2018-07-13 / News

County Council hears resident’s concern, votes down policy change

By Mike Cox

During the July 10 Richland County Council meeting, Carl McKinney signed up to speak during the first citizen’s input. Because his concern involved something not on the agenda, he was required to stay until the second episode of citizen’s input to exercise his right.

McKinney expressed concern about the actions of the Richland County’s planning commission during its last meeting. The agenda was smaller than the average for the year. A commission member joined the meeting late and still voted, after two citizens spoke against one of the cases. One of the sign-in sheets was lost, and the commission tried to close comments without allowing all speakers their chance to offer comments were among McKinney’s complaints.

McKinney also said until today the planning commission website had a meeting schedule from 2016 and an email link to an employee with an out of office message dated April 2015. McKinney added there weren’t any minutes from 2018 meetings posted on the county’s website.

During the county administrator’s report, eight engineering students from various local high schools and Clemson, Benedict, and USC were introduced as this year’s transportation tax interns.

An item proposed by Bill Malinowski to change the road paving policy to require a majority of residents to decline a planned road paving was rejected by the council. Dalhi Myers and Norman Jackson pointed out road pavings require land owners to lose part of their property, and not all residents want that. Even though rule of majority is the American way, which was Malinowski’s reason for suggesting the change, most council members felt the ordinance is okay the way it stands now.

The Richland County Council voted to refuse an offer of donated property in Killians Common. The property is a detention pond from a recent commercial property location and has not been kept up. The county also voted to refuse to pay the City of Columbia for drain repairs on property annexed by the city. According to Myers, the refusal isn’t based on animosity toward Columbia but a state attorney general legal opinion.

A proposal to alter the way county garbage contractors deal with bulk items was deferred until the second meeting in September. The plan allows refuse contractors to pick up bulk items every other week during regular collections and stops the current policy, which requires residents to call Richland County for bulk items to be collected and coordinate collection times.

Greg Pearce, chair of the development and services committee where the idea originated, suggested implementing the policy with a six month review, which would be mere days after his tenure as council member is over.

In other actions, James Tyler Burns and Bill McCracken were added to the accommodations tax committee, Marcus J. “Marc” Brown was voted to the business service center appeals board, and George Whitehead was added to the hospitality tax committee.

Jason Michael Jensen and Jameela Darcell Bryant were appointed as code enforcement officers for Richland County.

Council Chair Joyce Dickerson, Vice Chair Bill Malinowski, Calvin “Chip” Jackson, Norman Jackson, Gwendolyn Kennedy, Paul Livingston, Yvonne Mc- Bride, Jim Manning, Dalhi Myers, Greg Pearce, and Seth Rose were present.

More detailed information as well as complete agendas and minutes from past meetings can be found at the Richland County website: www.rcgov.us.

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