COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On the job for less than a year, and Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson already feels the need to defend himself.
"Judge me on the results, not on what you hear," said Wilson.
Wilson has faced backlash from some council members and residents after suspending, and eventually firing, town clerk Adrienne Thompson, amid allegations of unauthorized purchasing and misappropriated town funds.
"Three members, primarily, have expressed their dissatisfaction with certain things, which is their right," said Wilson.
Wilson wouldn't talk about Thompson. Thompson has filed a lawsuit against him, and there is an ongoing SLED investigation.
According to Thompson's attorney, Lewis Cromer, Thompson is still "suffering the damage this mayor has put her through and she has drowned in the backwash of this battle."
Mayor Wilson says he's focused on economic development and improving communication.
"We're making every effort to bring jobs, enhance our financial reporting structure. We're creating new technology inside the Town Hall operation," said Wilson.
Wilson wants to continue to recruit companies to Chapin and wants to enhance growth in the school system. He says he is not letting the negative opinions get to him.
"I'm not worried about it. I know what I'm doing is correct," said Wilson. "I know what I'm doing is right and I'm going to stay focused on trying to change the things that need to be changed."
One criticism from some council members is that the mayor is not open to putting items on the agenda. Wilson calls that "completely false."
"They have had the opportunity to express whatever information they want on the agenda, but we're not going to focus in on agenda items that question the qualifications of the mayor. I was voted by the voters, they have made their decision, they have established a mandate, and so that's kind of questionable as to why they would want to do that," said Wilson.
Council members have agreed to mediation to try and ease the tension. Mediation options will be proposed at the next regular council meeting.
Wilson has also started Five at 5, which is an opportunity for people to sit and talk with the mayor one-on-one.
"If we're doing things wrong, you can tell us that, but support it. Which in many cases, the rumors that are being heard are not substantiated. I have no problem being challenged what-so-ever and I'll substantiate my position, and the town position, and we will go forward with positive results," said Wilson.