Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson is seeking to set rules of behavior for Town Council members, with whom the first-term mayor is often at odds.
“It’s a little out of line,” Councilman Mike Clonts said.
Most of the other three members aren’t saying much as yet.
Standards of expected conduct for elected leaders in the state’s 270 communities aren’t common, officials at the Municipal Association of South Carolina said.
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“We have an unusual mayor,” Councilwoman Kay Hollis said.
The eight things that Wilson wants council members to agree to do include:
▪ Involve themselves in events and promote “the positive aspects” of the Lexington County community.
▪ Refuse “to engage in negative rumors without substantiating the facts of the matter.”
▪ Check with his appointees on town staff regularly to discuss ideas that he has the sole authority to advance or block.
The proposal is “not calling anyone to task or pointing fingers,” Wilson said. “It’s just reaffirming what’s expected of our elected officials.”
What happens in Chapin extends well beyond its 1,500 residents, since the town is the political and commercial hub of an area of some 58,000 people on the north side of Lake Murray.
The proposed standards come as Wilson faces re-election this fall after frequent conflict with other town leaders over spending decisions and staff changes made without their agreement.
Some of his moves since he took charge three years ago are snarled in legal challenges.
Council members recently rejected his push to adopt a local meal tax and to delay town elections until 2018.
Rejecting such initiatives rejects “an effort to align the Town Council with the heart of the community,” Wilson said.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483