Cayce City Council members say there was no ill-will in action to remove mayor from appointments, after public speakers voice opposition and suggest ulterior motives

During the City of Cayce’s March 20, Council meeting, the council reappointed different members to three external commissions, in place of Mayor Elise Partin. She once held a seat on the Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission; the River Alliance Committee; and the Central Midlands Council of Governments.

Partin was not at the meeting in which the reappointments were made by council members: Hunter Sox, Mayor Pro-Tem Tim James, Byron Thomas, and Phil Carter.

At that meeting, James was appointed to the Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer commission, Sox was appointed to the River Alliance Committee and Carter was chosen to be a part of the Central Midlands Council of Governments.

Since the move was made, Partin has publicly questioned the ethics and transparency surrounding the action taken that removed her. Council members said the action was above-board, open and legal.

At a Cayce City Council meeting, Tuesday, 10 public speakers signed up and most of them spoke against the action to remove Partin. Most berated the council members and some implied that Partin was removed because she is a woman.

Kelly West said the council moves slow to appoint some members of the boards and suggested council is anti-woman. Mary Safko wants to restore Partin to the committees she was removed from and Safko wondered if the move “was to take the mayor down a peg.”

Marcie Hayden said there is a pattern regarding the women of Cayce and she complained that people in other cities are talking negatively about Cayce and said there is a perception that Cayce is not friendly to certain groups of people.

Former Cayce Councilman Skip Jenkins, who lost his seat to Thomas in November, said Cayce is going backward. He also suggested the controversy is based in a male-versus-female agenda. Tracie Broom said council is not being above-board.

After the public speaking portion of the meeting ended, council members spoke.

James said there was no ill-intent in removing Partin and that Partin knew that the commission reappointment issue was on the March 20, council meeting agenda and then did not come to the meeting. James said council took time to deliberate the move and nothing was done covertly.

He also said too much was on Partin’s shoulders and the council has members willing to take on the committee appointments and go to the committee meetings and the mayor and the city manager knew that. James also noted that he has two daughters and he promotes women and would never do anything offensive based on gender. James said his heart is with the City of Cayce and he literally “took a bullet” for the City of Cayce when he was a police officer.

Sox said Partin created “a baseless narrative, spinning up routine business as collusion and illegal action.” He said the mayor had sub-par attendance records at committee meetings and the reappointments were an effort to remove some of the burden from her. Sox said Partin promoted the controversy as an attempt to play politics based on the guidance of a media consultant.

Carter said the controversy was publicized in the news because of the actions of one person. He also said bylaws state that if a committee member misses one-third of the meetings in a 12-month period, the member can be removed by council and council should do its job to replace the committee member. He said there was no personal agenda and the publicizing of the board reappointments was an attempt to influence public opinion.

Thomas said council did everything legally and there was no collusion. Partin maintained her contention that the council members are lying and said she has been attacked and was unaware, beforehand, that she would be removed from her appointments.

Comments are closed.

Share This