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January 21, 2017

County Council, January 19
Preparing for spending half-cent sales tax funds
Policy for allocating Community Investment Funding approved
Warwick Jones

Discussions relating to spending the funds raised by the recently approved half-cent sales tax took up the major part of last night’s Finance Committee meeting. No motions were made and no votes counted. But there were some issues.

Continue reading "County Council, January 19"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2017

City Council, January 10
Issue over award of Consultant contract
Zoning change proposed to boost affordable housing
Marc Knapp

Council member Waring had a point. He made it and Mayor Tecklenberg lost his cool, well almost. The Council member questioned the role that “Josh” Martin, the Mayor's assistant, played in choosing the consultant to the West Ashley Revitalization Commission (WARC). And the Mayor reacted with hostility that anyone should question the integrity or ability of Mr. Martin.

Continue reading "City Council, January 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2016

City Council, December 20
Asks State to allow inclusionary zoning for affordable housing
Council not happy about proposed consultant hire
Warwick Jones

We thought the most interesting item on the agenda for last night’s meeting was the resolution relating to affordable housing. It seemed that Council did not share our view for there was no discussion. We thought there should have been.

Continue reading "City Council, December 20 "

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2016

County Council, December 15
To expand Minority Small Business program
Agrees to make executive sessions last agenda item
Warwick Jones

There was heat and confusion over the plan to expand the County’s minorities’ small business program. Staff made a presentation about a month ago but was instructed to come back with a budget and more details. This they did but there was a lot of discussion before agreement was reached.

Continue reading "County Council, December 15"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2016

City Council, December 6
Divisions over Accommodation tax allocations
Council wants more engagement
Marc Knapp

Accommodation tax issues dominated last night’s Council meetings. Although the 2017 budgets for both the Accommodation Tax and Hospitality Fee were passed with only one vote against, there was much dissatisfaction- with the nature of the State ordinance, and with the recipients.

Continue reading "City Council, December 6"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2016

County Council, December 1
West Ashley TIF district approved
Resolution needed on Community Investment funding

Warwick Jones

It wasn’t a surprise. Mayor Tecklenberg did what was requested and the Finance Committee approved the West Ashley Tax Increment Financing district in the City of Charleston.

Continue reading "County Council, December 1"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2016

County Council, November 15
Approval for West Ashley TIF district likely
City looking to make provision of Affordable Housing mandatory

Warwick Jones

We suspect there was a lot of discussion between City and County Council members prior to last night’s County meeting. At its last meeting, the County Finance Committee voted down the West Ashley TIF district proposed by the City of Charleston and clearly, Mayor Tecklenberg and City Council members were disappointed. The revitalization of West Ashley is a major objective of the Mayor and the TIF was possibly the most important tool in achieving it.

Continue reading "County Council, November 15"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2016

County Council, November 10
Finance Committee rejects West Ashley TIF
But extends funding for North Charleston Convention Center project
Warwick Jones

The redevelopment of West Ashley has been an important goal of Mayor Tecklenberg and some members of City Council. But so far it has not been an easy path. Despite the wide approval of its goals, the creation of the Commission overseeing the redevelopment took some time, and it began working only a month or so ago. But progress may be at a slower pace than the Mayor and City Council expected.

Continue reading "County Council, November 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2016

City Council, November 10
Shaping the process to appoint Board and Commission members
Bike hire contract signed
Marc Knapp

In deference to Council members and others doing their own thing on Election Day, the normal Tuesday Council meeting was held last night instead. Maybe it was the shock of the election result, or simply the emptiness of the agenda, the meeting lacked energy though not of enthusiasm. Council members unanimously supported the reappointment of Leonard Krawcheck to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Bike Share Contract.

Continue reading "City Council, November 10"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2016

County Council, November 1
More criticism of the Chair
But some went too far
Warwick Jones

Last night’s meeting was tense. It had nothing to do with what was on the agenda. It had all to do with the Chairman’s comments to the Coastal Conservation League and Nix 526, published in the Post and Courier some weeks ago. But we will start this commentary with the report on the first item of Council’s agenda – a presentation which is relevant to citizen’s comments.

Continue reading "County Council, November 1"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2016

City Council, October 25
City continues in good fiscal shape
Vote still stands at 75% to reverse PC decisions
Marc Knapp

We didn’t expect any surprises arising from the Budget Workshop held prior to yesterday’s Ways and Means meeting. However the news was good. Although two months remain in the year, staff expects the City will come close or indeed exceed it budget targets. And it expects another good year in 2017 with no tax increase anticipated.

