Dearing mayor: Don't attend Thomson meeting

DEARING -- Mayor Sean Kelley said Monday he opposes a resident's call for a Dearing contingent to attend the Thomson City Council meeting this week.

The 7 p.m. Thursday meeting will be held at the new city-county government center on Railroad Street.

Ray Silverstein has asked fellow Dearing residents to ask the Thomson council to approve a pact that would lower water rates in a wide area, including in Dearing. That measure failed on a 3-2 vote of the Thomson council on April 21. The rate formula would have raised rates in some parts of Thomson, but would have allowed greater reductions in Dearing and in some other parts of McDuffie County. The plan to standardize rates throughout the county already had cleared the county commissioners and the joint city-county water-sewer board.

About 80 city and county residents attended the April meeting, and opposed the measure.

Kelley told the Dearing City Council he has talked with Thomson officials, and has been told the water rates issue will not be discussed. He said the Thomson council is not obligated to let the audience discuss an item that is not on the agenda.

Kelley said Dearing's interests would be better served by reserving comment until the proposal is back on the Thomson agenda.

"I just feel that's the respectful way to handle it," Kelley said.

Council members Allen Dixon, Judson Story and Bobby Aldred agreed. Councilman Michael McTier was absent.

Silverstein said he still intends to attend the Thomson meeting and hopes to make his case.

"I don't feel it could hurt anything," he said.

He said he has asked at least 100 Dearing residents to attend the Thomson meeting. He also made his plea by calling in to a Thomson radio show Saturday morning.

The proposed agreement on water rates was described as a foundation for a broader agreement to standardize sewer rates throughout the county.

 

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