The city of Midway is preparing for the Nov. 5 municipal election to fill the mayor’s seat and four at-large city council seats. Midway’s mayor and council serve four-year terms.
Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington will face Terry Doyle for the mayoral seat. Doyle has served on the Midway City Council for 3.5 years. With Doyle running for mayor, his seat on the council is open to be filled.
Incumbents Curtes Roberts Sr., Midway mayor pro tem, and Levern Clancy Jr. and Melice Gerace are running for re-election to the council.
Outspoken resident and Coastal Courier columnist Len Calderone has thrown his hat in the ring, as has former Midway mayor Don Emmons. Midway motel owner Chirag Patel also has announced his council bid.
Candidates Doyle, Calderone, Gerace, Emmons and Patel are teaming up to promote themselves on a campaign brochure. Doyle and Gerace stress that this group of city-council candidates still are running against one another, but they all share a common vision for Midway.
Doyle said one of the reasons he’s running for mayor is because too many important decisions have been unnecessarily delayed, such as updating the city charter and various ordinances.
“I’m not quite satisfied with the progress that has been made under this current leadership,” Doyle said.
“I am not a politician,” he added. “I’m a citizen’s advocate.”
Calderone agreed with Doyle, saying Washington had made some “bad” decisions, which Roberts and Clancy rubber stamped.
Doyle and Gerace allege that a 50 percent fee increase reportedly given to an outside contractor was authorized by the mayor and mayor pro tem, but was not brought before the council for approval.
Washington and Roberts were signing checks “unbeknownst to the council,” Gerace said. She said the matter was brought to her and Doyle’s attention last November when city finance director Gwendolyn Lowe mentioned the fee increase during a budgetary review. Gerace said when she and Doyle asked to see the contract, one could not be produced.
“The mayor basically said there was no discussion and there was no contract,” Gerace said.
Doyle and Calderone also agreed Midway has potential, but said city leaders must work harder to entice businesses to Midway.
Calderone added more housing is needed to support the workers employed by large companies in Midway, such Target. He said many of these people are living in Richmond Hill and Pooler rather than in Midway.
Doyle said the process for acquiring a business license in Midway is “too complex.” He said all business-license requests currently must come before the city council for approval. Doyle said that step is “a waste of time,” when the city pays the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission to review city and county ordinances and state laws to ensure a business-license applicant meets all requirements.
“In the ordinance, it says (business) licenses go to the city clerk for approval,” Doyle said.
The city’s ordinance on historicmidway.com reads, “If the city clerk determines that the application is not in order, or any requirements for the license have not been met, then the city clerk shall deny the application and immediately provide written notice of the denial and the grounds, therefore, to the applicant.”
The ordinance goes on to explain that a business-license applicant can appeal a denial to the mayor and council within 10 days of the denial notice being issued. The council then would hold a public hearing to decide if the denial should be upheld. The council’s decision would be based on whether the city clerk is found to be correct or “erred in the interpretation of the regulations involved or the facts of the case.”
No voting in Flemington
The city of Flemington issued a notice of election cancellation in the Sept. 8 issue of the Coastal Courier. The city’s municipal election was canceled because all qualifying candidates are incumbents who faced no opposition. Mayor Sandra Martin and council members Palmer Dasher, David Edwards, Gail Evans, Paul Hawkins, Charles Richardson and Donnie Smith will continue to serve in their current seats.
They will start their new terms in January 2014.