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Tate recognized for Silver Star Medal
Elgin Town Council award
Joe Tate (left) was recognized by Elgin Mayor Brad Hanley for being awarded the Silver Star Medal on May 5. Hanley presented Tate with the Mayors Patriotism award on behalf of the town of Elgin. He noted Tates bravery for his service to the country. - photo by Tenell Felder

Specialist Joe Tate was honored with the Mayor’s Patriotism award and a standing ovation during Tuesday’s Elgin Town Council meeting.

Specialist Tate was awarded the Silver Star Medal on May 5 for entering a burning vehicle to rescue two fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War in December, 1967. The Silver Star Medal is the third highest military decoration in the United States Armed Forces.

Mayor Hanley noted Tate’s courage and thanked him for his service.

In other business:

- Mayor Hanley reported a 3 percent increase in sales tax revenue. This is the first increase for the fiscal year.

- Council passed a Mutual Aid Agreement that would enable Richland and Kershaw County police agencies to assist one another in certain tasks when needed. Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown informed Council that the agreement would be the first of its kind with Richland County. Councilmember Melissa Emmons commended Brown for maintaining a positive relationship with other police agencies.

- One new business license was granted for Sor Sumrit Muay Thai Martial Art’s School.

- Two complaints were reported to Council in May. In the first complaint, a gas pump was emitting a strong odor and in the second complaint, a school bus was reported to be speeding through an Elgin neighborhood. Both issues were addressed and resolved.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, a Meet and Greet was held for community members to meet the four candidates – Sydney Ernst, Candy Silvers, Stacia Grooms and Christopher Renfroe – who are running for Elgin Town Council’s vacated seat. Candidates were asked how they would promote economic and recreational development in Elgin. Before the question and answer period, each of the candidates spoke about why they wanted to run in the June 18 special election.

Ernst is a 2013 honor graduate of Lugoff-Elgin High School. Silvers has lived in Elgin for 18 years and is married to Silas Silvers. They have three daughters, two who reside in Elgin, and five grandchildren. Silvers currently serves on Elgin’s Planning and Zoning committee. Grooms is the granddaughter of the late Elgin Mayor Paul Grooms and Viola Grooms. She is also an L-EHS graduate. Renfroe is an L-EHS graduate and is the wrestling coach at Stover Middle School. He is married to Angel.

The special election will be at Elgin Town Hall on June 18 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee Voting has opened at the Kershaw County Voter's Registration Office in Camden for those who are unable to vote during this day. Those voting hours will be Monday through Friday during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.