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March 25, 2015

City Council, March 24
Resolution opposing offshore drilling approved but with much dissent
Management of Galliard construction questioned
Marc Knapp

The resolution to oppose drilling and seismic testing off the coast of South Carolina was subject to much debate at last night’s Council meeting. All but one Council member spoke to the issue and Council ultimately approved the resolution. But with a 7 to 5 vote, the support was not overwhelming. Council members White, Alexander, Riegel, Moody, and Wagner voted against the resolution. The Mayor supported the resolution and said that a vote was necessary at the meeting to enable the resolution to be submitted to Ocean Energy Management before the end of this month when the opportunity for public comments closed.

Continue reading "City Council, March 24"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2015

County Council, March 19
CARTA loan of $7.6 million forgiven
Council member Rawl unhappy about mutual assistance agreements
Warwick Jones

Differing from most meetings this year, that of the Finance Committee last night was lively. The issue of forgiving a $7.6 million loan to CARTA was divisive, as was a 5-year tax abatement extension for Greenridge Properties LLC. County Sherriff Cannon was also taken to task by Council member Rawl over his department’s “assistance operations” outside the County but it seemed that few or any other Council members shared his ire.

Continue reading "County Council, March 19"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2015

City Council, March 10
Council edges closer to comprehensive transportation ordinance
Major contract awarded for Spring/Fishburne drainage
Marc Knapp

A new ordinance to replace those relating to taxis and limousines, and to cover Network Transportation Companies (NTCs), is shortly to come before Council. The Transportation Committee has been working on the ordinance for some weeks and the Committee Chair, Council member Moody last night indicated it’s near completion. He also gave to Council an “executive summary”. It is summarized below. The most controversial part of the new ordinance is probably the new taxi cab rates.

Continue reading "City Council, March 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2015

City Council, February 24
Council honors a feisty Auschwitz survivor
Hopes for greenspace on Upper King Street
Marc Knapp

It was a bleak night and probably most of us would have preferred to have been somewhere else. And maybe staff wanted an early night too as the thermostat in the Council chamber was turned to an uncomfortable low level. Notwithstanding, the session lasted longer than most Council members hoped, I suspect. And it was mainly discussion on what we thought was an undeserving item that prolonged the meeting.

Continue reading "City Council, February 24"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2015

County Council, February 19
“Clean” report by external auditor, again!
Contract for new cell at Bees Ferry landfill awarded
Warwick Jones

The Finance Committee met last night and similar to other recent meetings, there was little news worthy on the agenda.

Continue reading "County Council, February 19"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2015

City Council, February 10
Still working on Transportation Network Companies ordinance
Revisions likely of taxi and limousine regulations as well
Marc Knapp

Last evening’s Council meetings were short. There was little of note relating to business items on the agenda. In common with some recent meetings, presentations and recognitions took up a significant amount of the time.

Continue reading "City Council, February 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2015

City Council, January 27

Still working on Transport Network Companies ordinance

Long Savannah showing life

Marc Knapp

There was little of substance on the agenda for last night’s Council meeting. In consequence, the meeting was relatively short, and ended a little less than an hour before the Mayor was scheduled to deliver his State of the City address.

Continue reading "City Council, January 27"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2015

City Council, January 13
City begins work on Transport Network ordinance
Warwick Jones

It was a short City Council meeting with little of substance on the agenda. Citizen’s Participation was able to draw only one speaker. The action of the day was at the earlier meeting of the Transportation Committee. It was well attended, we were told as citizens expressed their views on a new ordinance covering the likes of Uber and Lyft.

Continue reading "City Council, January 13"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2015

County Council, January 6
Summey elected Chairman of County Council
Rawl to Vice-Chair

Warwick Jones

It was the first meeting of the year. Council members gathered for photographs and swearing-in of newly elected officers. They liberally distributed greetings, hugs and bonhomie amongst themselves and well-wishers. After the half-hour joy fest, the photographs, and the administration of the oaths of office, the Finance Committee quickly worked through its limited agenda. But it would be another half an hour before the real business that had summoned us this night began – the election of the Chair and Vice - Chair.

Continue reading "County Council, January 6"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2014

County Council, December 18
Economic Development Department to double in size
St. Andrews PSD looks to move maintenance facility to Bees Ferry
Warwick Jones

It was the last meeting for 2014 and the agenda was long but light. The most interesting item was a presentation by Mr. Steve Dykes, head of the Economic Development Department. He wanted an increase in the department’s budget and a doubling of its staffing.

Continue reading "County Council, December 18"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2014

City Council, December 16
City to take a look at building standards in Historic District
Magnolia project moves ahead – at last
Marck Knapp

It was the first item of the Ways and Means Agenda. The City was to retain Miami architect Duany Plater–Zybek & Co for a fee of $79,000. Historic Charleston Foundation was to reimburse the City for $40,000 of this amount. We had no idea what all this was for but the Mayor moved to enlighten us.

