The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
October 26, 2016
City Council, October 25
City continues in good fiscal shape
Vote still stands at 75% to reverse PC decisionsMarc 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.
October 19, 2016
County Council, October 18
Where is the outrage on the Chair’s comments?
Planning for the development of 995 Morrison Drive
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.
October 14, 2016
County Council, October 13
A step forward on the new MRFWarwick 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.
September 30, 2016
County Council, September 29
Some uncertainty about MRF contract
Resolution by next Council meeting probableWarwick 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?
September 28, 2016
City Council, September 27
Developer surprises City and opponents
Voting by phone more strictly proscribed
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.
September 16, 2016
County Council, September 15
SC DOT opinion sought on Legare Bridge lane closure
Issues over Community Investment allocationsWarwick 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?
September 14, 2016
History and Preservation
Toward a More Truthful and Useful Charleston HistoryCharlie 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.
August 18, 2016
County Council, August 18
Discussion of lane closure on Legare Bridge deferred
More information sought on Community Investment Program allocationsWarwick 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.
August 17, 2016
City Council, August 17
Proposed new hotel restrictions too harsh
Planning Commission asked to look again at a lower majority voteMarc 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.
August 10, 2016
County Council, August 9
Sales tax referendum to go ahead
But with no question about the completion of I-526Warwick 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.
July 27, 2016
County Council, July 27
Sales tax referendum ballot passes second reading
But issues remainWarwick Jones
The sales tax referendum ballot passed the second reading with only Council member Johnson in opposition. As expected, a special meeting of the Council was called to again consider the referendum ballot, and it was held today. There was little discussion and no other motions were voted upon. Council members Darby and Condon were absent and Chairman Summey indicated that he would oppose any vote or motion beyond that for the second reading. This was out of deference to the absent Council members.
July 22, 2016
The sales tax referendum is dead
But it could be resurrectedWarwick Jones
Technically, the referendum on a half-cent sales tax is dead. It failed to pass second reading last night. But the quick action by Council member Rawl may lead to its resurrection. He was amongst the members who voted against the referendum ballot. He indicated quickly after the conclusion of the voting that he wanted to change his vote. Whether this will make a difference depends on whether Council meets again, and quickly to discuss the issue.
July 20, 2016
Council to West of Ashley commuters – Drop dead!
Ordinance changes no set back to Sergeant Jasper projectMarc Knapp
It was bizarre. County Council last night agreed on a sales tax to raise funds for roads and reduce traffic congestion. At the same time, City Council was deliberating and ultimately agreed to a lane closure on the Legare Bridge which will certainly exacerbate congestion on Highway 17 and Folly Roads, two of the main conduits into the City. And the voting districts of three of the seven Council members who voted for the closure are outside the broad West Ashley, James Island Johns Island areas. These areas are the most affected by the lane closure.
July 15, 2016
County Council, July 14
Draft of Sales tax referendum ballot presented
MRF contracts to be awardedWarwick Jones
With Council meetings only once a month in summer, agendas can be long. Yesterday’s agendas were not lengthy, but the meetings were long. The most interesting item discussed was not on the agenda – the half cent sales tax referendum.
June 22, 2016
City Council, June 21
A Hobson’s Choice over Sergeant Jasper Development
Understandably, the latest compromise was acceptedMarc Knapp
Last night’s meeting had the promise of being long. It was long and indeed unnecessarily so, though not entirely the fault of the City. We can only guess at the attendance but it was probably over a hundred. And the majority of the attendees were there because of the proposed bike lane over the Legare Bridge.
June 01, 2016
County Council, May 31
No surprises in next year’s budgets
Half cent sales tax collection higher than anticipatedWarwick Jones
It was almost a non-event. Yesterday’s special Finance Committee meeting was called to allow staff to present a summary of next year’s (FY2017 to June) budget. The presentation was short as was the subsequent discussion. And if there were a surprise, it was that there were no surprises.
May 11, 2016
City Council, May 10
Issues with a Planning Commission member
Long deliberation on nature of West Ashley Revitalization CommissionMarc Knapp
It was a long evening. The Council meeting did not conclude until well after 7 pm. I was the only member of the public in the gallery that endured the whole meeting, and I wonder why. There were two issues that took up most of the two hour meeting. I won’t say that they were trivial, but they were not deserving of the time spent, to say the least.
April 27, 2016
City Council. April 26
Resolution to complete I-526 passes
City parking regulations up for reviewMarc Knapp
A resolution supporting the completion of I-526 was on last night’s agenda. The reaction was predictable. The die-hards were there to speak against it in Citizens Participation, though not in the numbers of the past, Coastal Conservation League supporters bombarded Council members with identical e-mails in protest, and the resolution was approved by Council with only Council members Seekings and Gregorie opposed.
April 22, 2016
County Council, April 21
April 13, 2016
City Council, April 12
Citizens to Council – Do something about traffic congestion!
A touching recognition of Isabella RybakMarc Knapp
It started with a public hearing relating to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) on Johns Island. The developer wanted to add acreage and units to the original PUD. No, said some nearby residents, it is going to add to traffic congestion that is already overwhelming us. And it then grew to a chorus as other citizens and then Council members spoke with alarm of the traffic problems of the island and Charleston generally.