SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Tensions rose yet again among Summerville town council on Monday night when Mayor Wiley Johnson asked for Town Administrator Colin Martin not to sit on the dais during the special town council meeting.
Before the meeting began, Johnson insisted for several minutes that Martin should not be allowed to sit with other councilmembers during the meeting.
Several councilmembers fired back at Mayor Johnson, insisting he was legally obligated to start the meeting when it was scheduled. Councilmembers also said the town administrator had the right to sit at the dais.
“None of us are at liberty to discuss whatever we’d like to when a quorum of Council is present,” Councilmember Bill McIntosh said. “The decision as to whether the Administrator (or anyone else for that matter) sits with Council at our meetings rests with Council as a whole and not with a single member (not even if the single member happens to be the mayor).”
Johnson sent an email to Martin and other councilmembers on Oct. 19 saying he would not be allowed on the dais. Johnson said he did not want Martin sitting with council because of his behavior during a prior meeting.
“You will no longer be welcome on the dais during council meetings,”Johnson wrote. “The town administrator has never before been seated there but was a gesture from me at the beginning of his employment.”
McIntosh said the town’s three previous administrators all sat with councilmembers at town council meetings.
“Mayor Johnson is mistaken when he claims that no other Town Administrator sat with Council during meetings and that Mr. Martin has only done so at Mayor Johnson’s invitation,” McIntosh said.
This all comes after several instances of fighting among leadership in the town of Summerville.
Back in June, emails obtained by Live 5 News uncovered a spat between Johnson and Martin over a request to have a car removed from a ditch.
That spat later lead to town council considering a motion to censure the mayor.
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