By Betsy Finklea
A Dillon County Councilman voiced his concerns that a vote taken last month on Florence Regional Airport Commission members was improperly handled.
When the approval of minutes came up, Councilman T.F. “Buzzy” Finklea asked to make a statement about the vote on the airport commission.
His statement was as follows:
“Before we approved the minutes, I want to discuss the airport commission vote last month. I called the chairman after the meeting last month and asked that my vote be withdrawn because I thought I had also nominated Tommy Parham and that we were voting on adding him to the nominations and that is not what we were voting on. This was supposed to be noted in the minutes, and it is not.
I feel the vote on the airport commission was improperly handled. It was not included in our packets as other appointments were, and it was not listed separately in the agenda to indicate that it would be voted on.
There were two openings and each candidate should have been voted on separately. By lumping them together, I am being deprived of my vote. One candidate is my nephew so I would need to abstain from that vote.
The other candidate proposed by Councilman Coward is not someone who I would ever vote for and I would have voted no.
All council members did not have the same opportunity to propose candidates because they didn’t know it was going to be on the agenda, which is unfair.
I feel that the vote should be re-done proposing one candidate at a time and calling for the vote not only on this matter, but all future matters.
Additionally, I feel that if someone is replaced on a board that the county should send a letter thanking them for their service and advising them they have been replaced before that board’s next meeting to avoid embarrassing and difficult situations.
If the council decides not to re-do the vote, I want to withdraw my vote, and I will have to vote to abstain since they are lumped together in one vote, and it would be improper for me to vote on my nephew’s appointment.
I would like last month’s minutes to reflect this, and I would like this statement that I have made today, which I will provide to Druscilla (interim clerk to council), to be included with last month’s minutes.”
After his comments, the attorney, Jon Robinson, said the council could vote to put Finklea’s statement in the record and Finklea can rescind his vote based on a conflict of interest.
The attorney said he will look into it to see if there is any recourse for the entire vote and report back.
By Betsy Finklea