Kershaw County Council sat stone-faced in council chambers Tuesday as, one by one, 13 county residents got up and resoundingly voiced their opposition to a proposal to hand most of Sheriff Jim Matthews' power to a new county police force.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews has introduced plans to remove resource officers from three schools located in Camden at the end of the current school year. Matthews addressed Kershaw County Council during a May 1 budget workshop and said he needs more officers "on the road" after analyzing the resources in his department.
Kershaw County Council unanimously voted Tuesday to appoint three county residents to the Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission. Members of council voted to choose Sherwood "Woody" Cleveland, Ray McElveen and Don Terrell to serve on the commission, which was created March 27. Council Vice Chairman Sammie Tucker Jr. introduced plans for the creation of the committee during council's March 13 meeting in order to investigate a possible 1-cent tax for capital projects.
"We're not expecting them to go out and be the cash cow of Kershaw County," said Kershaw County Councilman Tom Gardner at council's meeting Tuesday, referring to the Kershaw County Sheriff Office's (KCSO) traffic enforcement unit.
County Council Chairman Gene Wise says revenue figures for the Kershaw County Sheriff Office's (KCSO) traffic enforcement unit just aren't adding up. Wise expressed concerns about the revenues earned by the unit and the amount of fines being handed out by the magistrate's office during a county council budget workshop Thursday.
"Let me make one thing very clear to my colleagues: you will not shut me up," Councilman Jimmy Jones said at Kershaw County Council's Tuesday meeting in response to a proposal to permanently eliminate council briefings from meetings.
A countywide broadband Internet access project being developed by Florence-based GlobalCo Central is unlikely to be approved by Kershaw County Council in the near future, according to county officials.
The call has gone out for Kershaw County and the city of Camden's new tourism director. Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter said a job description has been prepared and the position is being advertised across South Carolina. Camden and Kershaw County announced plans to create the new position during a Feb. 9 county council work session.
Kershaw County Council will receive a final update on the Community Playground Project between Lugoff and Elgin during its meeting Tuesday evening. The playground is being funded completely by private donations and will be built on land provided by county council at the West Wateree Athletic Complex on U.S. 1.
With Kershaw County growing at a steady pace, the county government is looking to the future and asking for citizen input on priorities and concerns for the next 15 years and beyond. State law requires counties to have a comprehensive plan and update it every 10 years. Kershaw County Planning and Zoning Department Director Carolyn Hammond said she and county planners realize their role as public servants and want to know in which direction county residents and taxpayers want to go.