Council removes Cappadona from PC

BLYTHEWOOD – Mayor J. Michael Ross called a special meeting of the Blythewood Town Council Monday night for ‘Consideration of removal of a Planning Commissioner.’

Ross said he had learned that Commissioner Robert Cappadona no longer lives in the town.

Cappadona

“According to the municipal planning commission chapter 150 of the SC code of ordinances, sec. 150.03 states that all candidates applying to the commission shall be electors that reside in the Town,” Ross said.

To comply with the statute, council voted 5-0 during the 10-minute meeting to remove Cappadona from the Commission.

Cappadona, who has served approximately 10 years on the commission, remains on the Blythewood Facilities Board, according to Ross. The Facilities Board’s members which include Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, were responsible for signing off on the $5 million bond that was levied to build the Doko Park facilities. Those board members also recently signed off on the bond’s refinancing. Cappadona previously served on the Town’s economic development board which is now disbanded.

Cappadona was the focus of discussion last month when his absence was blamed for the commission not having a quorum for consideration of a Hilton Hotel Home 2 Suites.

While four of the seven Commission members were absent, Cappadona had confirmed with the town clerk that he would be present. The other three had confirmed they would not be attending and were not expected.

The meeting was delayed for half an hour while the commission chairman and town clerk tried to reach Cappadona. Without his presence, the commission’s business could not be conducted. When Cappadona did not answer or respond to the calls, the meeting was cancelled.

At that meeting, representatives for Hilton Hotel’s Home 2 Suites had made trips to Blythewood from Atlanta and Seneca to resolve commissioners’ questions from the August commission meeting concerning traffic access to a 1.93 acre site where representatives of the hotel chain are requesting to build a four-story, 88-bed hotel building adjacent to I-77 and behind San Jose’s restaurant.

Following that meeting Ross released a list of all members of the town’s boards and commissions and their attendance records.

Cappadona and several others had missed more than half their meetings this year.

“In an effort to update the Town’s records, we sent all commissioners emails asking for their current addresses and other contact information,” Ross said. “Mr. Cappadona did not respond, but later he did and he gave us the address of 1107 Rushing Road. That is not in the Town of Blythewood,” Ross said.

Ross added that Cappadona had not resigned as of Monday night.

“So we are going to vote for Mr. Cappadona’s removal from the planning commission since he does not live in the town limits,” Ross said.

Following the vote, Ross asked Town Administrator Brian Cook to attend the Planning Commission meeting which was to follow the Town Council meeting, to inform Mr. Cappadona, if he should attend, that he cannot vote or even take part in the meeting as a commissioner.

“He has been removed,” Ross said.

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