NEW COUNCIL MAJORITY ASSERTS ITSELF

A new three-member majority of the Oconee County Council took shape Tuesday, with the opening moves seemingly aimed at isolating the other two members. Julian Davis was elected the new Council chairman on Tuesday with three votes, his own and that of District 3 Councilmember Paul Cain and District 1 Councilmember John Elliot, who was sworn in Tuesday to replace former councilmember Edda Cammick. Cain was elected vice-chairman and Elliot was elected chairman pro tem. The past several months has seen evident growing tension in Council meetings and in the media between Davis and Cain on the one side and District 2 Councilmember Wayne McCall, District 5 Councilmember Glenn Hart and the former council member Cammick. That tension was illustrated during Tuesday’s meeting when after a citizen complaint aimed at Davis, Hart declared that Davis should disqualify himself “from leadership on this Council.” The consolidation of the new majority further hardened with Davis announcing the new Council committee assignments. The newcomer Elliot will chair the budget and finance committee, on which all five members serve. Cain will chair the planning and economic development committee with Davis and Elliot as members. Davis will chair the real estate and grounds committee with Cain and Elliot as members. McCall will continue to chair the law enforcement and public safety committee that he has chaired since coming to the Council ten years ago. Elliot and Cain will serve as the other committee members. Hart will chair the transportation committee, with Davis and Cain as members.