Recent meeting leads to showdown between Irmo mayor, some council members

Recent meeting leads to showdown between Irmo mayor, some council members

IRMO, SC (WIS) - Tension in Irmo has bubbled over where some town council members are taking action to possibly strip the mayor of some of his duties. As it turns out, the trouble all begins with a most recent town council meeting.

Councilman Barry Walker is the one who is really pushing for the changes. He held a press conference this afternoon to outline the changes he would like to see.

If passed, council members would be able to pick someone on council to preside over meetings and sign contracts, deeds, and other paperwork. Right now, those are duties of Mayor Hardy King.

Walker and Mayor Pro Tem Harvey Hoots say there have been a lot of issues leading up to this, but that the recent council meeting was the final straw.

"Mayor King attempted to, in my feelings, control the meeting to allow himself to speak on issues that he wanted to speak on and deny the others the ability to speak by rapping the gavel," Hoots said.

King defended himself.

"I had placed something on the agenda for a discussion about decorum, which is us talking one at a time and some Robert's Rules of Ordinance that explains you're supposed to speak only when you had the floor, you speak one at a time, and then you have some civility," King said. "As soon as I brought that up, Councilman Walker started interrupting."

Mayor King says he knows the criminal investigation he called for into the Okra Strut is also a reason some council members want to get rid of some of his power.

Walker and Hoots did acknowledge that they are unhappy King did not talk with council before getting law enforcement involved.

There has to be three readings of the ordinance before it can be passed. We're told there will also be a time for public comments.

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