Bittle replaces former District Two council member Bobby Brown, who submitted his resignation April 30. Brown resigned for "personal reasons."
Council called a special election for Aug. 19 to fill his empty seat, but since Bittle was the only person to step forward by July 19, he was declared an automatic winner. Bittle filed July 5 for the election, and after 14 days, no other candidate had filed for the election, making it an automatic win for Bittle, according to South Carolina Election Commission law.
Although the District Two council seat has been determined, Chesterfield's special election will still be held Aug. 19 for a referendum vote on whether the town should shut down its water and sewer plants and contract services out.
Due to a combination of the town's $800,000 debt, its struggle with last year's drought, and the costly expense of upgrading its own systems, council members voted unanimously in May to shut down its plants and contract out water and sewer services. The vote to close the plants and send the town's wastewater to Cheraw at an estimated rate of $1.96 per thousand gallons left town council members with a new decision: where to purchase water? The choices are the town of Cheraw or Chesterfield County Rural Water Company.
For more of this story see the July 31, 2003 edition of the Chronicle or Advertiser.