#4: Aiken, SC 4/11/16

Why, I do declare! Sip yourself some sweet tea and try not to get the vapors, because we’re in South Carolina for the Aiken city council meetin’. This Palmetto State powwow is built on the three G’s: God, Grits, and Gettin’ down to the People’s Business.

Mayor Rick Osbon, the Aiken dry cleaning mogul, started things off with a down-homey prayer from one of the local men of the cloth.

“Through it all, [God] will be glorified and your name and your kingdom exalted. For this we give you all the praise, all the honor, and all the glory with thanksgiving. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen.”

Amen! I believe it’s a law in South Carolina that you have to start everything in Jesus’s precious name, so just to be safe, let me start this review in His name as well.

aiken1.jpg
Two minutes in and we’ve already got 18 retinas! Hallelujah!

The first piece of new business was as spicy as a drop of Tabasco: a citizen’s committee to review complaints about the police. This could get explosive–and the village elders certainly didn’t want another Fort Sumter on their hands.

“Five of you would have to vote in favor and council would have to make a finding of exigent circumstances that warrants this,” Councilman Reggie Ebner drawled.

“I don’t know what the definition of exigent is,” he admitted,  folksily. “I looked in the dictionary. It’s ‘something that requires immediate attention.'”

It was awfully diligent–er, sorry, “good job-doing”–of the councilman to do some research. Aikenites, be sure to keep him around. He’s a reader!

“I would definitely deem it exigent,” nodded the mayor, flexing the fancy new word. The council agreed unanimously.

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Mayor Rick Osbon knows two things: how to rock a pocket square and what “exigent” means.

“I’ma go back to our audience,” Mayor Osbon announced, scanning the sparse crowd in the chambers. “Any comments?”

A smart-dressed man strode confidently to the podium.  “Good evening, ya’ll. I have my family back there so excuse them if they start talking with me,” he chuckled. He endorsed the committee, adding “this community is special.”

“Thank you for your comments,” the mayor smiled. “That’s what makes Aiken the special place that it is.” Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit!

Suddenly, the mayor spotted a target in the audience. “This is Steve Kisner. You may know his son,” pro-golfer Kevin Kisner. “He made us all very proud this past weekend!” The mayor was interrupted by an outbreak of applause. The elder Kisner, himself dressed in a golfy blue Polo and khakis, accepted the applause on his son’s behalf.

“Steve, if he’s in town during a council meeting, bring him around and we’d like to personally recognize him,” Councilwoman Lessie Price promised.

Added Councilwoman Gail Diggs: “Tell him we’ll give him the key to the city. Whatever that is.” Aww, how gracious! (Er, sorry, Councilman Ebner: HOW VERY NICE-THING-TO-DO.)

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Steve Kisner’s son will get the key to the city, whatever that is.

With everyone vibing on Steve’s son, it was time to adjourn. “All those in favor please stand up,” the mayor called, just in time to watch his council make themselves as scarce as a hen’s teeth. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen!

Final thoughts: Because everyone learned the definition of “exigent,” I think we’re all winners. I give this meeting 2 out of 3 mint juleps.

 

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