Beaufort County Council is under new leadership.
This after a contentious meeting Monday night led to the Chairman’s resignation and the election of another.
“This is way bigger than you as a chairman, this is bigger than us as a council, this is the people,” said Councilman Michael Covert.
Chairman Stu Rodman has been under fire for months.
The people and Council members wanted a change at the top.
“This county is in such a bad spot right now,” said Covert. “We have asked you to resign. let’s move on.”
The goal, to end a divided council and the leadership of Chairman Rodman.
A chair accused of backroom dealings to help end a road project he didn’t care for, and for trying to stifle his critics, either through trying to end Public Comment at meetings or creating a fearful atmosphere among County staff.
Rodman initially did agree to resign during this meeting but wanted something in return first.
“I have yet to have anybody come to me and say or accuse me of these one two three four five things. I think that’s unfair,” said Rodman.
Several of the Council people were willing to oblige
“There are people in this room that dare I say what happens tonight will depend on if they come to work tomorrow,” said Covert. “Because the temperature at the administration building is horrific.”
“We need immediate certainty for the public,” said Councilman Chris Hervochon. “I think we need immediate certainty for this council and I think we need immediate certainty for this administration.”
“We don’t want to look bad in front of the public any longer. We look bad now,” explains Councilman Joseph Passiment.
After hearing the comments, Rodman did finally resign. He said it was for the good of the council and the community.
“Do you believe you have done anything wrong to lead to this decision?”
“Absolutely not,” said Rodman.
“Then why did it happen?”
“Because I wasn’t looking to be chairman to begin with and they were split and I was the compromise, I did the best I could,” said Rodman.
After Rodman’s resignation, Joseph Passiment was unanimously elected as the new Council Chairman. Passiment says he hopes the Council can get back to business and away from bickering.