2006-03-17 / Government / Neighborhood

Richland County Council Meeting + March 7, 2006 + 6 pm

By Mike Cox

Roll Call

Members Present: Anthony Mizzell, Doris Corley, Valerie Hutchinson, Damon Jeter, Paul Livingston, Joseph McEachern, Michael Montgomery, Greg Pearce, Bernice Scott, and Kit Smith. Joyce Dickerson was absent.


+ LRADAC Director Jack Claypool , leaving for Washington to serve on the Drug Free Community Support Group at the White House, thanked the council for their support.

+ Becky Bailey , Conservation Commission, announced Richland Legacy has $50,000 set aside to study historic site needs.

+ Sandra Hackley , Midlands Tech, said the Lift Project provides extended education to over 300 children in the area. The Wages Program encourages child care professionals to continue with their education. (And all we had was Captain Kangaroo.)

+ Johnny James voiced Midlands Disabled American Veterans's concern with a new policy adding road use taxes to the bills of disabled vets.


+ Independent budget audit

Acting Administrator Milton Pope announced there were no problems with the audit, then turned things over to Bob Milhouse , who explained the highlights of the audit.

+ Clerk's Report

Michielle Cannon- Finch announced the joint city/county meeting March 20 at 8 am; The SC Economic Developer's School May 18-19 in Charleston; and the Richland Memorial Hospital Board reception April 5 at 6 pm.

+ Chairman's Report

Mizzell said the employees at the detention center were concerned about compensation and morale. He emphasized no promises were made to them.


+ The Detention Center Medical Contract

Renaldo Myers and Kathy Harrell said the existing contract was terminated after several incidents with 180 days notice, 170 days ago. The new contract with Correct Care Resources will include medical staff in the booking room, $30,000 for mental health coverage, a nurse to manage the medical contract rather than a jail employee, a 90-day evaluation period, and follow-up care for inmates after their release.

Montgomery wanted a dollar figure and had a hard time understanding why the proposed number was so high. (Maybe he needs Jethro Bodine to do a little siferin' for him.)

McEachern said it was a flawed process because there was nothing for the council to look at. Scott said the staff did what the council requested, and everyone knew it would cost more. "Now everyone has amnesia."

The amendment passed without opposition.

+ The Township

The county is trying to buy a couple pieces of property and trying to sell another near the Township. Council instructed Pope to negotiate each of the properties involved and bring the information back. After the City of Columbia decides to what extent they will be involved, the county will decide how to handle the properties.

Committee Reports

+ Allocation of $10,000 for the International Downtown Association Spring Conference. Smith said her committee recommended rejecting the proposal. Livingston said he felt this one was worthy of $10,000 of HTAX funds. Montgomery went into great detail explaining why he felt it was a bad idea. Mizzell said it would bring revenue and attention to Richland County. The funds were allocated by a 6-4 margin.

Steel Cage Death Match

After an executive session, Mizzell and Smith argued over the council rules. One would think this issue would have been resolved since the last meeting. With all the staff available, and the other council members assuredly tired of their time being wasted, this issue should be resolved before the next meeting.

A Steel Cage Death Match would do the trick and raise much needed funds for the trip to China to see the ballet, which is what started the fight.

Almost overshadowed was a request for Pearce to study junk cars, and a request by Jeter to appropriate $35,000 for a walking trail.

At 10 pm, four hours after it started, the meeting was adjourned.

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