GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Money for upgrading roads and a communication system for first responders is now on hold while Greenville County Council faces a lawsuit spurring from how they voted on those fees.
Tuesday evening, council voted to move to a third vote to repeal a 2004 ordinance that requires a “supermajority” vote to increase fees.
“The elephant in the room is that three council members decided to sue their own body, and that’s hurtful,” said Councilman Ennis Fant, from District 25.
Council members were advised not to speak any further on a lawsuit brought on by Councilmen Joe Dill, Willis Meadows and Mike Barnes as well as a few state representatives.
“The lawsuit came, so that sort of put a cloud over that particular ordinance, but the majority of council realizes that these are important issues, and they wanted to move forward without any further delay in a positive direction,” said County Council Chairman Butch Kirven.
Council has since moved those fees into two separate ordinances. However, some council members are upset the 13 year ordinance was not upheld.
“All of a sudden, we want to change this rule,” Councilman Joe Dill said.
There are 12 people on County Council. The ordinance as it stands requires nine people in order to raise fees, but the vote would change that number to seven which is in line with state law.
Chairman Kirven says he made the decision that state law would take priority over the county ordinance
But, some residents don’t agree with that decision.
“I would like to see my representative keep up with saying nine votes,” said Greenville County resident, Jan Williams.
However, council thinks a simple majority will do.
“It was bigger than just these two ordinances, it was a realization that..Why should four people be able to control what 12 people think should be done on county council,” Kirven said.
The final reading for the majority vote will be on April 18th.
The two fee increases are now going to the “Committee of the Whole” before they have a second and third reading.