Councilwoman addresses public concerns at Landrum City Council meeting

Published 1:13 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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Henderson refutes claims, reasserts commitment to small businesses 


LANDRUM—At Tuesday’s Landrum City Council meeting, Councilwoman Judy Henderson responded to claims made against her during the public meeting on July 11, in which several citizens and Landrum business owners voiced concerns over Henderson’s performance and what they say is a desire to “further a personal agenda.”

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Henderson read a statement, refuting claims that she said described her as “opposing every new development in the city, every new liquor license and entering an establishment at night to conduct a surprise inspection.”

“That’s not the case at all,” Henderson said. “While you may disagree with some of my views, I hope you will find that I’ve acted with integrity and with the interest of the Landrum community in mind.”

With roughly 25 in attendance, two citizens spoke in favor of Henderson’s conduct and character.

John Cash, a resident of Landrum for 27 years, told the council that he’s concerned about how elected officials are being treated. 

“[Henderson] has our city’s best interest at heart,” Cash said. “The people of Landrum have exercised their right to vote, and I hope that everyone can move on and support our public servants.”

Landrum citizen Wendy Dawn compared the negative talk regarding Henderson to the children’s game of telephone.

“I would appreciate if anyone has a question about anything, let’s go to the source,” said Dawn. “I think the best thing to do to clear up a lot of things is to go to the source. Let’s not play telephone like a child.” 

Henderson emphasized her long history of shopping locally and seeking responsible development with density and infrastructure in mind, and explained that she is pro-business and wants to assist small businesses in any way possible.

Henderson also addressed an incident with a local business that she said, “in retrospect, was ill-advised.” 

In the event in question, Henderson and City Administrator Rich Caplan were visiting a local business to review the parking setup and met with the business owners. She says she suggested a partnership with another local business, but it appeared the suggestion was taken as Henderson attempting to direct them on how to conduct their business. She said this was never her intention. 

Henderson made it clear that the incident did not occur as it was depicted in the letter read by citizens at the July 11 meeting, saying “it was not a strategically planned ambush.”

She concluded by stating that she intends to hold a meeting at least once a month at an accessible location where citizens can stop by to get to know her and share their issues.  

“I will always support businesses and encourage the Landrum community to patronize all Landrum businesses as much as they are able,” said Henderson. “Let’s work together to make Landrum an example of love and kindness and compassion for one another.”

After Henderson’s statement, Mayor Robert Briggs spoke to those in attendance.

“What we all have in common is that we all love this small town,” Briggs stated. “Our objective is to take our differences and turn those into strengths. That’s not only what makes America great, but also our little town of Landrum.”