Thursday, April 18, 2013
Berkeley County Council and Supervisor Dan Davis avoided possible legal action by resolving their contentious dispute regarding the position of clerk of council last week.
In what both parties viewed as a resolution in the best interests of Berkeley County, Davis and a faction of council reached an agreement resolving the recent controversy over the appointment of Catherine Windham to the clerk position.
“After extensive discussions, I am very pleased that an agreement has been reached that is in the best interests of Berkeley County,” said 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."
The agreement stipulates that the position of clerk to council shall be appointed by a positive majority vote of council. In addition, a new position will be created under the supervisor to serve as a liaison between staff and the clerk to council office.
The proposal fulfills the needs and addresses the concerns raised by both the supervisor and some members of council.
Councilman Tim Callanan said he that he was pleased with the resolution that was reached and believes his concerns over council’s authority were recognized and protected.
In the March meeting of County Council, vice chairman Dennis Fish, after unanimous approval during the Committee on Human Resources and Purchasing meeting, attempted to appoint Windham to the clerk position, a move that was opposed by the supervisor initially because it was not on the council agenda.
Councilman Ken Gunn, who participated in the meeting and resolution, said that 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,” said 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.”
Callanan agreed with Davis’ assessment. “I hope this will lead to a more productive and cooperative environment on council to the benefit of all Berkeley County Citizens,” Callanan said.
It is anticipated council will appoint a clerk at its regular April meeting.