Many individuals were recognized by City Council Tuesday night for their accomplishments.
From the Public Works department, Barry Bishop was recognized for his 10 years of service and Teresa Jones for 20 years.
Bishop began his employment with the City on March 17, 2008 and holds the position of Maintenance Worker.
“Barry is very good at what he does and is instrumental in keeping the downtown area clean,” said Mac Bartley, public works director.
Jones, who has held her administrative assistant position in the Public Works department for 20 years is the first person that customers speak to when they call the department, Bartley said.
“She does a lot for our department and does a tremendous job. I can’t thank you enough for what you do,” Bartley said of Jones.
City Council, City Manager Matt DeWitt, along with Police Chief Roy McClurkin also recognized Richard Mercer for his 10 years of service and Mike Wood for his 15 years of service to the City’s police department.
Mercer began working with the City on June 2, 2008 and holds the position of Police Sergeant with the investigation team.
McClurkin said Mercer did a lot for their department and he was proud of his work.
“I appreciate what you do for the citizens of Newberry and for the City,” McClurkin said.
Wood began working with the City’s police department on May 27, 2003 and holds the position of Shift Lieutenant. McClurkin said Wood did a wonderful job and was looked at as a mentor by his peers.
Under Utilities, Jerry Summer was honored by council for his retirement from the Wastewater department. Summer began his employment on August 28, 1989 and held the position of Wastewater Operator. He retired on June 29 after working with the City for almost 29 years.
Utility Director Tim Baker said Summer would be very hard to replace.
“He really cares about the City and about the Utility department,” Baker said. “He’s always a pleasure to be around.”
Also recognized for his retirement Tuesday was Kyle Vaughn from the city’s fire department. Vaughn began his employment with the city on April 13, 1996 and held the position of Fire Captain.
Fire Chief Keith Minick said he couldn’t say enough about what Vaughn brought to the table with the Newberry Fire Department and for keeping day to day operations going and that he was thankful to still have a mutual aid relationship with him as he was continuing to serve as the Fire Chief of Prosperity.
As a special recognition Tuesday, City Council recognized Lieutenant Andrew Morris for being named the South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association’s Firefighter of the Year. Morris was nominated by a fellow firefighter, Daniel Werts through an application that he submitted to the Firefighters’ Association Committee.
Mayor Foster Senn commended Morris by saying that there were over 17,000 firefighters in the state of South Carolina and the City of Newberry was proud that the firefighter of the year was right here in Newberry.
“The City has an outstanding fire department and what a great representative you are,” Senn said.
Minick thanked Morris for his service and said the department was excited to be recognized on the state level.
City volunteer firefighter, Chansel Minick was also recognized by council Tuesday for winning the state skills USA Firefighter Competition. By becoming the SC state champion, he advanced to the national competition held in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We are glad to recognize a state champion here tonight,” Senn said.
Keith Minick said it was exciting to see someone come this far within their department and that some of the skills Chansel had to perform in the competition included quick dress and a physical ability test. Chansel is currently volunteering with both the Newberry Fire Department and Bush River.
“It’s great to have that talent in our department,” Keith Minick said.
Under new business, City Council approved first reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 8.5 of the City Code to include Article 4. Senn said the article would address the condemnation process of properties located within the city.
The act would be a departure from the International Property Maintenance Code making the process similar to other municipalities within the state. The ordinance provides the owners an opportunity to repair, demolish or come to an agreement with the city regarding the repair or removal of their property.
DeWitt said city staff had been working for over a year to update zoning ordinances to make them more effective for the city and this was one of the steps.
The motion to accept first reading was made by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd and seconded by Councilman Zebbie Goudelock.
Council also approved first reading Tuesday of an ordinance to amend the lien collection process for the Planning and Development department. Currently, the department is charged for the maintenance of properties whose owners do not comply with the city code. The current system allows the city to put liens on properties to be collected when and if the property is sold. Senn said the ordinance gives the city the authority to collect liens in the same manner as municipal taxes through the use of the Newberry County Auditor’s Office.
Motion to accept the first reading was made by Boyd and seconded by Councilman David DuBose.
DeWitt told council they were in the process of trying to schedule a work session for the first week in August with a consultant that has been working with city staff for over a year on zoning updates and to give council a brief update on changes that have been made, allowing them to give feedback. When the meeting date had been decided, DeWitt said it would be posted on the city’s social media sites as well as in the newspaper.
Barry Bishop pictured with Public Works Director Mac Bartley and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Teresa Jones pictured with Public Works Director Mac Bartley and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Richard Mercer pictured with Police Chief Roy McClurkin and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Mike Wood pictured with Police Chief Roy McClurkin and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Jerry Summer is pictured with Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Mayor Foster Senn, Utility Director Tim Baker and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Kyle Vaughn is pictured with Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Mayor Foster Senn, Fire Chief Keith Minick and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Andrew Morris is pictured with Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Mayor Foster Senn, Fire Chief Keith Minick and City Manager Matt DeWitt
Chansel Minick is pictured with City Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Mayor Foster Senn, Fire Chief Keith Minick and City Manager Matt DeWitt