LITTLE MOUNTAIN — Longtime mayor of Little Mountain Buddy Johnson will not continue as mayor next year.
Johnson has served 16 years as mayor and decided not to run in the Nov. 6 general election but after write-in candidate Marty Frick declined the position it opened up to Johnson because he was the current mayor. Johnson also happened to have the second most write-in votes.
However, Johnson decided after Tuesday’s regularly scheduled town council meeting that he would not continue his service and has decided to step down.
However, he will serve on the town’s historical review committee which helps to preserve the history of Little Mountain.
The mayor pro tem, Melvin Bowers, will act as mayor until the special election on March 26 for the mayor.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Bowers and council member Roxie Derrick were presented with plaques by council for their service. Derrick decided not to run again and will be replaced by Susan Epting.
In other news from the brief council meeting, the council has decided to change the time of their meetings to 6:30 p.m. from the regular 7:30 p.m. The day, the second Tuesdays of the month, will remain the same.
Johnson said that this was more convenient for the council members. This will go into effect starting with the next meeting in January.
On the community center construction update, Johnson said the work should be completed the week of Dec. 17 sometime. This includes the expansion work on the library part of the center.
The senior center part was already complete.
In news related to the Rocky Branch Trail, Johnson said that the trail will be handicap accessible.
“This is wonderful as we were concerned that the elevation contours and rock outcroppings might hinder it from being an accessible trail,” said Johnson.
The trail’s land was donated by Derrick and is to be used as a public trail for people to use. There is a picnic shelter and restrooms and there will be rest spots along the way for people to use.
There was a dedication ceremony on Nov. 4 for the area the encompasses 44 acres of land.
The trail part will be about a mile and a half long and the plants and species have been preserved. In fact, Newberry College’s professor Charles Horn took about two years to assess all the plant and species, Johnson has said earlier.
They have worked with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation out of Columbia on an easement to preserve the area and the town had a $26,800 grant that they had to match 20 percent of.
The next regular town council meeting will be Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at town hall.