Last night, Council met for the January Business Meeting. Council was presented with 3 items referred by the Planning Commission:
- 2nd Reading of Z-2016-02, Rezone Part of Tax Map #0574.02-011.00 (401 Neely Ferry Road). Passed unanimously.
- 1st Reading of AXZ-2016-07, Annexation/Rezoning of Tracts of Land on Harrison Bridge Road Tax Map #’s 0566.02-01-010.01, 0566.02-01-010.02 & part of 0566.02-01-010.07. Passed 6-1 (Dissent: Lockaby).
There was a good deal of discussion on this particular item. In part, this is because Council heard from the public that this item was a matter of concern. Also, the Planning Commission had voted to deny this proposal at its meeting back in November. At that time, when I was asked about it, I said this.
Between then and now, a lot happened. The developer really took to heart the issues the public, the Planning Commission, and Council raised. I, for one, was asked what compelling reasons might lead me to vote for this proposal, given it was recommended denial by the Planning Commission. In short, my 3 areas of concern were traffic, density, and the single-family home involved in the project. This was my full response. Ultimately, I feel like I was provided with information to support the need for this apartment complex. I feel more comfortable with the traffic issues, and I am certain (having been provided with an apartment inventory report and apartment vacancy report) that we have a need for “high end” units like those proposed in this project for business professionals and those downsizing. Also, the issue with the single-family home was resolved, and that homeowner is now supportive of the project. I fully believe that with this new information in hand, the Planning Commission would agree. Therefore, I voted in favor of the 1st Reading.
- SP-2017-01, Bessinger Innovative Development, Major Change. Passed unanimously.
Mr. David Holmes presented one other item for business: he asked Council to grant authority for signing official documents to someone in City Hall. Previously, Council had appointed Ms. Long, City Clerk, to sign for police grants that we knew were heading our way. Last night, we agreed to have Ms. Long continue signing any official documents until a new City Administrator is hired.
Council then went into Executive Session for the discussion of employment, appointment, compensation, promotion, demotion, discipline, or release of an employee in the Administration Department.
Upon returning to open session, Council voted 6-1 (with Braswell dissenting) to extend an offer of employment to Mr. Eddie Case for the position of City Administrator. Mr. Case has been City Administrator in Fountain Inn for the last 11 years and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that will undoubtedly be an asset to the City of Simpsonville moving forward.
This is important because we need a highly qualified and experienced leader who can hit the ground running…and fast. We have several high-priority issues that we need to deal with, including completing the hiring of the new Police Chief, resolving the ongoing issues related to leaf and brush pick-up, completing the new Fire Station, and completing the budget for our next fiscal year.
That’s your recap! Next meeting is a Committee of the Whole meeting on January 24th at 6:30 PM, City Hall.