2 June 26, 2009
The new Council
Several Council members were
ofcially sworn in during the
meeting after winning their seatsin the Municipal election earlierthis year. Mayor Carl Smith andCouncil members Mike Perkis were sworn in, along with Mad-eleine McGee, who is replacingCouncil member Everett Pres-son. Council member Pat O’Neil, who was also re-elected, wasabsent from the meeting. How-ever, he did suggest that MikePerkis be considered to take hisplace as Mayor Pro Tem for thenext term. Mary Jane Watsonmade the motion that Perkis beselected for the position and thevote was unanimous. Perkis jok-ingly accepted on the conditionthat the Mayor take good care of himself.
CARTA gets approval
The Town Council unanimouslyapproved the 2010 budget forCARTA after Howard Chap-man, CARTA Executive Director,gave a brief synopsis. Chapman
proclaimed that CARTA nished
the year with a surplus for the
rst time in its history, despite
receiving $1.4 million less fromCharleston County in 2009.Furthermore, he stated thatthe number of riders using thepublic transportation systemhas increased, as well. Chapmanconcluded with an environmen-tal seal by saying, “We’ve got todo better in this country with
fuel efciency and our depen
-dency on foreign oil. CARTA isdoing its part.”
The Council passed a resolu-tion to move much of the Town’s
nancial business from Wa
-chovia to First Federal Bank of Charleston. The recommenda-tion came from Mike Perkis andthe Town’s Comptroller, JasonBlanton. The Town would receive
a “substantial nancial benet”
from the move, Perkis said. “Weneed a bank that is willing to work with us.” He added thatthey did not experience the levelof service an important customershould receive at Wachovia and
was condent of First Federal of
Charleston’s willingness to treatthem well. The Town will be giv-ing the bank approximately $2.9million of its business.
Since April, the Town’s nancial
strategy for the next year hasbeen discussed and voted onin public during Town Council
meetings. The Council ratiedthe budget for the upcoming s
-cal year with no increase in mill-age or franchise fees. They arepresenting a cash and invest-ment total of $3,721,350
Mo’ water, mo’ problems
While the Town can claim thatthere are no tax increases inthe budget, they also passed aresolution to increase Waterand Sewer fees in an effort to
make their rates more reective
of their operating expenses. TheWater and Sewer department will be using a more streamlinedrate system, as well. Changesin bills will vary according tothe amount of water a customeruses. However, the system wasdesigned so that the increase willbe very minimal for the average,6,000 gallon/month residentialcustomer. According to Councilmember Perkis, these custom-ers should see an increase of about $1.50 per month (1.6%increase). Furthermore, there isa surcharge rate for those whouse more than 4000 gallons permonth during drought periods.During a drought, a person us-ing 4000-8000 gallons will becharged a $10.14 rate versusthe regular $6.76. Anything overthat will result in a $15.05 rateversus the regular $10.04. The new rate structure will gointo effect on July 1 and changes will be seen on August bills.
Some may have been surprised
to see rst reading of an ordi
-nance on the agenda that wouldincrease the Planning Com-mission by two members. Theordinance belonged to Councilmember Jerry Kaynard and this was the third time it had beenintroduced after failing twice inthe midst of much debate amongthe Council and residents.“I never thought it would createthis much controversy,” Kaynardsaid as he explained why he de-cided to give up on the ordinancethis third time. He restated hisdesire to increase public par-ticipation on the Town’s variousboards and commissions by tak-ing a broader look at all of them.As a matter of order, a motion was still made to vote on theordinance, but died when no oneseconded the motion.
Accreted Comprehensive Com-mercial plans
There are two large projects for which the Town has engagedconsultants: the Accreted LandManagement Plan and the Com-mercial District Master Plan.While the work has been in thepreparatory stages for a while,the plans are now coming to frui-tion.A second draft document hasbeen supplied for the AccretedLand plan and the Town hasscheduled a public hearing forthe plan on August 4. The meet-ing is expected to be held at 6pmat the Church of the Holy Cross. The Town was also planningon holding a public hearing forthe Commercial District MasterPlan on July 8. However, thatdate may be postponed to an-other time as the South CarolinaDepartment of Transportation(SCDOT) is reluctant to allow re-verse-angle parking, which is be-ing called “crucial” to the overallplan. Administrator Andy Benkesaid Transportation SecretaryBuck Limehouse suggested the Town would be better off tak-ing the section of Middle Street, which is relevant to the businessdistrict, off the State system if they want reverse-angle parking.However, Council member Mad-eleine McGee encouraged theCouncil to develop a “Plan B”,suggesting that the reverse-angleparking issue does not neces-sarily have to prevent the Townfrom proceeding with plans andpresenting ideas to the public. The Council also plans to begindeliberation of the Town’s Com-prehensive Plan during their July 13 Committee meeting.
Police Chief Danny Howardstated that the new “NIXLE”program, which will allow regis-tered residents to receive newsand alerts from the town via textmessages, is in the debuggingstage. While a preliminary testrun was successful, they alsoreceived a message regarding a
trafc report from New Hamp
-shire. Once the issues are re-solved and the system is deemedfunctional, Howard says he willadvertise the program to thepublic. Residents will then beable to supply their phone num-bers to the Department if they wish to receive news and alerts.
Sullivan’s Island Town Council – June 16, 2009
Mayor Carl Smith (above) and council member Mike Perkis (below) are sworn