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      Council nixes plan to dissolve PD; Reading passes to weaken mayor's power

      Discussions got heated as members debated a proposed ordinance to change the lay of the law from a strong mayor to a weak mayor and stronger council.

      COTTAGEVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- It took members of the Cottageville Town Council a matter of minutes to nix plans to dissolve the police department. Just as quickly, town leaders began talks of government reform.

      Discussions got heated as members debated a proposed ordinance to change the lay of the law from a strong mayor to a weak mayor and stronger council.

      The ordinance passed on the first reading on Monday night. It was proposed by council member George Addison.

      The move didn't sit well with some at the meeting.

      "You guys are supposed to work with the mayor," said Bobby Teal. "You're not supposed to fight the mayor."

      When asked Addison why he wants change, Addison said strengthening the town council would help the town better manage issues.

      "Four or five heads are better than one when you manage a department," Addison said.

      Disgusted by the potential change in government, some residents called for the removal of town council.

      "We deserve to have a council that works with this mayor and with all of the people that elected them," said Cottageville resident Deborah Hardwick.

      Town council will vote on the proposed ordinance again on September 12. During that meeting, council will allow public input before having the second and final reading of the ordinance.

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