By Mike CoxMWC423@bellsouth.netRoll call
Tony Mizzell, Greg Pearce, Doris Corley, Joyce Dickerson, Val Hutchinson, Damon Jeter, Paul Livingston, Joe McEachern, Mike Montgomery, Bernice Scott, and Kit Smith were present.
Michielle Cannon-Finch, clerk of council , gave Doris Corley and Tony Mizzell plaques for their county council service, which ended with the night’s meeting. Corley has served for four years, Mizzell for eight, the last two as chairman.
Blakeley Hallman , from the National Kidney Foundation of South Carolina, presented the council with a plaque thanking the entire population of Richland County for their generosity since 2000. The Kidney Foundation program encouraging citizens to donate unwanted cars has been extremely successful in this area.
In the six years the program has been operating, Richland County citizens have donated over 4,600 automobiles, worth 1.16 million dollars. The funds have been used for scholarships for children with kidney disease to go to specialty schools and screenings for people who don’t have health insurance.
Tiaa Rutherford, of the Richland County staff, gave the council an update on Neighborhood Improvement. The group has awarded 20 grants so far this fiscal year and has allocated around $25,000 of the $46,000 budgeted for the program. The remaining money will be given to any qualifying neighborhood association that applies. Each group is limited to $2500.
Retiring Chairman Mizzell used his chairman’s report to poke a little fun at the other council members in an impromptu roast. All comments and token gifts were delivered and accepted in good humor.
Mizzell spent some time reliving his eight years on the council and thanking the folks he has worked with on the council. His comments were on target and heartfelt, but ran a little long. Maybe Mike Montgomery helped write his farewell speech.
Going To the Dogs
The only real discussion during the night’s meeting involved the animal care facility proposal. Each council member seems to be in favor of the proposal to build a new, county owned animal care facility. There is some concern about the legality of donating county funds to Project Pet to help run the facility.
Joe McEachern wondered whether the county procurement code allows the county to do what the proposal states. He made a motion to defer second reading of the proposal until the next meeting. Kit Smith asked if the proposal could be divided into two parts, so the animal care facility could proceed without delay.
The legal staff opined it would be okay to do that. McEachern’s proposal for deferral died for lack of second. Montgomery came to the rescue, as he seems to be doing more and more. He proposed second reading approval of the facility with the MOU for the contribution to Project Pet referred to the A&E committee. This will allow the staff and committee to work out all the kinks before any council discussion but keep the construction project on schedule.
After a couple more comments, the motion was approved. The Township renovation project was also approved before this version of Richland County Council was dismissed.