Andrew Siders received a salute and a round of applause at Tuesday's Aiken County Council meeting, in honor of his service during 2018 as council's vice-chairman.
Siders, whose current term expires in 2020, was the subject of a resolution focusing on such things as his having "served on various committees and attended numerous regular meetings, special meetings and conferences in order to be of service to the citizens of Aiken County." He also presided over meetings when Gary Bunker, the council chairman, was unable to attend.
A few minutes later, Siders was also re-elected as vice chairman, by a 7-1 vote. Chuck Smith nominated Sandy Haskell for the post, but Haskell voted for Siders, and Siders abstained.
Business included a unanimous vote of support for an option regarding the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, relating to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposal in connection with the Savannah Harbor expansion project. Council expressed support for an option to retain the dam and establish a fish passage on the river's Georgia side.
Unanimous approval also went to the second reading of an ordinance to revise the boundaries of the fire districts involving Belvedere and the City of North Augusta, as addressed last week.
The evening's agenda also included having four incumbents returned to office. Sworn in were Phil Napier, Kathy Rawls, Sandy Haskell and Camille Furgiuele.
In other business, Andy Windham was among local residents addressing council. He asked his listeners to oppose the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade deal being promoted as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Act. Windham said results of the deal's approval, under the guise of free trade, would include the U.S. being "ruled by unelected bureaucrats."
Also speaking was Ron Felder, who expressed concern about Aiken County – and the state in general – having "trash all over the place." Felder said he and other volunteers are trying to address the local problem by picking up trash and need more support in the effort to make the county a better place in which to live and work.
The third and final speaker was Westley Guyton, who focused on a "private dumping area," near Exit 11 on I-20 and Rainbow Falls Road. The scene is home to "a terrible odor." Smith said the site is an eyesore, and Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian noted that the facility should not be rancid, since it is designated to receive construction and demolition debris – not the type of material generally known to cause a stench.