Councils were getting tense about virus response
“We are not children” - Clinton councilwoman Shirley Jenkins tells Mayor McLean.
Feelings are getting a little tense at the Clinton City Council and Laurens County Council levels, in the wake of extraordinary measure being taken to control the Coronavirus.
The Clinton Council has adopted an ordinance for the continuity of city services, and will not meet in person on April 6. The measure was adopted without dissent, but Council Member Megan Walsh said the council deserves to be notified when statements are forthcoming from the city government about the virus.
“Now is not the time to be scoring cheap political points,” Mayor Bob McLean said. “If you’re out of the loop, that’s on you.”
“It’s not my job to hound the city manager,” Walsh said. After McLean sought and got motion to adjourn an unusual early morning Friday council meeting, Walsh said, “I don’t know why we are here.
“We all need to be united,” council member Robbie Neal said.
“But we’re NOT united,” council member Shirley Jenkins said.
In his prayer, Council Member Danny Cook asked for good thoughts to fellow member Gary Kuykendall, recovering from a very serious medical issue.
McLean said the measure adopted 6-0 by the council is not a declaration of emergency. City Attorney Allen Wham said the measure allows the council not to meet physically, but by electronic means. Assistant City Manager Thomas Higgs said the means are being examined to make those electronic meetings accessible to the public, in compliance with the SC Freedom of Information Act.
On March 18, the Laurens County Council met for a live-streaming meeting to receive a Coronavirus response update. Council Vice-Chairman Joe Wood said “one of our own” had “taken a shot at” Chairman Dr. David Pitts’ response to the Coronavirus.
“No one has been sitting on their hands,” Wood said.
He said Laurens County needs to “work with each other, not against each other." The person who made the criticism was not identified.
The council voted 7-0 unanimously not to hold its March 24 meeting (later the council held a conference call).
“There is a lot of misinformation floating around - that does more harm than good,” council member Garrett McDaniel said.
He noted that Prisma Health (manager of the Laurens County Hospital) is offering virtual diagnoses for the Coronavirus, which has infected 81 people in South Carolina (March 20 figure). One person has died in the Palmetto State.
The City of Clinton's Emergency Ordinance is in an article of that name under Breaking News at MyClintonNews.com
Mayor Bob McLean's 1st Video is on The Chronicle's Facebook page & 1st and 2nd Videos are on the City of Clinton Facebook Page.
Laurens County's COVID-19 Update is in an article of that name under COVID (far right on the gray toolbar) at MyClintonNews.com