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Melissa Emmons sworn in as Elgin Mayor

Also, former mayor Hanley honored for service

Posted: March 5, 2015 4:45 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tenell Felder/C-I

Brad Hanley swears in Councilwoman Candy Silvers with her husband, Silas Silvers.

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Melissa Emmons is now, officially, the mayor of Elgin. Emmons, who finished her second term as a town council member, took the oath of office during Elgin Town Council’s meeting Tuesday night before a full house. Councilwoman Candy Silvers retook her oath of office Tuesday, while the former mayor, Brad Hanley, took the oath as a regular council member.

During the meeting, the town honored Hanley’s service by having his wife, Theresa, present him with a gavel. State Sen. Thomas McElveen also presented Hanley with a resolution honoring his service as mayor.

“I appreciate your service (and) your friendship. I’m here to say well done and congratulations. Your accomplishments are many,” McElveen said.

Following the oaths of office, Councilwoman Silvers was voted by council to serve as mayor pro tem after being nominated by Councilwoman Dana Sloan.

In new business during Tuesday’s meeting, Jewelle Heriot, a teacher from Blaney Elementary School, presented her idea for a cleanup day called “Elgin Cares.” Heriot said while she is proud to live in Elgin, she is saddened by the trash she sees.

“Elgin is a great community with award winning schools, low crime rate and good locally owned restaurants … but the one thing I am not proud of is the litter. I am saddened and disappointed by the trash thrown down the street of our otherwise nice town. I know that the litter does not properly represent the people who live here,” Heriot said.

Heriot said she wanted to start Elgin Cares to bring the community together to pick up litter around Elgin She suggested that this be done during the week of Earth Day.

“I concluded that the problem is that the idea of a cleanup seems overwhelming to individuals so nobody does anything,” she said. “My proposal is to set aside a day in Elgin where we band together as a community to get started. We are a caring community hence the name Elgin Cares. Churches, scouts, schools and neighborhoods can all organize to show that the citizens of Elgin care about how their community looks and about the impact on the environment.”

Heriot also said she hopes the day will expand to include other acts of volunteerism

Emmons thanked Heriot and suggested Elgin Cares be held during the weekend.

“Earth Day is in the middle of the week, so we felt like a weekend would be beneficial, and that we would get a little more participation,” Emmons said.

Emmons asked Heriot if she would lead the project and serve as a contact person for town council.

“We will get back with you on the dates. We are waiting to hear back from the (S.C.) Department of Transportation about the time of the pickup. Once we collect the trash, they will have to come behind us and pick it up,” Emmons said.

Under old business, Silvers asked about the status of the town’s tennis courts. Hanley said council will have to decide what is to be done with the property and the fencing.

“Once we decide that, we can go ahead and contact them to see when we can start. If not, we will forgo the assets and sell it for salvage or whatever we can do,” Hanley said.

Sloan suggested she could store the fencing if needed.

In other new business, council voted to change the days of removal for campaign signs from seven days to 21 days following an election day. Elgin Zoning Administrator Randy Pruitt suggested council do so to be in accordance with a new state law.

Council also voted to accept a request from Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown to renew mutual aid agreements with the Camden Police and Richland County Sheriff’s departments. The agreements allow the agencies to assist one another when needed.

At the end of the meeting, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Horton and Board President Amy Kinard presented Elgin with a 2014-2015 Community Pride award. The award recognizes the town for developing Potter Community Park and its military salute.

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