Despite having a packed agenda, we had an efficient and productive Business Meeting tonight. With the time change, that means we left while it was still daylight!
Here are some other things I’m excited about from tonight’s meeting:
- Waterleaf at Neely Ferry. Council unanimously approved this Concept Plan. I previously told you why this plan is exciting and good for Simpsonville: road improvements, green space, sidewalks and connectivity, authentic collaboration between Graycliffe Capital and the City of Simpsonville, and smart growth!
- South Street Innovative Development Concept Plan. At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on February 27th, Council voted to move this to the Business Meeting. Despite voting yes, I had some lingering concerns about sidewalks (or lack thereof) and connectivity. I took those concerns to our Planning and Economic Development Director, Jason Knudsen: there are no sidewalks on Corporate Drive or N. Industrial Dr. Mr. Knudsen knows how I feel about sidewalks and connectivity. And he suggested we ask Gray Engineering, the firm who submitted the Statement of Intent, if they’d work with us to improve the walkability of the area. End result? We’re getting 2 additions to the plan: a) the addition of a sidewalk extending up Corporate Dr. connecting to South Street; and b) the addition of a ten-foot-wide, multi-use trail from Corporate Dr. to Richardson St. This is a great public improvement! Not only do we get increased walkability/connectivity, but also, as Mr. Knudsen pointed out in tonight’s meeting, this is good long-term planning. After all, what do we want in Simpsonville? A trail! And here’s one small trail that could potentially be a part of the bigger trail we’re working with the National Parks Service and concerned citizens on. And that’s exciting!
- Speaking of long-term planning, I am also excited that Council unanimously approved the appointment of Chief Wesley Williams as City Administrator Pro tem. So here’s the thing: Simpsonville has experienced a great deal of instability over the last several years. Dianna Gracely (who we’re so happy to have now!) makes the 4th City Administrator who’s been at the helm in my short tenure on Council. Especially with the unexpected and tragic passing of Mr. Eddie Case, we realized that we need to be better prepared (in advance) for how the city moves forward in the absence of a City Administrator. We don’t need to be caught unawares and scrambling to decide what happens if something keeps the City Administrator from being able to do her job (although we certainly hope nothing will ever happen to Ms. Gracely). The idea of a pro-tem Administrator was first broached by Mr. Cummings. We talked it out, and we decided this is the right choice in planning for the future. The appointment essentially mirrors that of the Mayor Pro Tem, and “pro tem” really just means “temporary.” So in the event that Ms. Gracely cannot–for whatever reason–serve in her role as City Administrator, Chief Williams will serve in her place temporarily. They will work together closely to make sure that Chief Williams is apprised of any business, processes, or procedures that he may need to understand in Ms. Gracely’s absence to keep the city running smoothly. Given his experience, dedication, and vast knowledge of everything Simpsonville, Chief Williams is the obvious choice for this appointment. Better planning for the future will always excite me. That’s what this is. And it’s what I promised to work on back in 2015/2016.