HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The tone at the Hartsville City Council meeting was a festive one and not because it was the December meeting and everyone was filled with the holiday spirit.
The newest council member, Tre Gammage, was sworn into the District 1 seat after his run-off victory over 24-year veteran council member Adlena Graham was confirmed by the canvass of the votes.
Gammage was surrounded by family, which included his father, Judge Andre Gammage, who flew in from Indiana.
Gammage moved to Hartsville after graduation from Miami of Ohio University. He received a degree in psychology. He worked at The Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics in the student affairs department, while staying connected in the city and state, speaking at over 75 engagements, and competing at the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking, finishing in the top 100.
“I am very honored and humbled to be sitting up here tonight,” he said after taking his seat next to Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington. “To think that I’m the same age as the number of years Mrs. Graham served on council.”
There will be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 21 to honor Graham’s many years of service to Hartsville. More information may be obtained by calling the Hartsville City Hall.
In the business portion of the agenda, council members passed the second and final reading of the “open beverage zone” by a 5-2 vote.
Council members Billy Shirley and Bernice L. Wilson Sr. both voted no. Shirley said he had an issue with Sunday activities.
“I don’t think this (celebrations) should happen on a Sunday,” he said. “That is my reason for voting no.”
The city wanted to create an area in and around the downtown to promote larger functions and possible festivals.
This ordinance would affect, in the future, the six concerts on College Avenue, the downtown holiday open house and Go Big Hartsville, and it allows patrons to wander from the restaurant sidewalk area to adjacent shops and businesses.
Any organization hosting an event outside the consumption zone would still apply for a special event permit for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The council also performed the following actions:
>> Re-elected Johnny Andrews as mayor pro-tem for a third term. Andrews said he enjoys the duties and has more time now that he is retired to represent the city.
>> Approved the purchase of four different lots of land in and around the 300 block of Reservoir Street for future development.
>> Approved a bid to purchase 12 lead ECG monitor/defibrillators for the local fire department.
The council met in executive session to discuss and possibly approve appointments to various city boards and committees. There was no action taken after the session.
The next regular session of the Hartsville City Council will be the second Tuesday of January.