Columbia City Council Planning Session+ March 29, 2006 + 9 am
City council convened for its planning session Wednesday morning, March 29, just after 9 am. Council member E. W. Cromartie was running late, arriving at 9:35, and all other members were present: Tameika Isaac Devine, Mayor Bob Coble, Anne Sinclair, Sam Davis, and Daniel Rickenmann.
Setting up the morning's agenda
Not a work session or a regular session, the gathering of city council was to publicly disclose an overview of fiscal year 2006/2007 performance goals and objectives for pilot departments.
Marc Mylott , director of development services, reviewed his department's progress in the past year, and he identified four major accomplishments targeted for the coming year. (1) Publish guidelines for quality control and customer service. (2) Establish an educational outreach, a Zoning 101, as it were. (3) Amend zoning ordinance for new subdivisions and include new staff. (4) Assess the city's entire housing stock, establishing what percentage is satisfactory.
Fire Chief Bradley Anderson cited four goals developed by council and the fire department's parallel action. (1) Enhance quality of life. Help maintain city-owned buildings. Preserve heritage. Enforce codes. (2) Maintain high-quality natural and built infrastructure. (3) Look to the future while adhering to best practices for local government. Raise employee skills. (4) Increase the city's tax base.
Parks and Recreation Department
Jeff Rainwater , recreation superintendent, highlighted the extraordinary impact of the new Drew Wellness Center, which has passed a membership count of 800. His department's Youth Obesity Initiative is showing real results, as is Fast Forward, the beginner's computer school. There are 17 park rangers distributed among Granby Park, Riverfront Park, and Finlay Park. Rainwater wants to achieve the "wow" effect through well-maintained parks operating on a high aesthetic plane.
Police Chief Dean Crisp wants the Columbia Police Department to be the premier department in the state, suitable for the capital city. His is already the only agency in SC to run traffic reconstruction classes. Columbia's Housing Authority Management Group meets monthly, each time tweaking the successful crime fighting tactics at work. There was some discussion of Gonzales Gardens and its gang problems, and Major Burke satisfied council that the situation was well in hand.
Public Works Department
Robert Anderson , solid waste superintendent, stood as acting director while Director Gentry took care of her new twins. He outlined policies in play toward accreditation for his department. One of the goals for the coming year is improved customer relations, never missing an address like the four on Kilbourne missed recently. The Two Notch Road beautification is about to begin, as is the Blossom Street Gateway. In traffic engineering, a standard street-light policy is about to get published, establishing high common standards for the entire city's street lighting.
Council meets at Pontiac Elementary School, 500 Spears Creek Church Road, Wednesday, April 5, at 4 pm.