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Retiring county councilman misses 10 meetings in 2010

Posted: December 14, 2010 4:03 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2010 5:00 a.m.

$4,166.67.

That’s the amount of money outgoing Kershaw County Councilman Gary Elliott was paid in 2010 for council meetings he did not attend.

County councilmen are given an annual salary of $10,000, which comes out to approximately $416 per meeting. The chairman makes $17,000 per year. They are paid every two weeks regardless of attendance, according to County Administrator Clay Young.

Elliott missed 10 meetings in 2010, with nine absences coming since April. He also missed three meetings in 2009 and four in 2008, which comes to $2,912 he received for meetings he missed those years.

When contacted for the story, Elliott said he’s “been (expletive) sick.”

He said he’s had an extended illness, but declined to go into detail.

Elliott serves as the representative for District 6, which spans a horseshoe shape around northeast Kershaw County, including portions of Antioch, Bethune, Camden, Cassatt, Gate’s Ford, Malvern Hill, Riverdale, Shaylor’s Hill, Springdale, Westville, White’s Garden and all of Buffalo. He sits on council’s three-member recreation committee, and has missed numerous committee meetings, as well -- though official minutes and attendance for committee meetings aren’t available on the county’s website.

Prior to coming on council in 2007, Elliott served as the county’s fire marshal and emergency preparedness director. He runs a catering business, Olde Camden Catering,.

Elliott did not seek reelection for his seat. Tom Gardner defeated David Branham for the seat in last month’s election. Gardner will begin his term at the first meeting of 2011.

When asked to recap his four years on council, Elliott listed having the American flag placed in front of the Kershaw County Government Center, as well as getting an emergency dispatch office in Bethune, as his proudest accomplishments.

He said he was disappointed his fellow councilmen didn’t back his motion earlier this year to place a countywide referendum on the ballot in November asking the voters to lift restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

“I went in on my own terms, and I’m leaving on my own terms,” said Elliott. “I’m in the phone book if people have a problem.”

A resolution honoring Elliott was listed on the agenda for last night’s council meeting.

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