In reading the attendance roll for the day’s meeting, Mayor Wert noted that Councilman Burnaford was still in California visiting family and that Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker is recovering from surgery and will return to work by mid-December.
Arts Council recognizes Lenni Freeburg
Councilman Charles Lipuma announced that Arts Council charter member Lenni Freeburg will be leaving Kiawah early next year and will be retiring from her position in the Arts Council. Lenni has been the mastermind behind events such as the Jackson Pollock film premiere, the Bill Jameson painting demo, artist Mary Whyte’s creativity lecture, Rick Reinert’s painting demo and the series on women in art. “We have a small token of award for Lenni Freeburg,” said Lipuma as he handed Lenni a plaque, commemorating her years of service . “Lenni is a talented artist and her beachscapes are exquisite,” said Lipuma. “We’re going to miss her and we wish her well.”
Lenni thanked the Council for the plaque and recognition, noting that she wanted to give “special thanks to Mayor Wert and Leo Fishman, who’s creativity and foresight helped establish the Arts Council, which allowed us to reach out to other islands, as well as Kiawah.”
First reading of Ordinance 2009-11, Business License Ordinance Amendment
“This is required if we’re going to change business license funding,” said Mayor Wert in regards to ordinance 2009-11, which changes business license rates by classification as addressed in the budget ordinance. The Mayor noted that the change was taken into account in this year’s budget, which expires June 30, 2010. A public hearing on Ordinance 2009-11 will be held on January 5 at 1:45pm before the next Town Council meeting. The first reading was approved unanimously.
Island Beach Service Beach Franchise Contract Amendment
Council unanimously approved the extension of the Island Beach Service Beach Franchise agreement to December 31, 2010. The contract was awarded in 2008 with the option to renew annually through 2010.
Municipal Judge Appointment
Mayor Wert moved to reappoint C. Gregory Brown as the Town of Kiawah Island Municipal Court Judge for a term to expire January 31, 2014. Councilman Orban remarked that Judge Brown has “done a good job over the past six years. No complaints.” The Council approved the reappointment unanimously.
As Carol Fishman has decided not be on Board of Zoning Appeals for another term, Chairman Ron Richie suggested resident Ron Hacker as a replacement. Hacker has been a property owner on Kiawah for 14 years and a full time resident for nine years. He was active on the KICA Covenant Compliance Committee for five years and chair for three years. He is currently Chair of the KICA Appeals Group and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. The Council approved his appointment unanimously and Hacker will serve a term beginning January 1, 2010 and expiring January 1, 2014.
Approval of 2010 Town Council and Committee Meeting Schedules and Holidays
The Council approved their Council and Committee schedules, as well as their holiday schedules, for 2010. Copies of the schedules will be available both online and at Kiawah Town Hall.
During an executive session following last month’s meeting, the Council approved raises for the Kiawah Town staff. In order to make it official, Council voted unanimously to approve the raises during this month’s official Council meeting.
Arts Council closes 2009 season
Councilman Lipuma reported that the Charleston Symphony Orchestra concert on the Freshfields Green on November 7, which was held in conjunction with the Kiawah House Tour, was outstanding, and the PURE theatre production of The Tragedian on November 12 was spellbinding. The CSO Holiday Strings Concert with Yuriy Bekker on December 3 rounded out the 2009 Arts Season, but Lipuma reminded the Council that they have a “full slate of exciting performances in January and February next year.”
Council says “nay” to horses
“We need to make a note about keeping horses off the bike path,” said Councilman Orban. “I didn’t realize had to put up a sign about no horses on the bike path, but they are not allowed.” Orban also noted that the paving of the path and the Parkway is essentially complete, and the landscapers are well into planting out the bike path. The contractors are working on the new guardrails and all work looks to be completed by January 1. “It will look even better when the landscaping is done,” said Orban, noting that the final touches, such as laying down new sod, will be completed in early spring. He also noted that the new road markings will be painted in once the weather warms up, as the paint needs a temperature of 55 degrees or more in order to cure properly.
Lastly, Orban noted that several people have asked him about some dead trees along the Kiawah Island Parkway and pointed out that, as the trees are not on Town property, there is nothing they can do about it and cannot force their removal unless they are in danger of falling. The trees were apparently killed by an influx of salt water due to recent high tides and flooding.
In terms of the recycling/solid waste program, Councilman McHugh reported that the Homeowners Association properties are now participating, and the Regimes have now selected their recycling methods. The new Recycling Oversight Committee is also in place and has been charged with monitoring the service and cost of the program. “We do need a representative for single family homes on the Committee,” said McHugh, “so if you’d like to be on the committee, we would love to have you.” If you are interested in serving on the Committee, please contact Town Hall at 768-9166.
Town Administrator’s report
As Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker is recovering from surgery, Town Clerk Cathy Wilson noted that there was nothing in particular to report. “I just want to tell everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season and ‘Go Appalachian Mountaineers’!”
Mayor Wert filled in a little for Councilman Al Burnaford, who typically reported on External Affairs, by reminding the Council about the upcoming Johns Island Greenway charette at the Johns Island Library on Monday, December 7. “If you’re for or against, be there,” said the Mayor. “It’s democracy at its finest.” On a personal note, Mayor Wert asked that the residents of Kiawah think about those less fortunate this year. “Open up your hearts – and wallets – and help support those less fortunate,” Wert asked. “There are people within five miles of where you live who need your help. Be open and help these folks.”
Family fun leashed in by dog laws
Rosalind Walman, a visitor staying at Windswept, spoke during Citizen’s Comments regarding the new Pet Ordinance. “This is our first visit to the island,” said Rosalind, “and on our first visit to the beach, our Golden Retriever met two kids, ages three and five, and it was love at first sight.” The children played with the dog for hours and the interaction was so adorable that the parents of the children began videotaping their play; that was, until the Beach Patrol arrived and told Rosalind to leash her dog. “It slammed the door on our play,” she said. “Our dog is good, obedient and responsive and I feel there’s something wrong with an Ordinance that punishes a well-behaved dog and a responsible owner. Owners should be held responsible for the actions of their dog, not the Town. Do you want to eliminate that kind of fun on the beach?”
Mayor Wert thanked her for her comments and informed her that, as per the Council’s policy, they would respond to her statements at the next Town Council meeting.
The next Kiawah Town Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2010, at 2pm in the Kiawah Island Town Hall, located at 21 Beachwalker Drive, Johns Island. For more information, call Kiawah Town Hall at 768-9166 or visit www.kiawahisland.org.