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City Council, January 27

Dull and short
Marc Knapp

Last night’s City Council meeting was a dull and short affair. It opened with a lengthy invocation by Council member Waring who seemed to be making a political prayer to a God that was a member of Democratic Party. The meeting ended with the passage, and without any discussion, of a slew of bills up for their second reading. There was little in between.

The highlight of the meeting was the Harold Koon award for 2009 to Ms. Vangie Rainsford, the President of the Garden District (Mazyck–Wraggborough) Neighborhood Association. She has led the association for more than 10 years and has been very active in community affairs. She often has been a strong critic of the City such as opposing the conversion of the Tabernacle Fourth Baptist Church on Charlotte Street to a theater. But she also has supported some major projects endorsed by the City such as the hotel proposed on the site of the old City library on King Street. She is a deserving recipient of the Koon Award.

Mayor Riley also gave his State of the City address last night. The Post and Courier reported on it and the text can be viewed on the City’s web site. press here

As in past addresses, the Mayor has lauded the City’s accomplishments and mentioned some initiatives begun over the past year. We didn’t find anything particularly newsworthy. And as in past addresses, the Mayor is optimistic about the future. And we’ll give him his due. Compared to the plight in these dreadful economic times of some other cities in the nation, he is in a position to be optimistic.

We might add that the economic well-being of the CIty is also a reflection of its citizens and their vigilance. Citizens have spoken out many times against some City policies or sponsored projects. Not always have they been successful but the Administration of the City has been made mindful that is does not have carte blanche to do as it pleases. We also would like to think that Charlestonwatch has played some role, and in some measure, fills the hole that exists in the coverage of Council by the Post and Courier. It takes some effort to attend all Council meetings and to write comments. Coverage of the budget is particularly time consuming. Perhaps reflecting the fact that nobody else does it in detail, our analysis each year is one of the most popular pages on the Charelstonwatch site.

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