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NEESES TOWN COUNCIL: Resignation means special election

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Neeses council

Judge Gary Doremus, Orangeburg County magistrate, far right, swears in, from left, Councilwoman Julie Renee Olenick, Councilwoman Paula Dyches Hutchins, Mayor Kenneth Gleaton and Councilman Wylie Williams in the municipal court chambers of the Neeses Town Hall before the Neeses Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Jan. 4.

NEESES – Newly elected Neeses town councilman Mason Browder sent a letter of resignation before being sworn in to office, as announced during the Neeses Council meeting on Tuesday evening, Jan. 4.

Browder stated that he needed to move from the town and could not serve for this reason.

Mayor Kenneth Gleaton said, “We will have to have a special election to replace him. We will get the specific information from the Orangeburg County Election Commission about when to have it.”

Gleaton added they would delay the appointment of a new mayor pro tem until after the election.

The Town of Neeses was contacted by The T&D a couple of days after the meeting to check on the date for the special election. According to an email from Town Clerk Sonja Gleaton, the election to fill the empty seat is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29.

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The special election will be held at the Livingston Municipal Complex, Livingston (the Neeses/Livingston Precinct). The filing period for qualified candidates opens at noon Jan. 24 and will close at noon on Feb. 7. The filing fee is $10 and candidates may sign up at the Neeses Town Hall. For more information, call the Neeses Town Hall at 803-247-5811.

Council members Julie Renee Olenick, Paula Dyches Hutchins and Wylie Williams, along with Mayor Gleaton, were sworn in by Judge Gary Doremus, Orangeburg County magistrate, in the municipal court chambers before the council meeting. Olenick, Williams and Gleaton were incumbents, and Hutchins was newly elected. A reception with refreshments was held before the swearing-in ceremony to honor the newly elected officials and to celebrate Mayor Gleaton’s recent birthday.

Gleaton, in the meeting that followed, said they had another break-in at a town storage building near the baseball field. He said the suspects took baseball bats and balls but not any pitching machines and that they have replaced locks at the building.

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Gleaton, later in the meeting, requested to purchase two 60-inch-tall bookcases for the Neeses Town Hall at a cost of $859.18 from the Division of Industries at the Department of Corrections. A motion by council was made to fulfill the request, it was seconded, and approved unanimously.

Gleaton next stated they set up a new checking account at First Citizens Bank for the American Rescue Plan funds as discussed in the last meeting and as reported by The T&D.

Councilwoman Olenick requested there be new COVID-19 testing in the town.

Gleaton said it is a simple process and that they just need to call to set it up and that he would be working on doing so. $4.99 for the first month

Olenick suggested the COVID-19 testing be in a drive-through format at the Seniors Recreation and Leisure Center. Contact the Neeses Town Hall for more details when these plans are finalized.

Gleaton said several members of council had mentioned wanting new Christmas decorations for the town and suggested that new decorations be bought in the spring when they are less expensive.

Olenick said she would want the part of Higwhay 321/Savannah Highway which goes through Neeses to have new Christmas lights first. Olenick and Hutchins will be looking at places to order Christmas decorations.

Gleaton said they may look into the refurbishment of existing lights and the possibility of selling ones which cannot be refurbished.

Gleaton said late in the meeting that the town is still running behind on its comprehensive plan and that he has been seeking assistance from the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and other organizations for assistance with it.

Gleaton concluded the meeting, before the motion to adjourn was carried, by stating he wanted to reiterate what Judge Doremus said when he swore them in: “Read your minutes and be on time.”


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