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Government

  • Blackmon takes city council oath

    Linda Blackmon was sworn in Sunday as a member of Lancaster City Council, marking the end of an 11-month battle with defeated incumbent Jackie Harris over the 2016 District 3 election.
    The S.C. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Blackmon’s win on Sept. 7, and last Thursday it unanimously denied Harris’ motion to reconsider the ruling.
    Under S.C. law, Harris was allowed to retain the District 3 seat until her protest of Blackmon’s Nov. 8 election victory was fully adjudicated in the state courts.

  • Eliminating door-to-door sales hassles

    County leaders are trying to come up with an ordinance to address pesky door-to-door peddlers who show up uninvited or refuse to leave when asked.
    It’s become a real issue for residents in Sun City Carolina Lakes, said Lancaster County Council member Terry Graham.
    “I’ve gotten a number of complaints, too, from the subdivisions near the state line,” said council member Brian Carnes, who like Graham represents Indian Land. “A lot of them come in from North Carolina, and when you ask them to leave, they won’t leave….

  • Howard tangles with council members in tense exchange

    At Tuesday’s Lancaster City Council meeting, council members Gonzie Mackey, Kenny Hood and Tamara Green Garris got into a testy exchange with Mayor John Howard about his recent stroke and an earlier council vote.
    After the heated words, Garris, the mayor pro tem, tried to calm the waters.  
    “We want to be respectful towards each other,” she said, “and we don’t want the public to think we’re up here fussing and fighting all the time.”

  • Blue Cross gets OK for 31% S.C. premium hike

    As debate over the Affordable Care Act swirls in Washington, insurance officials this week agreed to allow South Carolina’s only individual plan on the state’s ACA exchange to raise its premiums 31 percent next year.
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina initially asked for a 33.4 percent increase, saying this year’s premiums did not generate nearly enough to cover the insurer’s claims, taxes and administrative expenses.

  • County targets office location in Indian Land

    INDIAN LAND – A Lancaster County Council committee is targeting a 2,200-square-foot space at The Commons of Doby’s Bridge as a possible site for satellite county government offices in the Panhandle.
    The strip center is at 8451 Charlotte Highway, just past the Gate station on U.S. 521 North.
    “It has come at a very opportune time that we didn’t know about before,” said County Attorney John Weaver, who has been scouting for an Indian Land location since May.

  • City council fills housing board seat

    Lancaster City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to appoint Brenda Thompson to the Lancaster City Housing Authority Board.
    She will fill the position left open by the July 20 resignation of board member Lorenzo Small. Mayor John Howard and council member Hazel Taylor cast the dissenting votes.
    “I’ve been wanting to serve the Lancaster community for some time,” Thompson said. “And this is an opportunity for me to give back to the community.”

  • How to avoid another long legal ruckus over voting

    Now that the S.C. Supreme Court has upheld the Lancaster City Council District 3 election results, affected parties are discussing how to prevent or shorten future such controversies.
    The ideas include:
    ◆ Getting the S.C. legislature to change municipal election laws to mirror the statutes for county and state elections, which allow more initial time to resolve disputes.

  • Stormwater fee reduced before final council OK

    Before giving the measure final approval Tuesday night, the Lancaster County Council reduced the new stormwater fee for Panhandle homeowners from $75 to $60 a year.
    The fee will be added to upcoming tax bills and applies to the area from S.C. 5 north to the county line. That portion of the county (Indian Land) is now considered to be in Charlotte’s urban area, with more than 1,000 residents per square mile.

  • 9 candidates file for VW council, just 1 for mayor

    Nine candidates filed for the four town council seats in Van Wyck’s upcoming inaugural election, but just one person signed up to be mayor – Sean Corcoran.
    Corcoran, 42, was one of three incorporation commissioners who led the last stages of the organizing effort.
    An attorney at the law firm Brock & Scott in Charlotte, he said Tuesday he was surprised no one else filed for the mayor’s job – and that so many people jumped into  the council race.

  • Linda Blackmon’s win affirmed

    In a unanimous opinion late Thursday, the S.C Supreme Court affirmed Linda Blackmon’s election to the Lancaster City Council’s District 3 seat, which had been held up since last November by a legal challenge from her opponent.
    “I feel amazing…. It’s been tough,” said Blackmon, who beat incumbent Jackie Harris in the Nov. 8 election by a 281-225 vote.
    The Supreme Court’s decision, issued as an administrative opinion, upholds Circuit Judge Brian Gibbons’ Feb. 16 ruling that allowed the election results to stand.