ATLANTIC BEACH — Kenneth McLaurin and Lenearl Evans will join the Atlantic Beach Town Council after winning Tuesdays election.
McLaurin led with 70 votes while Evans earned 66. Former Mayor Retha Pierce had 15 votes in the bid for two expiring council seats previously held by Carolyn Cole and Windy Price.
Cole and Price received five and four votes, respectively, as write-in candidates.
Mayor Jake Evans said he is excited to have McLaurin and his brother Lenearl Evans join Town Council and expects the two men will work nicely with the existing group.
Lenearl Evans said there shouldnt be any problems having brothers work together on council.
Ive worked with my brother all my life, he said.
He said he hopes to start working on plans that could bring investors into town, but did not elaborate on the plans.
McLaurin said the chaos that has become routine in Atlantic Beach should soon cease.
If the media is looking for a show, theyre going to need to look outside of Atlantic Beach, he said.
McLaurin said there will be respect among council members and disagreements will not result in sparring matches during Town Council meetings.
A last minute attempt to stop Tuesdays election in Atlantic Beach failed before voters hit the polls Tuesday.
Nicole Kenion, a town resident, petitioned the Supreme Court of South Carolina to asking the court to enjoin the election days before the polls opened.
An order from the court denied the request saying Kenion failed to provide an affidavit to prove the petition had been served to the town, did not provide any reason for the court to grant the injunctive relief, and finally did not give any other evidence for the court to take the highly unusual action.
Cole and Price said the election is illegal, despite participating as write-in candidates.
The pair, along with Patricia Bellamy and the Bellamy-led Municipal Election Commission which was fired this summer filed suit against the Town of Atlantic Beach, Town Manager William Booker, Mayor Jake Evans, council members Charlene Taylor and Josephine Isom and the acting Municipal Election comprised of Joe Montgomery, Carolyn Gore and Kenneth McIver.
The suit, which was served Tuesday, says the election was illegal and invalid and seeks a permanent injunction on the election.
McIver, a member of the election commission, said the commission has a lawyer that will meet with the towns attorney to determine how to proceed.
Council also said the Town Council is not currently a legal government body because Josephine Isom is a member.
Isom won a seat in the contested Nov. 2011 election and managed to retain it during the governor-ordered election in May 2012.
Isom never took her seat and in August 2012 the Town Council voted 3-1 to order her to give up her seat, citing her failure to participate and accept the duties of 7a council member, and her failure to communicate why she hadnt taken the oath of office.
Town Manager William Booker said the Town Council couldnt force Isom to forfeit the seat.
She was never on [council], Booker said. How can you vote her off if she was never on? Theres a rule that Town Council governs its members, but in terms of the advice that we were given, you have to be a member to be voted off. They voted that she couldnt take her seat.
Cole also said the town should look into un-incorporating and becoming part of North Myrtle Beach or Horry County. She has previously approached Horry County Council about the dissolution of Atlantic Beach.
If you dont know who is on council, if you dont know when your election is, the two most basic things government should do, youve got a problem, she said. The courts need to figure this out.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.