NORWAY – A Lexington County deputy sheriff with a decade of related experience, Bradley Wilke, was sworn in as interim police chief at Norway’s February town council meeting.
Bradley's father, Springfield Police Chief Timothy Wilke, swore him in before a crowd of over 40. Bradley Wilke has 10 years of law enforcement experience building certifications in the law enforcement profession as well as public safety and fire in the state of S.C.
Wilke stated his passion for law enforcement more recently led him to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff and that he is now happy to be serving the people of Norway.
He worked various assignments as a deputy sheriff, including patrol, special operations with the traffic division, in the civil emergency unit and as a field training officer. Wilke has received numerous awards, including the Life-Saving Award, tactical operations support award and several major case contribution awards. He has numerous certifications in the fire and police areas.
Wilke has a B.A. in sociology/criminology and has gone through the master’s program for litigation law at Washington University School of Law. He is a member of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Rifle Association and the Phi Gamma Mu Honors Society.
In an unrelated matter, Mayor Tracie Clemons made a motion that the town stop waiving council members’ water bills. It was not apparent from previously released financial statements or disclosures that this had been occurring.
Clemons stated, “I understand that water bills have been waived. Under this administration, we are going to unwaive that. I make a motion moving forward that council people will pay water bills.”
She also noted that Covington and Fogle’s bills would be corrected because of lack of access to the city sewage.
Council approved the motion.
Clemons next stated that Mr. Corbey Clemons, who she stated was not related to her, has been hired as a new office assistant for the town.
Councilman Travis Golden, who has been working with the Norway Public Service Commission, said they are getting a replacement water pump, are working on repairing leaks and are assessing some past issues and concerns with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Clemons added, “We are taking a proactive approach.”
Clemons also noted retired Orangeburg County Magistrate’s Office’s Western Region administrative assistant Sandra Blake and her husband have donated a golf cart to the city for use in reading the water meters.
Golden said they are also looking into the lift stations and materials and are adding a heat strip in the tank toward Springfield and that they are continuing a grant project started by the former mayor, the CDBG water line grant.
Golden was also appointed streets and sanitation commissioner by Clemons with approval from council.
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Councilman Gregg Covington was also appointed parks and recreation commissioner in addition to being police commissioner with approval from Council.
Clemons next showed four designs for a new town logo. Council chose the second design which, with the standard name of the town included, is based on what is the closest a small town can get to a historic skyscraper, a three-story building built circa 1893, which can be seen off of Savannah Highway. It was at one point an insurance company building as well as having previous and later uses.
“At one point, it was the tallest skyscraper between Columbia and Savannah,” Clemons said.
This logo based on the skyscraper will eventually be placed on a new website which is being created by Claflin alum Nastasha Carter of Augusta, Georgia, who showed some potential facets of it during the meeting, including how it will appeal not only to citizens but to visitors who want to come to the town.
“90 percent of your information on your website should be useful to both residents and visitors,” she said.
She showed on screen during her presentation how the focus for residents can be on such things as municipal forms and town logistics, and for visitors, it can be such things as local maps and places to shop and eat. In addition, she showed how the town website could be hooked into different types of social media.
“81 percent of people have smartphones,” Carter said. She stated that she will design the town website so that it will automatically adjust to those.
Carter also showed how a new town website can aid in economic development.
“You are owning a piece of digital real estate,” she said.
Clemons said that as mayor, she will be donating the cost of the website and some hosting fees.
Clemons next made a motion that nonprofit Blue Ink Sign of Orangeburg look for additional grant money outside the scope that the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and other government entities could for the town, and this was approved.
Council went into executive session to discuss an issue related to property and personnel issues.
Some personnel issues were addressed upon return to open session, but one issue related to property and another issue related to a previous special meeting about police equipment had to be tabled for yet another special meeting. The special meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the council chambers at the old Willow School in Norway.
Council then approved giving maintenance worker Chantley Perry a $50 increase in salary, with review within a three-month period. They also approved hiring a part-time worker of less than 32 hours at 9 dollars an hour to assist Perry, Jermaine James.
In other business:
• Clemons stated that funding assistance via Orangeburg County Councilman Heyward Livingston is being sought for one of two bids on a roof for the AA Building and that Livingston is also seeking funds for the basketball court. Orangeburg County has already sent a tree service to cut down some trees at the park.
• Clemons opened five sealed bids for the town’s used 2008 Ford F150. The largest bid of $4,500 fwas accepted by council, but the bidder later told council he could not pay and asked that council select the second-highest bidder.
• Clemons also stated that the town is still looking to repair the tennis courts at the park.
“If the Town of Norway becomes part of the Community Tennis Association, they can get grant funds,” she said. She then said that the town can use these grant funds to improve the tennis courts.
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