Petitioners Want Mayor, Council Members Out - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/18/04

Petitioners Want Mayor, Council Members Out

Some residents of Rincon are taking legal action against some of their elected leaders. They're even trying to throw the mayor and several council members out of office. This all stems from a long battle over who should provide water for the city.

Residents claim throughout this battle over the water provider, the mayor and council in Rincon have committed deceptive acts, among other things.

The decision on whether to tap into Savannah's water or tap into another aquifer is already in court. Now there's a new court case. WTOC has learned that a group of residents is trying to remove the mayor, George Saraf, and four of the city's six council members.

In papers filed in court, the group claims the city leaders committed deceptive acts, drilled illegal wells, gave false statements and knowingly violated Georgia water acts.

"Have we done anything in my mind that would warrant removal from office? No," said council member Paul Wendelken.

Wendelken says Rincon's rapid growth drained its water supply and, despite this recall effort, he will continue to do what he's been doing to keep the city's water supply afloat.

"I won't do anything different because of this, as far as my personal convictions on city council," he said. "I firmly believe and have been told by numerous citizens that, 'Ya'll are doing what I want you to do.'"

We tried to reach the petitioners' attorney, but he did not return our phone calls and the petitioners would not go on camera. This is a story that is far from over and we will continue to follow it.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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