Council sweetens Taylor’s contract

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County’s administrator and clerk to council are getting raises.

Following a lengthy executive session that included six discussion items, Fairfield County Council voted unanimously to extend County Administrator Jason Taylor’s contract for another year.

The council also voted to increase the period of compensation in the event of termination without cause to two years.

Lastly, council members approved a 3.44 percent pay raise, increasing Taylor’s salary from $123,997.60 to $129,297.52.

“Jason, I think you do a great job,” said Billy Smith, the council’s chairman.

Smith announced in June that he wouldn’t seek re-election when his seat expires in December.

“I’m going to miss you when I’m gone,” Smith said.

Smith had similar words of praise for Clerk to Council Patti Locklair. She received a pay raise of 4 percent by unanimous vote of the council.

“I’m going to miss working with you,” Smith said.

Both Taylor and Locklair received similar pay raises last year, with Taylor receiving a contract extension last year as well.

Taylor was hired as the county administrator in May 2016. He came to Fairfield County from Jasper County, where he was previously the town administrator for Ridgeland since 2002.

He also spent eight years with the S.C. Department of Social Services and four years as Saluda County’s economic development director.

Also discussed in executive session were items relating to the purchase of property at the Fairfield Memorial Hospital site.

In addition, council members discussed a contractual matter concerning “Discussion of Funding in Accordance with the County’s Contract on Emergency Room Services with Providence/LifePoint and Fairfield Memorial Hospital.”

No action, however, was taken on either item.

At the June 25 meeting, council members voted to present a memorandum of understanding to Fairfield Memorial to purchase “some or all” of the property. The council voted in May to open negotiations leading to a possible purchase agreement for two medical offices and the rehab facility.

The hospital property must be unencumbered by liens or other attachments to the title, according to the motion approved in June.

Hospital officials said following the board’s June meeting that those talks have been positive.

As to Providence Health, Fairfield County and the Columbia-based health provider have partnered to build a new emergency room, which is being built off U.S. 321 bypass across from Bi-Lo.

County Council has pledged $1 million annually for 10 years to Providence Health in support of the new ER.

At the Fairfield Memorial Hospital board meeting in June, Joseph Bernard with Providence Health told trustees the facility should be completed in November, with a grand opening of the ER possible by mid-December.

Advertising for jobs should begin sometime this month, Bernard said.

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