Council Trending Toward Committees

WINNSBORO – County Council Monday night discussed turning from a work session form of governing in favor of hashing out business in committees, while also voting 5-2 to split the existing Policy and Development (P&D) Committee into two new committees.

Councilman Billy Smith (District 7) placed the motion on the floor to split P&D into the Public Affairs and Policy Committee, which would cover justice and personnel procedures, environmental and public safety, welfare and community relations; and the Public Resources and Development Committee, covering health, education, recreation, public facilities, transportation and land planning.

“Looking at the Policy and Development Committee that was presented to us,” Smith said, “there were a plethora of different items under that committee and I just felt that we should split that into two different committees so that we don’t only send that to three folks on Council before it comes to the floor.”

Vice Chairman Kamau Marcharia (District 4) said he was concerned that splitting the P&D Committee would ultimately send more issues into the hands of the Administration and Finance (A&F) Committee.

“And the two people up here who are going to handle finance for the next two years is (District 2’s Carolyn Robinson, Chairwoman) and Mr. (Marion) Robinson,” Marcharia said. “It’s taking from us and being placed in your hands.”

Carolyn Robinson, however, said that assessment was not exactly correct, and Marion Robinson said that an item would only go from one committee over to A&F if that was the recommendation of the original committee. Milton Pope, County Administrator, added that such would be the case only after the original committee had reported the item back to the full Council. An item would not, he said, go directly from one committee to another.

“We just felt like, looking at the Policy and Development Committee, this is an awful lot of different areas to cover for three people,” Marion Robinson said. “These three people are going to be in committee meetings all the time or they’re going to be in a two and three hour committee meeting.”

Marcharia and Councilman Mikel Trapp (District 3) voted against the split.

Carolyn Robinson also introduced for discussion a new process by which Council may take up items for consideration. Any matter initiated by a Council member, and that requires Council action, will be presented to the full Council in the form of a motion, she said, and if the motion carries the matter will then be assigned to a committee. Council would follow the same process on matters brought to them by the public, she said.

“That way we don’t have issues that are just hanging out there and not being officially assigned,” Pope said.

“It’s also you taking ownership of this Council,” Carolyn Robinson added to her colleagues, “and you work on it so that the Chair is not going to be the one who sits and puts on the agenda what’s going on.”

Smith suggested inserting the rules into Council’s bylaws, to which Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6) agreed. Carolyn Robinson agreed as well, but did not call for a motion Monday night.

“My recommendation to you all tonight is,” she said, “we’ve had two or three things thrown at us, take what was given to us, add these things and let’s be ready to actually vote on the policy and procedures at the next regular Council meeting.”

Quarry Update

Pope told Council he had received a letter earlier in the day from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) regarding the County’s submission of comments and questions regarding the mining application for Winnsboro Crushed Stone, as well as the County’s request for additional public meetings on the issue. Reading from the letter, Pope told Council that DHEC does not plan at this time to hold any further public meetings regarding the proposed quarry in the Rockton Thruway neighborhood.

Jenkinsville Sidewalks

Jenkinsville Mayor Gregrey Ginyard, who appeared before Council at their Jan. 12 meeting to request a letter of support for his town’s S.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) enhancement grant application to complete a sidewalk, made a second appeal for the support Monday night.

Ginyard said during his Jan. 12 request that three-quarters of the project, from Buttercup Lane to approximately a quarter of a mile shy of Baltic Circle where the Lake Monticello Park is located, had been completed using DOT grant money. To take the sidewalk all the way to the park, Ginyard said Jenkinsville is applying for another grant and needs $100,000 in matching funds. Ginyard said the town only needed half of that – $50,000 – from the County, and in two installments of $25,000 each in 2015 and in 2016. Ginyard said Jenkinsville didn’t need the cash right away, but did need a letter of commitment from the County by March to submit with their grant application.

“I’ve sat here tonight and I’ve listened to the committee things,” Ginyard said Monday night, “and I’m hoping that we can get an answer for the town of Jenkinsville before it goes into a committee and it has to spend a month or so in that committee to get a decision back so we will know where to go with our enhancement grant.”

Marcharia later asked Council to supply Ginyard with a letter of support, but Carolyn Robinson said the matter should indeed go through the committee process.

“I think it needs to go to the committee because money is attached to that,” she said.

Marcharia moved to do so, asking that the matter be expedited, receiving a second from Trapp and the motion passed without dissent.