Town of Mount Pleasant committee to discuss possible changes to form of mayor

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A new form of government may be on the way for the Town of Mount Pleasant. The Police, Judicial, and Legislative Committee will meet on Tuesday to talk about the proposal.

Right now, the Town of Mount Pleasant has a Council/Mayor “Council” form of government.

According to Councilmember Jake Rambo, this means the town has a part-time mayor with a town-administrator who oversees day-to-day operations. Mount Pleasant Town Council is composed of the mayor and eight council members.

“Here in the Town of Mount Pleasant, we do not have a full-time mayor despite the fact that we are now over 95-thousand people,” Councilman Jake Rambo said. “And so really, this discussion here this morning is to really take a hard look at our form of government.”

According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, “the mayor presides over meetings (by tradition), performs ceremonial duties, calls special meetings, designates a temporary judge, performs administrative duties (only if authorized by council), and acts and votes as a member of council. The mayor has no additional statutory authority beyond that of other councilmembers.”

On Tuesday, the Police, Judicial, and Legislative Committee will discuss two other options on how the government is run.

The first option includes a Mayor/Council form, which is the “Strong Mayor” approach and designates the mayor as chief administrative officer. This gives the mayor the power to appoint and remove employees subject to personnel rules adopted by council. According to MASC, the mayor is a part of council, supervises departments, prepares the budget and capital program, ensures laws are executed, makes an annual financial report to the public and council, and reports to the council on the operation of departments.

The second option being considered is the Council-Manager form. This would have a mayor with four to eight councilmembers. The mayor still presides over meetings and acts as a member of council, but would not have administrative powers and according to MASC, “has no additional statutory authority beyond that of other councilmembers.”

Tuesday’s discussion includes whether or not to put this on the 2020 ballot.

“Any decision that’s made on this would not go into effect until after the next mayoral election,” Councilman Jake Rambo said. “So even if they decide on it on the 2020 ballot, it wouldn’t go into effect until after the 2021 mayoral election.”

The Police, Judicial, and Legislative committee will meet at town council chambers at 9 a.m.

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