Confusion about Atlantic Beach Town Council - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Leaders walk away from Atlantic Beach council meeting

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ATLANTIC BEACH (WMBF) - Leaders with Atlantic Beach were set to meet August 5 for a town council meeting to hopefully clear up a lot of confusion.

But a couple members of the town council left the meeting before any business was discussed. Council members Carolyn Cole and Wendy Price left after the executive session, so they were not present for the meeting.

The town leaders that remained appointed a Municipal Election Commission and staffed the Housing Authority Board.

But Ms. Cole thinks the people making decisions for the town shouldn't even be there.

"We just got through doing that for a year with Jake Evans when he wasn't on the council. To them it's business as usual; you have to take a stand and say if you all want to have an illegal meeting, I'm not going to help you have a quorum to do it.

Josephine Isom's council seat was not addressed during the meeting. Mayor Evans says the group is going to have to find a way to work together.

Prior to Monday night's meeting, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the current Municipal Election Commission (MEC) and if there was even one in operation.

The MEC is set to handle election results and is made up of three members, according to Chair Commissioner Patricia Bellamy.

Bellamy said she has been the chair of the commission since January. She said the town's election commission was set to be removed by former Mayor Retha Pierce.

"On June 20 Retha Pierce came back and rescinded her vote, which you can do by state law, as long as you come to the next meeting," Bellamy said.

Bellamy also contended John Sketers, an Atlantic Beach resident, is to take the place over councilwoman Josephine Isom's seat. Bellamy claims Isom vacated her seat by waiting to be sworn in while lawsuits regarding the mayor's seat were worked out in court.

Atlantic Beach Town Manager William Booker gives his take to Bellamy's claims: "Number one, council has never scheduled an election, and secondly, the council on June 3 voted to remove municipal election commission."

According to Booker there is no intention to remove Isom from her council seat.

Booker said Sketers never filed his candidacy through town hall, and "That's required to be an official candidate."

Long-time resident, Jannie Isom, said she planned on attending Monday night's meeting to find out what's going on.

"It's the worst...they say they love the town, if you love the town you'll take care of the town. You do what you're supposed to do for your town," explained Isom.

According to Sandy Martin with the Horry County Voter Registration Office, the last time she knew the MEC was in operation was back during the special election, which was ordered by Governor Nikki Haley.

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