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November 03, 2017

County Council, November 2
Agrees on purchase and funding of helicopter
Reluctantly agrees on Chicora Life Center funding
Warwick Jones

Agendas were light for yesterday’s meetings. The most important items were essentially carryovers from previous meetings.

Continue reading "County Council, November 2"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2017

City Council, October 24
City getting serious about addressing flooding issues
Plan to cut electricity usage and costs
Marc Knapp

The agenda item was requested by Council members Gregorie and Wilson. It was a “Discussion regarding a $100 million drainage funding strategy”. Not all Council members spoke to the issue. But it was clear from last night’s discussion and that at previous Council meetings that something has to be done about flooding throughout the City. And it was also clear from last night’s discussion that the City is about to take bigger steps in funding mitigation and solutions.

Continue reading "City Council, October 24"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2017

County Council, October 19
Initial steps to buy new helicopter for Sheriff’s Department
Parkers Ferry Overlay approved but some dissent
Warwick Jones

Two items took up most of the time in yesterday’s sessions – the purchase of a helicopter for the Sheriff’s Department, and the approval of the Parkers Ferry Overlay. Both items were passed by the respective Committees but there was dissent. The items will now move to the Finance Committee for consideration.

Continue reading "County Council, October 19"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2017

City Council, October 10
Unanimous support for Lowline purchase, and pedestrian/bike bridge
CJAM’s views on police force at odds with national accreditation agency
Marc Knapp

The most important items on last night’s agendas were the approvals of the Lowcountry Lowline (LL) property purchase and the application for a TIGER grant to help fund a pedestrian and bike bridge over the Ashley River. The items have already received a lot of media attention so we will only recapitulate.

Continue reading "City Council, October 10"

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

October 06, 2017

County Council, October 5
Supports City’s move for a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River
Why wasn’t a TIGER grant considered earlier?
Warwick Jones

Council agreed last night to support the application by the City of Charleston for a TIGER grant to construct a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River. The cost is estimated at $17-18 million. The proposed funding is $3 million by the County, $1.5 million by the City, $1.5 million by Charleston Moves, and the balance from the grant.

Continue reading "County Council, October 5"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2017

City Council, September 26
Implementation of Church Creek flood water mitigation may take 4-5 years
Cynicism over future City energy savings

Marc Knapp

The consultant retained to study the Church Creek drainage basin got lots of praise last night from the Mayor and some Council members. It was probably deserved but we thought that many of the observations and conclusions made in its presentation last night were obvious, and had been stated by citizens and others over the years.

Continue reading "City Council, September 26"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2017

County Council, September 21
To pay $33 million for buildijg in Chicora settlement
Will Bond rating change?
Warwick Jones

The $33 million offer by the County to buy the old Naval Hospital has been accepted, the County Attorney told the Finance Committee yesterday. Some minor issues remain but these are not expected to affect the sale.

Continue reading "County Council, September 21"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2017

City Council, September 13
Greater Hurricane protection will be costly
City moves ahead on investment in East Side and Affordable Housing
Warwick Jones

Understandably, Hurricane Irma was the subject first discussed at last night’s City Council meeting. The Mayor led off and predictably went some length to praise the efforts of the staff and Council members in dealing with the storm and its aftermath. A number of Council members also sang the praises of staff but also of the Mayor and his leadership.

Continue reading "City Council, September 13"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2017

County Council, August 17
What is going on?
Thumbs down to bike lane on Legare Bridge
Warwick Jones

What is going on? There were things said at last night’s Council meeting that raise some important questions.

Continue reading "County Council, August 17"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2017

County Council, July 18
North Charleston library to be named after Mayor
Accommodation Tax distributions
Warwick Jones

We’re in the summer months and Council meetings are cut to one a month. The agendas for last night’s meetings were light but citizens’ comments made them relatively lengthy.

Continue reading "County Council, July 18"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2017

City Council, July 11
Shuttle service for hotels off Peninsula not mandatory
Council gets its way on amended Workforce Housing ordinance
Marc Knapp

The controversial issue of a building moratorium on James Island was not discussed last night. Council member Wilson couldn’t be present so the matter was deferred. And in our opinion, just as well. The Council meetings stretched to over 5 hours with the other controversial items. How long would the meetings have been with the inclusion of the James Island issue?

Continue reading "City Council, July 11"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2017

City Council, June 20
Mayor refutes racial bias in City’s police force
Council gives second reading to BAR and Historic District ordinances
Marc Knapp

On the issue of racial bias in the City’s police force, Mayor Tecklenberg last night acted mayoral. And it was about time. Claims of bias were made by a lot of folk over the last two months and particularly by those associated with the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM). But in our opinion, the Mayor effectively refuted these claims last night in a long, emotional and fact studded speech. It was a speech that if given a month or so ago, would have destroyed the arguments of the critics and possibly avoided the resignation of Chief Mullen.

