By Katy Calloway, The Island Connection Managing Editor
The last meeting of 2018 was brief and to the point. Mayor Weaver called the meeting to order, led the pledge of allegiance and the November meeting minutes were approved unanimously.
The Mayor’s update was brief, noting that the election was taking place in the room next door. He requested that his comments, regarding the last meeting for the majority of Councilmembers present, be moved to the closing of the meeting, and moved ahead with citizen’s comments.
Wendy Kulick took to the podium to reiterate comments she made at the Ways and Means Committee meeting. “We have a number of people who have served on this council who are not standing for re-election and the fact that they have been willing to put in all the time that has been required is something that should be appreciated. I think it’s pitiful the turnout we’ve had for the election today. People don’t participate, they have no right to complain.”
Judge McGill took his turn inquiring about the item on the day’s agenda to re-approve the contract with Town Attorney, Dwayne Green.
On Oct. 1 McGill submitted a FOIA request for amended or new agreements made with the town attorney since Feb. 2015. Calling into question monthly billings, he recognized Green was previously contracted at $6,666.66. That figure increased to $7083.32 in July of 2018. McGill questioned whether or not the re-negotiation had been made in writing, noting his objection wasn’t to the increase in payment, but rather to the lack of transparency in the decision to increase the rate.
Without response, Mayor Weaver moved on to New Business.
Three agenda items, previously reviewed and recommended for approval from the Ways & Means Committee followed.
A motion was made to approve the Deputy Coverage Contract with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. The contract will staff the first shift, (7 a.m.-7 p.m.) with permanent deputies. Additional shifts will continue to be staffed with “off-duty” deputies. Councilmember Widuch revised the motion to allow the Mayor and Town Attorney to revise the contract and work out any “last minute details.” The motion was approved unanimously.
The second item, to renew the contract with Town Attorney Dwayne Green, was approved unanimously without discussion.
The third agenda item, to approve a contract with Sanders Brother for Cleaning and inspecting Parkway storm drainage was also approved unanimously without discussion.
Moving right along, the Town Administrator’s report highlighted the Feb. 12-13 annual meeting of the South Carolina Beach Advocates. Kiawah Wildlife Biologist Jim Jordan will be joining the panel in the discussion of sea level rise. The conference will center around hurricane impact as well.
Councilmember Jack Koach noted the Planning Commission meeting tomorrow, (Dec. 5) and asked Mayor Weaver to elaborate on the agenda.
The one subject of interest at the PC meeting will be the proposal to reconfigure parcel 13, which allows access off of Duneside Rd. rather than Beachwalker Dr. Weaver noted that, “The public can feel assured that the Planning Commission has a clear understanding of the diversity of opinion on that issue.” He added that the responsibility for this decision lies solely with the Planning Commission.
Councilmember Widuch reported that on Friday the official hearing was conducted and the order was submitted to demolish 122 Turnberry Ct. The order should be carried out sometime in early January.
The Public Works Committee is putting together a RFP for redesign of the Kiawah Island Parkway. Mayor Weaver inquired about the current bridge construction/reinforcement project. Stephanie Tillerson answered that it should be finished in a couple weeks.
Diane Mezzanotte had several items out of the Environmental Committee. A student from College of Charleston is working with the Sea Level Rise Committee to produce detailed flooding maps to assess vulnerable areas, identify flood zones and allow for better storm preparation. A project of the Grow Native program, a native plant database will be available to the public be early January.
At the meeting’s conclusion, Mayor Weaver gave a heartfelt thank you to Councilmembers Diane Mezzanotte, Jack Koach, John Wilson and Chris Widuch (who ran for re-election) for their service on behalf of the community and himself. “Each of you has made a huge impact… I can’t thank you enough.”