Continue reading "City Council, December 16"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2014

County Council, November 14
Concern about Development Master Plan for 995 Morrison Drive
CRDA seeks to heal division
Warwick Jones

Last night’s Committee meetings were a marathon session of over three hours. Whether because of fatigue or other commitments, two Council members sneaked out (OK, left) before the end. And what is irritating, it turns out that much of the time spent was unnecessary.

Continue reading "County Council, November 14"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2014

City Council, November 12
A natatorium for the City?
A belated attempt to restrain helicopter tours of the City
Marc Knapp

When the College of Charleston decided recently to close down the Stern Center, it probably had little idea of the reaction. The Center houses an indoor swimming pool and without which, the College’s swim and dive team dies. Last night, the members of the team, perhaps thirty or so, turned up to the City Council meeting. Speakers noted the benefits derived by the community of the College’s swim and diving programs. They sought the City’s help in some way to preserve the programs. The City responded enthusiastically and probably went beyond the expectations of the students.

Continue reading "City Council, November 12"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2014

County Council, October 31
Council deliberates over renewal of Administrator’s contract
We think the process has been belittling
Warwick Jones

As has been common of late, an executive session took up most of the meeting of the Finance Committee. There were few items on the agenda and most were dispensed in minutes.

Continue reading "County Council, October 31"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2014

City Council, October 28
Residents seek more changes to Upper Wando development
A Farmer’s Market for West Ashley?
Marc Knapp

Zoning issues were the focus of Council discussion and Citizens Participation last night. The most important was that relating to the development of 70.4 acres on the Upper Wando. A number of citizens spoke of the need for changes to the proposed Planned Unit Development (PUD) but Council unanimously agreed to give the ordinance a first reading. Council members noted that differences remained between the developer and near-by residents but hoped that most of these could be eliminated by the time the ordinance came back for second and final readings. The ordinance is yet to be reviewed by the Planning Commission and it too may make changes.

Continue reading "City Council, October 28"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2014

County Council, October 16
Counties joining to request restoration of state funding levels

Warwick Jones

It was a long time in coming. Back during the March 20 Finance Committee meeting, the drop in state funding over recent years for the County’s General Fund was discussed. State funding is an important source of revenue and the cuts have strained budgets. Staff was asked to approach the South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC) to seek support for the restoration of Local Government Funding to previously agreed statutory levels. Before the Committee last night was a resolution prepared by SCA and which was sent for signing to all counties in the State.

Continue reading "County Council, October 16"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2014

City Council, October 14
Bike Rack and Bar Moratorium amendments finalized
Confusion over proposed Urban Growth Boundary change
Marc Knapp

The agenda for last night’s Council meeting was lean. And with no presentations and recognitions, the meeting was relatively short. There were only a few things of note.

Continue reading "City Council, October 14"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2014

County Council
Council member attempts to make political capital
Issue with RMC is hardly major
Warwick Jones

The Finance Committee agenda promised little of interest for last night’s meeting. The promise was realized. But it was still a long meeting. The Committee retired for an executive session to consider the acquisition of the Grand Bees property (adjacent to the Bees Ferry Landfill) and the sale of a portion of 995 Morrison Drive. However, no action was taken on either of these items, Chairman Pryor noted. However the Committee voted to accept the staff’s recommendation on the acquisition of a right of way on Palmetto Park Way 3. No details of the staff’ recommendation were given.

Continue reading "County Council"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2014

City Council, September 9
More funding for the Gibbes and Aquarium
Turkys Towing has problem relocating
Marc Knapp

Council last night approved a $5 million bond issue to support renovations and improvements to the Gibbes Museum and the Aquarium. Interest and amortization of the Revenue Bonds will be met by revenue derived from the City’s Accommodation Tax. However, in a memorandum to Council members, the Mayor stated that the Aquarium and the Carolina Art Association (joint owner of the Gibbes) will repay about 95% of the borrowings “over time”.

Continue reading "City Council, September 9"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2014

County Council, September 4
Council to vote on comparative remuneration study
Spring Grove Development awaiting County Approval
Warwick Jones

Most of last night’s Finance Committee meeting was taken up by discussion over the update and amendments to Policy and Procedures for compensation. It followed on the decision by Council a month back to adopt the recommendations of the Committee for Auditing Performance and Evaluation Standards (CAPES). These recommendations related to a complete revision of job classifications, the pay system, and the introduction of merit awards for County employees. (We summarized the proposed revisions in our report on July 24). Before Council last night were the detailed changes and amendments that were necessary for Personnel/Policy to reflect the recommendations of CAPES.

Continue reading "County Council, September 4"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)