Charleston City Council during its Tuesday meeting discussed creating a committee to explore options for increasing council members’ pay and voted to defer a citywide mask mandate.
Councilman Keith Waring spoke at length about the importance of diversity on council, including age demographics. He pointed to the low pay as a deterrent for young people to get involved. Councilman Harry Griffin, however, said it wasn’t just the pay but also schedules that he described as needlessly tumultuous.
No vote was taken, but Mayor John Tecklenburg and several council members each expressed a desire to discuss the matter further as well as weigh other options.
The council also voted to defer a second reading of a sweeping mask mandate after having approved it during its first reading in August, citing declining infection numbers.
“Numbers are moving in the right direction, thankfully,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “It’s a blessing. Case numbers are down, particularly in Charleston County, hospitalization rates are still serious, but they’re down and going in the right direction, and importantly, vaccination rates are up.”
Dr. Michael Sweat, director of the MUSC Center for Global Health, spoke during the meeting before the vote, showing statistics that lend to the idea that case numbers will continue to trend downward before plateauing at a low that hasn’t been seen since the delta-variant-led surge.