution, added he was “pleased that Council and the Supervisor found common ground in a prompt manner to eliminate this issue.”
“I am delighted we were able to reach an amicable agreement,” added Davis. “I hope this affirmative resolution signals a turn in the road. I want the entire Council to be able to openly come to the table and engage in cooperative discussions on all matters. We may not always agree, but we can certainly come to an agreement.”
“I hope this will lead to a more productive and cooperative environment on Council to the benefit of all Berkeley County Citizens,” said Callanan.
It is anticipated Council will appoint a Clerk at a meeting later this month. Previously, Council’s Committee on Human Resources and Purchasing unanimously approved Interim Clerk Catherine Windham to be the Clerk to Council.