Town of Cheraw

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Cheraw Complaint Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the Mayor and Town Council, Town Staff, and citizens of Cheraw for processing and filing complaints.

The Town of Cheraw strives to maintain quality of services, improve relationships between Town employees, Mayor and Town Council members and its citizens.  It is the policy of the Town to accept, investigate, and resolve complaints.  When appropriate, effective action will be taken to address and correct the complaint.

Definition of a Complaint
It is important to recognize the difference between a complaint and a suggestion, observation, question, neighbor dispute, or simply a call pointing out a hazard or safety issue.  The elected official or staff member fielding the complaint will need to determine whether or not a complaint exists.  Examples of complaints include:

1. Infractions Complaint

  • A citizen’s complaint against a fellow citizen because he or she feels a town ordinance is being violated.

2. Non-infractions Complaint

  • A complaint against the Town as a result of a policy or ordinance deemed unfair.
  • A complaint against the Town because of what a citizen feels in inaction or an inappropriate response to a situation.

3.Misconduct Complaint

  • A complaint filled out by a citizen against a town employee or an elected official.
  • A complaint filled out by a town employee against another employee, a citizen, or an elected official.

Who Can File a Complaint?
Any citizen or employee of the Town of Cheraw can file a complaint against another citizen, the Town, a Town employee or an elected official.  Employees of the Town of Cheraw who have a complaint against another Town of Cheraw employee must follow the Town of Cheraw Employee Handbook Grievance Procedure.

Filing a Complaint
Persons with a complaint need to fill out a Complaint Form.

Complaints will be unsubstantiated if a formal complaint form is not completed and signed. Unsubstantiated complaints will warrant no action by the Mayor, Council, or staff.

The form must include a description of the complaint and be signed and dated by the individual filing the complaint.  The Town administrator, Town clerk, Mayor or a councilperson must also sign and date the complaint form.  The person following up on the complaint and the date of the follow up should also be included.

A copy of the completed complaint form will be mailed to the complainant and the original completed complaint form will be filed at the Town Hall.

Responding to a Complaint
All complaint forms filled out will be turned over to the Town Administrator who will determine the validity of the complaint.  Once determined, the Town Administrator will communicate to the complainant, in a timely manner, the course of action.  Matters not found to be valid will be dismissed without action.  Complainants will be notified of the Town’s decision not to pursue a complaint and the reason.

1. Infractions Complaint

    • For complaints involving municipal infractions, the Mayor, Town Administrator, and Chief of Police will review the complaint and complaint form.  Complaints will be investigated for validity and resolution.
    • If found valid:
    1. And this is the first complaint received, an abatement notice will be delivered or sent to the offender specifying the complaint and action required to be in compliance with the Ordinances of the Town of Cheraw.  Notices will also include a reasonable time frame for abatement.  The notice should cite the ordinance and consequences.
    2. In the event that the abatement has not occurred in the time frame allowed or in the event of a second complaint, after the first abatement period has expired, a first offense citation will be issued.  The appropriate municipal infraction citations will be issued for each occurrence thereafter.
    3. Should citations be issued, the recipient must come to the Cheraw Police Department to pay fines associated with the Municipal infraction citations or pay the Chesterfield County Treasurer’s Office in case of fines that have been certified as liens against property.
    4. Should the recipient dispute any portion of the citation and refuse payment, the citation will be forwarded to the appropriate court for action.
    5. In all cases referred to the appropriate court, the property owner will be required to pay the court costs incurred by the Town if the property owner is found to be in violation or if the property owners abates the nuisance before the court hearing and the hearing is cancelled at the request of the Town Attorney.

2. Non-Infractions Complaint

    • Steps will be taken on non-violation issues to be resolved by the appropriate body.  Example:  matters involving street repairs will be reviewed by the Town Administrator and head of Public Works.
    • The matter will be directed to the Town Council in the event that simple resolution is not possible and the Council will be kept apprised of issues in progress.

3. Misconduct Complaint

    • If the complaint is about a specific employee, the complaint will first be forwarded to the Town Administrator, Mayor, and the employee’s Department Head.  If a complaint is about the Town Administrator, the complaint will be forwarded to the Mayor.
    1. The Town Administrator will make the determination as to how the complaint handling will proceed.
    2. If legal counsel is required, the Town Administrator will consult the Town Attorney.
    3. If a closed session is required, the Mayor may call a special meeting with Council upon the request of the employee.
    4. If disciplinary action is required, the disciplinary procedures laid out in the employee handbook will be followed.
    • If the complaint is about a Council Member, the complaint will be forwarded to the Mayor who will determine how to proceed.  If legal counsel is required, the Mayor will contact the Town Attorney.
    • If the complaint is about the Mayor, the complaint will be forwarded to the Town Administrator and Mayor Pro-tem who will determine how to proceed.  If legal counsel is required, the Town Administrator will contact the Town Attorney.
    • If the complaint is filed by an employee against a supervisor, employees have protection under the South Carolina Whistleblower Act.

Town of Cheraw Complaint Form 
Download the Cheraw Complaint Form, fill out, sign, and take to the Cheraw Town Hall located at 200 Market Street between the hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.