The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
February 10, 2016
City Council, February 9
Council agrees to a super majority vote of 60%, but will it hold?
Procedure in appointing members of boards and commissions to changeMarc Knapp
City Council passed the amendment to reduce the supermajority to 60% for a vote to override a Planning Commission (PC) decision. But we doubt that the reduction from 75% will hold. But more on this later.
February 05, 2016
County Council, February 4
Council seeks to restrain its members
Mayor’s guidance sought on development of 995 Morrison DriveWarwick Jones
There was little on the agendas of the Committee meetings last night. But members spent a lot of time discussing them, and we suspect to the irritation of Council member Rawl who was in the chair most of the evening.
January 27, 2016
City Council, January 26
Mayor signals a harsher policy on Citizen’s comments
Gathering Place moratorium extendedMarc Knapp
It was Mayor Tecklenberg’s second Council meeting. He conducted it well. He was assured and polished. He summed up some issues before the Council nicely. And he laid out very firmly the conduct that he expected at future Council meetings. Talking more to citizens than Council members, speakers needed to confine themselves to City business and issues. Prejudice of any description would not be tolerated. He recognized it was a fine line between free and offensive speech but notwithstanding, he expected speakers to show restraint.
January 22, 2016
County Council, Jan 21
We think the conduct of meetings can be improved
County to consider new software for Public Safety departmentsWarwick Jones
We were less than impressed by the performance of the Committees at last night’s meeting. It is not that we had any issues with the decisions of the Committees. Indeed, we would have concurred with most of them. It was the lengthy deliberations and slack adherence to the proper conduct of meetings. Some members had strong feelings about their causes and obviously felt that by repeating their views, the cause would advance. Firmer action from the Chairs would have made for quicker decisions and with little expense of meaningful rhetoric.
January 13, 2016
City Council, January 12
Mayor’s first Council meeting goes well
Issues over Gathering Place and Short Term rental ordinancesWarwick Jones
It was Mayor Tecklenburg’s first Council meeting. He handled it confidently, competently and with humor. Mind, there were no complex issues before Council, at least of great import, nor an ordinance that needed his support. It was a relatively straight forward meeting where the Mayor needed to play only the role of chair.
January 08, 2016
County Council, January 7
Summey continues as Chair of Council
And Rawl as Vice ChairWarwick Jones
There was only one item of interest on the agenda for the Council’s first meeting of the year. It was the election of the Chair and Vice Chair.
December 18, 2015
County Council, December 17
Contract for work on Folly/Camp Road intersection awarded
New hotel for Peninsula, maybeWarwick Jones
Work on the Folly/Camp Road intersection is likely to begin shortly with the approval of the construction contract. Council last night awarded the contract to Bank Construction who bid $13 million for the project.
December 16, 2015
City Council, December 14
Fond farewells for the Mayor
Some rezoning issuesWarwick Jones
It was Mayor Riley day at the City Council meeting yesterday. It was his final day as Mayor after a tenure of some 40 years. As expected, many citizens attended the meeting to give their best wishes and praise his achievements. There might have been more speaking last night if not for the fact that many citizens had already expressed their feelings at earlier Council meetings.
December 09, 2015
County Council, December 8
More action sought to mitigate flooding on Wadmalaw
Firefighters concerned about management of St Paul’s Fire DistrictWarwick Jones
The agenda for yesterday’s meetings of the Finance Committee and Council was short and featureless. But the meetings were not without interest. Citizens from Wadmalaw Island and firefighters from the St. Paul’s Fire District had much to say during the citizens’ participation period.
December 02, 2015
City Council, December 1
City gets serious about flooding issues
2016 budgets for City, Accommodation Tax and Hospitality Fee passedMarc Knapp
The Mayor’s request stirred much debate. But in the end, Council went along with his proposal to increase millage rates and extend the sunset clause for Franchise Fees. The ensuing funds would be used primarily for addressing drainage issues which were expected to become critical in future. Part of the Franchise Fee would also go to providing affordable housing.
