Monday, January 14, 2013
County employees receive $1.3 million
As Berkeley County Council unanimously approved a one-time, 3-percent disbursement to county employees, departing councilman Bob Call said that another protest to his opponent’s election may be in the works. Council met in regular session Monday night in Moncks Corner. Call sat on the dais for his final meeting as District 3 councilman at the session. Call was defeated in last June’s Republican primary by councilman-elect Ken Gunn. Gunn, also a Republican, ran unopposed in the recent November elections and will be sworn in on Jan. 8, 2013. Council had planned to present a resolution commending Call for his service to county council but at the time of its reading in council’s Finance Committee, the resolution was pulled at Call’s request. Call filed a lawsuit protesting the primary election, claiming Gunn and Berkeley County Republican Party Chairman Tim Callanan did not file Gunn’s candidacy paperwork correctly. Call’s suit was dismissed and two subsequent election protests filed by a Berkeley County voter against the Berkeley County and South Carolina State Election Commissions have been denied. On Monday, Call indicated that he plans to take his protest to the state supreme court. In other news, Berkeley County employees had reason to celebrate Monday. A sum of more than $1.3 million will be allocated to county employees, excluding elected officials, with $986,000 allocated to full and part-time county employees and $379,487 earmarked for Berkeley County Water and Sanitation employees The funds are to be disbursed before Dec. 31. Council voted to amend the disbursement to exclude all elected officials. The disbursement cannot exceed three percent of the employee’s previous year salary. More than 50 Berkeley County employees in attendance gave council a standing ovation. “Merry Christmas,” said Supervisor Dan Davis. “I feel like a rock star,” added Councilman Jack Schurlknight. Davis reminded council that this was a way to give back to employees who had to take mandated furlough days in 2009. “County employees across the board were asked to take furlough days during the economic crisis and this disbursement is our way of giving back to employees who did their part when times were tough.” The meeting was the final council meeting of 2012. And with the final meeting a changing of the guard will be in order come January.