LITTLE MOUNTAIN — The small town with less that 300 people has made national news thanks to its lack of mayoral leadership beginning 2013.
According to former mayor Buddy Johnson, The State newspaper picked up the town election story from The Observer. This lead to a The New York Times story as well as coverage on MSNBC, NPR, a Pittsburgh, Pa. paper, the Charleston Post and Courier and even a CBS radio station in Los Angeles, Calif., Johnson summed up.
Johnson held the position for 16 years and stepped down from his position last year. The new year welcomes a vacancy. Mayor Pro Tem Melvin Bowers will act as mayor until the special election April 2. The filing for the town will be between Jan. 18 and Feb. 1 in the town.
The New York Times newspaper as well as a MSNBC site projected the uniqueness of this situation exclaiming that the small South Carolina town is in search of a mayor.
Johnson had decided that he was not going to continue serving the town for the Nov. 6 general election. While the town wrote in Marty Frick, he declined for personal reasons.
The national news also covered the fact that the Little Mountain Reunion had been canceled.
In the article, Bowers was quoted as saying, “Nobody wants to give up the freedom to do what they want to do, when they want to do it,” he said. “Being the mayor isn’t easy.”
The job pays modestly at $100 a month but the real issue is trying to find someone to govern the small town.
Residents interested in stepping up to the plate should know that they may file through the town.
According to the Newberry County Voter Registration office staff, people must file by petition by contacting the town clerk, Cindy Farr. There is no fee for filing and they must be filed no later than noon on Feb. 1 with Farr.
The county’s election commissions will determine the validity of the petitions.
While Johnson is no longer in public office, he is committed to helping out the council however he can such as with writing grants, he said.
Johnson has helped garner grants for the town town to assist with keeping it historical or in terms of recreation.
As for talk about the town becoming unincorporated, Johnson dismisses this as an attack against their progress.
Johnson encourages residents to get and stay involved in the town’s planning progress rather than having a reaction about something with no prior participation with the town.
The town council meetings have been changed to 6:30 p.m. starting in January and are the second Tuesdays of the month and residents are encouraged to attend to stay informed about the local government process.