Continue reading "City Council, October 25"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2016

County Council, October 18
Where is the outrage on the Chair’s comments?
Planning for the development of 995 Morrison Drive

Warwick Jones

Where is the outrage? Perhaps the Presidential election has sucked it out of us. Most folk think the candidates of the two major parties are eminently unworthy to lead the county – they lack honor, integrity, honesty, ability and other things. The prospect that one of these candidates will be the future President, depresses most of us. And set against this prospect, the recent transgressions of the County Chair are in deep shadow. And although we may condemn Chairman Summey for what he said, it seems relatively unimportant.

Continue reading "County Council, October 18"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2016

County Council, October 13
Summeygate!
A step forward on the new MRF
Warwick Jones

Chairman Summey dug himself a deep hole. It is a very deep hole and we doubt that he will be able to climb out. The comments he made about fellow Council members, black people and local politicians were offensive and crude. His private and public views and actions on I-526 were extreme perfidy. Also very telling is his naivete, if we are polite, or his arrogance, if we are realistic. To think that he could make these comments to groups and not be reported in the press or elsewhere begs belief.

Continue reading "County Council, October 13"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2016

County Council, September 29
Some uncertainty about MRF contract
Resolution by next Council meeting probable
Warwick Jones

Will the County ever build a recycling facility? It’s getting closer but if Council member Qualey had his way, a decision would be deferred for another 6 months. He wanted to wait and see if the new Material Recycling Facility (MRF) now under consideration in Berkeley County is successful. But as his peers remarked, can the County wait another 6 months and indeed, will 6 months be sufficient to see it built and assessed?

Continue reading "County Council, September 29"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2016

City Council, September 27
Developer surprises City and opponents
Voting by phone more strictly proscribed

Marc Knapp

Some residents of James Island were looking for a fight. They were very unhappy about the development on Maybank Highway that began life under a Gathering Place (GP) Zoning but now a Planned Unit Development. They thought that proposed was still too dense and large, and that too many trees were being sacrificed. They wanted the project to go before the Design Review Board, even though it seemed there was no legal liability for it to do so.

Continue reading "City Council, September 27"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2016

County Council, September 15
SC DOT opinion sought on Legare Bridge lane closure
Issues over Community Investment allocations
Warwick Jones

The creation of a bike lane by the closure of a traffic lane on the Legare Bridge was the most important item on last night’s agenda. It seemed to us that most Council members were unhappy about the proposal but did not want to pull the trigger to kill it. Instead, they voted to approve a motion by Council member Pryor - to ask the Department of Transportation (SC DOT) if the lane closure was viable and the bridge was structurally sound, and as such, could the SC DOT approve the construction plans as in the MOU with the City of Charleston, the County and the SC DOT?

Continue reading "County Council, September 15"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2016

History and Preservation
Toward a More Truthful and Useful Charleston History
Charlie Smith

When the Charleston County Planning Commission's sub-committee on Historic Preservation announced last year that consultants had been hired to conduct the 2016 update of the Historic Resources Survey, I was initially very excited that we would finally be addressing some of our past failures to protect important historic sites and buildings throughout Charleston County.

Continue reading "History and Preservation"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2016

County Council, August 18
Discussion of lane closure on Legare Bridge deferred
More information sought on Community Investment Program allocations
Warwick Jones

The closure of a traffic lane over the Legare Bridge to make way for a bike and pedestrian lane is still unresolved. City Council voted in favor of the closure about a month ago. The County has yet to approve the move and the issue was up for discussion at today’s Finance Committee meeting.

Continue reading "County Council, August 18"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2016

City Council, August 17
Proposed new hotel restrictions too harsh
Planning Commission asked to look again at a lower majority vote
Marc Knapp

There were a number of issues before Council at its meeting last night. Despite the
lengthy deliberations – about 5 hours –not all issues were resolved.

Continue reading "City Council, August 17"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2016

County Council, August 9
Sales tax referendum to go ahead
But with no question about the completion of I-526
Warwick Jones

Council agreed last night to go ahead with the half-cent sales tax referendum. It was a tense meeting but not as fractious as the first attempt at the second reading some weeks ago. And we surmise that no Council member was totally happy with the outcome.

Continue reading "County Council, August 9"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)