City meets to address Mullins mayor water concerns

Some Mullins residents say it's not fair Mayor Lee continued to get those services without paying.
Some Mullins residents say it's not fair Mayor Lee continued to get those services without paying.
Mayor Lee said she doesn't feel like she has a say anymore when it comes to decisions about the city after her water was cut off last year.
Mayor Lee said she doesn't feel like she has a say anymore when it comes to decisions about the city after her water was cut off last year.
City Administrator Kenny Davis says he has an open-door policy and is willing to listen and try to work with anyone about the concerns in the city.
City Administrator Kenny Davis says he has an open-door policy and is willing to listen and try to work with anyone about the concerns in the city.

MULLINS, SC (WMBF) Mullins Mayor Pam Lee has paid back her overdue water bills after community leaders found out she hadn't paid in years, but the city's Mayor Pro Tem is still in charge of making decisions affecting the city.

Some people living in the area say it's not fair Mayor Lee continued to get those services without paying.

Now, people living in Mullins want an explanation from city officials and arranged their own town hall meeting.

The meeting was pretty intense, the turnout of city officials was low but community members attacked Mayor Lee and City Administrator Kenny Davis with questions and concerns.

Mayor Lee said she doesn't feel like she has a say anymore when it comes to decisions about the city after her water was cut off last year.

"I was asked to sign a form stating that I would give up my right to power, I said 'No. No I will not do that'. I did not sign," confirms Lee.

In August of 2011 Lee's water was shut off after her bill was years past due. She believes that is the reason why city officials asked her to step down.

After the incident, city council voted on an amendment to grant all of the Mayoral responsibilities to the Mayor Pro Tem.

Lee says many people didn't get the whole story, as the overdue water bills included her mother's home and her mother's business.

"It just said Mullins Mayor owes $16,000 and that's not true. [The bills] included my mom['s fees] and she was attacked and there was nothing explaining that weeks after," said Lee.

The issue sparked controversy with community members wanting answers as to how the mayor's water services continued for years when she wasn't paying.

Some people pointed fingers to the City Administrator Kenny Davis who oversees city-run services. He says he was not aware at the time and had nothing to do with the continuation of her services despite the lack of payments.

He did say that the city was in the process of increasing management oversight in the water and sewer department to make sure the incident doesn't happen again.

Other complaints surfaced over missing street signs, community programs, mis-use of city funding and policies for the chief of police to live within city limits.

Only one city council member attended the town hall, Terry Davis, along with the mayor and city administrator.

Some people say they didn't get the answers they wanted, but others say this meeting was a big step in the right direction.

"It was very productive for me; I heard the things I needed to hear," said Richard Hayes of Mullins.

During the town hall meeting, attendees overwhelmed the city administrator with questions causing him to walk to the back of the room, later claiming he was not avoiding anyone and would be happy to address issues anyone has with the city.

He says he has an open-door policy and is willing to listen and try to work with anyone about the concerns in the city.

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