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It’s a safe bet that 2012 will go down in Anderson County history as one of the most contentious on record between county and city government.
From parking signs to solid waste grants to unified government to water bills, the past year was pockmarked with all manner of disagreements between Mayor Edwinna Baker and Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway’s offices.
Already at loggerheads over the idea of merging, the city fired a shot across the county’s bow in April when it changed policy and forced the fiscal court to start paying for water in Anderson Community Park.
The county fired back a couple of months later when the judge-executive refused to give the city its $5,000 share of a solid waste grant after the city forgot to apply for the state funds — the second time it failed to do so in as many years.
Not to be outdone, the city council ordered the judge-executive to remove reserved parking signs for himself, district and circuit court judges and a host of other county officials from Ollie Bowen Drive, a small street next to the county courthouse.
The judge-executive obliged and added to the signs removed a pair of handicapped parking signs that were mounted on county property along the street.
The judge-executive then wrote a letter to the city council, asking that the street be deeded over to the county.
The answer from the city council was a resounding no, which prompted the judge-executive in December to reinstall his own reserved parking sign on the street.
That angered at least one city councilman, who called the sign illegal and claimed the judge-executive was encroaching on city property.
The judge-executive said last week that he has since taken down the sign, saying he did so “as an act of goodwill.”
To be continued …