November 20, 2015
County Council, November 19
Spring Grove Project gets final approval
Some differences over amendments
Some differences over amendmentsWarwick Jones
The only item of interest on the agenda of yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting was the 3rd reading of the Spring Grove Ordinances. The most important was the Spring Grove Development Agreement (DA) which is effectively a “contract” between the County and the developer of the project. The Committee approved all of the ordinances but it seems the passage of the DA was not without some bumps.
November 11, 2015
City Council, November 10
Optimistic fiscal outlook for 2016
Moratorium on new projects in Gathering PlacesMarc Knapp
Last night’s meeting began with a Budget Workshop and a presentation by the Mayor. In summary, the current year has shaped up well, the City’s finances are in excellent condition and 2016 should also be a good year. CFO Bedard said that 2015 would end up between “a good year and a very good year”. We noted in a previous comment the strong fiscal performance of the City. But at that time, the impact of the storms and flooding of early October had not been felt. Without the added costs of dealing with the emergency, we suspect 2015 would be a better year than “very good”. The Mayor told Council that revenues are “at or slightly above budget” and expenditures “tracking on budget”.
November 06, 2015
County Council, November 5
Spring Grove Development gets second reading
A 0.5% levy on real estate sales to fund community projectsWarwick Jones
The agenda suggested that yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting would be short. Only 4 items were up for discussion and they were dealt with relatively promptly. It was the executive sessions the consumed the time, and added well over an hour to the meeting. The sessions dealt with Medical Services to jail inmates, the Spring Grove Development, and the Chicora Life Center (Naval Hospital).
October 14, 2015
City Council, October 13
A “great budget year” up to end of August
But costs associated with recent flooding will take a tollMarc Knapp
It was a lean agenda for the City Council meeting. As is usual at this time of year, it was held on Daniel Island in the Providence Baptist Church. For many of us, it was a long way to travel for little of substance.
October 09, 2015
County Council, October 9
Spring Grove Development gets the nod
Simmering differences between County and Chicora Life Center developerWarwick Jones
The Spring Grove Development is at last coming to the final stages of approval. The proposed development has been before the County now for more than 5 years and last night the Planning/Public Works Committee gave approval for a cluster of ordinances relating to the development, the most important of which was the Development Agreement. The Committee was told by staff there were still some issues but they would be sorted out before the Agreement went for its final reading before Council.
September 25, 2015
County Council, September 24
Tentative steps to building flyover at Highway 17 and Main Road
Camp Road library branch may not closeWarwick Jones
It was fun and games during one part of yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting. But more of that later. The most important item discussed at the meeting was the flyover on Route 17 at its intersection with Main Road.
September 23, 2015
City Council, September 22
City to acquire park at Longborough
Major new zoning district establishedMarc Knapp
Real estate and zoning issues took up most of last night’s Council meeting. And the first to be discussed was the plan to acquire a park at Longborough. The ownership of the park has been disputed in recent years but the court decided the rightful owner was the Longborough Owners Association. Despite the fact that the public had access to the park, the Mayor claimed that the City should own the property to ensure future public access. Last night, Council agreed with him.
September 11, 2015
County Council, September 8
A flyover on Highway 17 at Main Road? It will cost $50 million
Problems in financing I-526Warwick Jones
The Finance Committee wrestled with the problem of flooding and traffic congestion on Main Road and Highway 17. Probably all thought that a flyover on Highway 17 was the way to go but some baulked at the estimated cost - $50 million. Where was the funding? The County would be hard pressed to provide the funds, it was the State and Federal responsibility, even if the State promised funds, should it be relied on? The Committee ultimately decided to table the issue and tasked staff to seek further information.
September 09, 2015
City Council, September 8
CARTA 2016 budget approved
Highest bond ratings for the City, again!
It was the first meeting after the summer break. In retrospect, it was a meeting we could have missed with non-business items taking up most of the time.
August 21, 2015
East Edisto project agreement close to conclusion
No discussion or light on Naval Hospital contractWarwick Jones
There were a number of items of importance on yesterday’s agendas, but in a sense, little that was newsworthy or can be reported on.