A city councilor has been given more time after she was given a 30-day notice to vacate her mobile home, where she lived for over 30 years with no rent or utilities.
The city councilwoman running for mayor in North Charleston, just a few miles from the South Carolina coast, maintains that her and her husband’s fight to move is just a political hit.
Rhonda Jerome and her husband Joseph were given a 30-day notice to vacate their property months ago, and now their notice is further extended to March 2024 Post and courier Reports.
The Jeromes have lived in a manufactured home on sewer district property since 1989 under a special agreement.
They would not have to pay rent or utilities if Jerome and her husband provided security for the property and its contents.
That agreement ended in May, not long after Jerome ran for mayor.
Jerome and her attorney argued that the county’s decision to end their agreement was political retaliation for targeting former Police Chief Reggie Burgess, a candidate who was endorsed by current Mayor Keith Sumey.
However, Stimmey and the district have denied that claim.
Jerome’s attorney, Tommy Goldstein, claimed in court Monday that the couple’s eviction was “an act of pure political retaliation” and that the district violated the Freedom of Information Act.
But county attorney Tim Muller said the couple signed an agreement years ago requiring them to vacate the property with 30 days’ notice.
“Here we are, four months after the termination,” Müller said in court.
“All we hear is, ‘We’re still working on it’.”
The move could prove to be a difficult task as the couple would have to find a place for their mobile home in the Jerome borough as she also seeks to be re-elected as a councilor during the mayoral election.
Jerome said she and her husband have been trying to sell their property for 34 years, adding that some of the sheds and carports that came with the home have been sold and removed.
The couple stayed some nights with friends and family while other nights stayed in the mobile home, Jerome said.
In court, Goldstein and Muller crafted a proposal to have the couple remove their mobile home from the sewer district’s property by March 1, 2024.
That proposal still requires the district’s approval, and the judge gave both sides a week to resolve the matter.
The US Sun reached out to the sewer district and Mayor Keith Sumey’s office for comment.