Special Session of Branchville (SC) Town Council -- Monday night, Jan. 30, 2006
Posted in the Branchville Forum
#1 Jan 30, 2006
The Branchville Town Council & Mayor held their first official meeting of 2006 in January.
Prior to this first meeting of the Branchville Town Council there was an election in November, 2005. That election removed three incumbent Branchville Town Councilpersons, and added three new members.
So, the first order of business at the first 2006 Branchville Town meeting was to have the three new Branchville Town Council members sworn in to office. The local Municipal Judge was called in by the Mayor to perform the official act of swearing in the new Branchville Town Council members.
I could hardly restrain my self from laughing out loud during the swearing in ceremony. The reason that I was so amused was that the Municipal Judge lacks a very good command of the English language and in reading the oath to those Branchville Town Council members being sworn in, he mumbled and stumbled the oath as he read it.
But in addition to the mumbling and stumbling, the Municipal Judge also mispronounced at least every fifth word in the oath of office. He mispronounced some of the words so greatly, that he gave an altogether different meaning to the oath.
And to make matters worse, and even more humerous, was the fact that the Branchville Town Council members repeated the many mistakes which the Municipal Judge told them to repeat.
I hope that someone who was present recorded the swearing in ceremonies. Because I am not at all certain what actions that swore to take, and which nation's constitution that they swore to uphold. Now there may have been one or two Branchville Town Council members who actually made the corrections as they went along, but the majority only repeated all of the Municipal Judge's mistakes and mispronounciations.
The Town of Branchville has a desperate shortage in qualilty and educated persons to fill all of the official positions in the Town Government.
The next order of business of that first Branchville Town Council's meeting in January, 2006 was to sort out the facts from the rumors concerning the residency of the Branchville Town Mayor.
When he first ran for and was elected to the position of Mayor of Branchville, there was no question of the Mayor's residency. He lived withing the Branchville Town limits in a mobile home and was paying taxes on that property to the Town of Branchville and he was also allowed to vote in the Branchville Town Election in which he was first elected.
But he later moved to a location that was outside of the Branchville Town limits, according to the Branchville Town Limit sign which greets travelers as they approach town on Highway 78 from the direction of Bamberg, SC.
Very conveniently for the mayor, the Branchville Town Limit sign was moved to a point which now takes in the property upon which the Mayor lives. How that sign was moved and whether it was a legal move is a mystery which to this date has not yet been cleared up.
And when the Mayor of Branchville attempted to vote in the November, 2005, he was informed by the Orangeburg County voting officials that his name had been removed from the qualified voting registry because of his move outside of the Branchville Town limits. So the question then arose among the citizens of Branchville about the legality of the Mayor's holding of office in his second term because of the finding of the Orangeburg County Election officials findings of his residency questions.
There is a whole lot of moving and shaking around the Town Hall these days.
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