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Government

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Daylong goal session Saturday

City starts 2016-17 budget process

By Greg Summers

Members of Lancaster City Council will start hashing out the municipality’s financial issues for the upcoming year by holding a budget goal session meeting Saturday, Feb. 6.
The meeting is open to the public, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.
“We are now 50 percent through the budget year, which means we get to start planning for the next one,” said city Finance Director James Absher.  
The meeting includes council discussions, as well as feedback from the city’s 10 department heads.

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Businessman Mosteller says he’ll run for District 3 seat

Bundy won’t seek 2nd term

By Chris Sardelli

After just one term as the District 3 representative for Lancaster County Council, Bob Bundy has decided not to run again for the seat.
Bundy, who was elected in 2012 and became council chairman in 2015, made the announcement this week. He cited his upcoming retirement from the University of South Carolina Lancaster in December and his desire to spend more time with family as reasons for the decision.
On the heels of that announcement, local business owner Billy Mosteller announced Tuesday that he plans to run for the seat.


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City council makes board appointments

By Greg Summers

Lancaster City Council stuck to its guns and light agenda when making new appointments to nine municipal boards and commissions at its first meeting of 2016 on Jan. 12.
Council was set to make 19 appointments to 10 total boards, but nominations for the city’s planning commission were mistakenly omitted from the meeting agenda.
Since the agenda was approved prior to the votes, one appointment to the city’s planning commission could not be made.


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Solicitor: Avoid branding offenders as criminals

A new idea for handling bad checks

By Chris Sardelli

Victims of bad checks, as well as the people who write them, will soon have a new process to turn to in Lancaster County, which could save merchants money and prevent criminal records before they begin.
Known as the worthless-check unit, the initiative is one of several alternative court ideas envisioned by Sixth Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman and designed to cut down on case backlogs, criminal records and expenses for merchants.
Lancaster County Council unanimously approved the first steps toward forming the unit during its meeting Jan. 11.


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Newton picks up endorsements, draws crowd

By Greg Summers

On his first day as a candidate, Brandon Newton gained several endorsements from local political veterans and a room full of onlookers at the press conference announcing them.  
More than 80 people showed up at the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Carole Ray Dowling Center as 21-year-old Newton officially announced he will seek the S.C. House District 45 seat.
Newton said he decided to run after S.C. Rep. Deborah Long recently announced she would not seek a fifth term.


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Filing starts today in special election to replace mayor

By Greg Summers

Lancaster mayoral candidates can begin filing today for the Feb. 23 special election to replace the late Joe Shaw.
Candidates can file from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays at the county voter registration office at the Lancaster County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St. Filing ends at noon Dec. 31.
The special election will fill the remaining term of Mayor Shaw, who died Nov. 29. The term ends in 2018.


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Council debates use of $2.8M in courthouse sales-tax money

By Chris Sardelli

An upgraded courthouse security system, leg restraints for prisoners and a new courtroom are some of the proposals being considered for how to use a $2.8 million surplus from the courthouse sales-tax fund.
With the fund nearing the end of its seven-year lifespan, and with several million dollars still left on the table, officials discussed what to do with the money during Lancaster County Council’s Dec. 14 meeting.


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Council approves fund reallocation for sheriff’s office

By Chris Sardelli

County officials have approved a short-term solution to keep deputies from leaving the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, and a more permanent plan to retain employees is in the works.
Lancaster County Council unanimously voted Dec. 14 to reallocate $218,462 in the sheriff’s office budget to help bolster the salaries of existing deputies. Originally designated for the hiring of several new deputies, the funding was moved to help incentivize existing employees and stem the tide of deputies leaving for jobs at nearby agencies.


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Newton to run for House 45 seat in 2016

By Chris Sardelli

Brandon Newton, the 21-year-old chairman of the Lancaster County Republican Party, is running for the S.C. House District 45 seat.
Though it’s only been a few days since S.C. Rep. Deborah Long announced she would not seek a fifth term next year, Newton revealed his intent to run Dec. 14.


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McClancy rezone vote fails at council

‘Deader than a doornail’

By Chris Sardelli

It took three votes, more than two hours of comments and debate, and one woman escorted from the room by a deputy, but Lancaster County Council ultimately voted against a rezoning request for McClancy Seasoning on Dec. 14.
The rezoning, which many thought was dead and buried following council’s vote to deny it Nov. 9, was back up for discussion after Councilman Steve Harper made a motion Nov. 23 to reconsider the vote. Harper said he made the motion so he could amend the ordinance to allow for a B-3 commercial rezoning.


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