Continue reading "City Council, June 20"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2017

County Council, June 15
Study of Crosstown and Ashley River Bridges approved
Assessor’s Office to get new home
Warwick Jones

It maybe too simplistic to say the County has made the first step to ease the traffic congestion on the Crosstown and its approaches. But at yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting, the County authorized staff to begin negotiations with two companies to study the issues and award a contract.

Continue reading "County Council, June 15"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2017

City Council, May 23
Council to consider special auditor for police bias
Is it really necessary?
Marc Knapp

It really has become a circus. For some months now, members and supporters of the Charleston Area Justice Ministries (CAJM) have been speaking out about alleged racial bias of the City’s police force. They want the actions of the police audited. Last night, and for the first time, Council members and the Mayor addressed the speaker’s requests. But it was an inadequate response because it side stepped the truth.

Continue reading "City Council, May 23"

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

May 19, 2017

County Council, May 18
Above average pay increase for public safety employees
Assessor’s Office looking for a new home
Warwick Jones

Issue over pay for public safety employees took up much of yesterday’s meeting. It was raised by Council member Darby and followed the presentation at the last Finance Committee meeting relating to general pay increases for County employees. These pay increases would cost $5.7 million a year and become effective halfway through the next fiscal year. They are expected to bring remuneration to levels close to those in other municipalities in the region

Continue reading "County Council, May 18"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2017

City Council, May 9
Moratorium to limit construction on James Island
Will it be enough?
Marc Knapp

Council last night approved a six month moratorium on the “acceptance and processing of development applications” on James Island pertaining to more than 4 units or 1500 sq.ft. Strangely, the moratorium applied only to “non-residentially zoned districts” and not residential zonings.

Continue reading "City Council, May 9"

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

May 05, 2017

County Council, May 4

Bond issue for PRC

County employees to get 5% pay increase?

Warwick Jones

With much of it taken up by presentations, last night’s Finance Committee meeting was low key. Three of the 9 members of the Committee were absent.

Continue reading ""

Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2017

City Council, April 25
Discrimination or crime prevention?
City gets serious about West Ashley Gateway
Marc Knapp

It was quite a turnout. About 30 members or supporters of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) attended last night’s meeting to protest racial discrimination by the City’s police force. A much smaller number were at the meeting of two weeks ago. The tone of their speeches then was arrogant and cynical, and their claims seemed purposely exaggerated. We made no mention of them believing the policy of “stop and search” of which they complained, was a deterrent to crime. We still believe that this policy does reduce crime. It efficacy has been proven in cities like Baltimore and New York. But it was hard to dismiss some of the things they said last night.

Continue reading "City Council, April 25"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2017

County Council, April 20
County Outreach program gains traction
Warwick Jones

There was little of substance on the agendas, and yesterday’s meetings were dominated by presentations.

The first presentation entitled County Outreach – efforts in education, related to efforts by the County to educate and train youth with a goal of obtaining quality employment. The Outreach program was started about 6 months ago and has taken interns from the College of Charleston and the Citadel, and participated in career fairs. Possibly more important, it has joined in supporting the Trident Technical College (TTC) in its apprentice program.

TTC has gathered 122 companies to join its efforts and to offer apprenticeship training to high school students. This year there were 150 students in the program. The limit on the number of students was the willingness or ability of employers to offer apprenticeship positions.

The students that join the program are expected to attend training at the specific companies and for a period of two years and to also complete high school. But as the speaker warned, participation will leave no time for students to participate in say sports related school programs - you can’t play in the varsity football team and join the program.

As the speaker noted, successful participants at the end of high school will have skills that will enable them to immediately enter the work force. They will also receive credits towards a degree from the College. He also noted there was a crying need for skilled workers in many industries in the Charleston area.

The other presentation was entitled the Good Samaritan Policy. The speaker was encouraging the County to support legislation in the South Carolina house to give limited immunity to prosecution when calling for emergency help, for those suffering from a drug overdose, or for those helping somebody suffering from such.

The speaker noted the rapid rise in drug related deaths in South Carolina and the need for the state to be more active in prevention. Chairman Rawl asked that Council be sent a copy of the proposed legislation for consideration.


Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2017

County Council, April 6
To move forward with Materials Recycling Facility
At last!
Warwick Jones

At its last meeting, the Finance Committee decided to defer a decision on the planned Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). It also instructed staff to obtain more information on the plans of Berkeley County in regards to building its own MRF. Last night, Re Power South, made a presentation before the Environment Management Committee and spoke of its plans and potential agreement with Berkeley County. In the meetings of the Finance Committee and full Council that followed, members agreed to move ahead with the award of contracts for the Charleston facility but to follow the developments in Berkeley County.

Continue reading "County Council, April 6"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)