Whether it’s an issue council will address or not remains to be seen. But the question of Cheraw town council’s personal safety, and others who attend their meetings, was raised during the public comment session of their regular meeting last Tuesday evening.
“What I have to say is for your own benefit,” said Bahaadur Abdul Ahad, a Cheraw resident. “You have no security here.”
Cheraw Town Council meets at Cheraw Town Hall on the corner of Market and Second Streets.
Ahad told council he feared that anyone who might wish to do harm to council, or anyone else in attendance, would not be deterred without some sort of security measure in place.
Although nothing was said, eyebrows raised, and heads turned, as Ahad spoke. He did not mention the recent tragedy in eastern Pennsylvania where three people were killed at a town hall meeting, but he said it would be too late to wish something had been done should a problem ever arise.
“I’m just saying, I wouldn’t want anything to happen to anyone. Just a suggestion,” Ahad said.
It is customary for council not to respond to comments made during the public comment session. They are to receive information only during this time.
On a lighter note for the evening, council was joined by the winning members and coaches of the Cheraw Ponytail softball team. This group of 11 and 12 year old girls brought home third place in the Dixie Softball State Championship and were recognized by council for their efforts.
Retiring Fire Chief John L. Melton also was recognized by council for his years of dedication to the town. Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram presented him with a proclamation as well as a painting collage of the town’s historical buildings. Chris Sellers, also a long time member of the fire department, has assumed the duties of Cheraw’s fire chief.
A request to hire a roofing specialist to inspect the Cheraw Complex roof was unanimously approved Tuesday evening. According to Cheraw Town Administrator Mike Smith this study “will let us know how long we can expect to have this roof.” They will also report on any light maintenance that may be needed, said Smith. The inspection is estimated to cost $2,832.
When asked which account the money would come from Smith said there is a budget for the Cheraw Complex. Cheraw Town Clerk Tina Ellis was asked, on the spot, the exact amount showing in that account. Her response, “$650,210.”
Two requests from residents to connect to the town’s sewer system were unanimously granted by council. The requests were made by Windsor Park Freewill Baptist Church and Frederick Mitchell of 405 Oak Street.
The first reading of an ordinance to rezone a parcel of land at Jericho and Godfrey Streets from Single Family (R-1) to Multiple Family Residential (R-2) passed its first reading unanimously. However, questions were raised by Councilwoman Jacqueline Ellerbe-Shannon concerning a clear title for the property.
“I’m all in favor of the change,” said Ellerbe-Shannon, “but I hope all of the property is in William Horn’s name.”
“Hope is not a good plan,” said Councilman Randy Butler. “Do you know something we don’t?”
“I’m just saying the original property owner has other children,” she said.
Ingram told Smith to check the tax rolls to make sure all is in order before the next reading of the ordinance.
There were several items Mayor Ingram presented to council Tuesday, asking the finance committee to review and present recommendations to the full council.
“I ask you consider these projects,” said Ingram, which include painting the Town Green buildings, paving the Community Center parking lot, repairs to Arrowhead Park walking trail, and a contribution to renovation efforts for the House on the Hill at Cheraw State Park.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.