Howard unanimous pick for mayor pro tempore

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By Jesef Williams

A longtime Lancaster City Council member is once again taking on a leadership role.

At its Tuesday, Jan. 8, meeting, City Council unanimously voted to appoint  John Howard as mayor pro tempore. 

That means Howard acts as city mayor in Joe Shaw’s absence.

Howard, 62, who represents District 5, has served on City Council since 1982. He said this is his third time serving as mayor pro tempore.

Councilman Gonzie Mackey, who made the motion Tuesday for Howard’s appointment, served as mayor pro tempore last year.

Howard last held the title in 2011.

“I sincerely hope and pray that I can always stay in your trust and hearts,” Howard told his fellow council members.

Standing committees

Council also voted unanimously to approve recommendations for council’s various committees. Shaw serves as an ex officio member on all. They are as follows:

– Finance Department – Howard (chairman) and Mackey 

– Police Department & Court Administration – Kenny Hood (chairman) and Tamara Green Garris 

– Fire Department – Mackey (chairman) and Jackie Harris 

– Public Works & Public Utilities Departments – Sara Eddins (chairwoman) and Howard 

– Building, Planning and Zoning Department – Harris (chairwoman) and Hood 

– Support Services – Garris (chairwoman) and Eddins 

Closed session

Council later met in closed session Tuesday to discuss what was listed as economic development, contractual and personnel matters. When council returned to open session, it voted unanimously to:

– Execute a contract with engineering firm W.K. Dickson regarding the planned Air Rail Industrial Park near the county airport on S.C. 9. W.K. Dickson will prepare a water model and master plan for

the city, which is paying for the extension of water and sewer service to the park.

The $55,000 needed for the model and master plan will come from money previously set aside for storage tank cleaning.

– Appoint Mitch Norrell as city attorney. His wife, Mandy Powers Norrell, had held the position the past several years. 

Mandy Powers Norrell started her first term in the S.C. House of Representatives this week.

Mitch Norrell, who’s served as a municipal judge, had filled in for his wife in the past in the city attorney capacity.


Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152