Clinton City Council rolled in and out of its November scheduled meeting Monday night in a cool 90 minutes, executive session and all, an unusually expeditious evening for the august body.
Most of the business was second reading, meaning that on second thought, council members were inclined to vote unanimously.
The regularly and routinely passed “temporarily suspend the application of Sunday sales prohibition” ordinance, a legal technicality, passed quickly, as did the new codes ordinance that amounts to updating such codes in order to eliminate the redundant and obsolete.
In one raising of the hands, the city dedicated itself to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer for the month underway.
Thomas Higgs, newly hired Assistant City Manager, was appropriately recognized, undoubtedly because he is a man [the city] shall get to know better.
Police Chief Sonny Ledda introduced five newcomers – recent academy grads Quin Adams and William Foster, along with Tawanna Thompson, Brandon Howard and Adam Galloway – to the force.
When talk turned to the spending of money, discussions, but more recusals than actual dissents, arose.
Council reviewed recommendations from the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee and approved grants of $150,000 for a welcome center/museum within M.S. Bailey Municipal Center, $50,000 for lights at Presbyterian College’s baseball stadium, $45,380 to purchase equipment for a Holiday Light Show during the holidays, $15,000 to Main Street Clinton for the Scots & Brats festival (in 2020), $10,000 to Hospice of Laurens County for the Flight of the Dove event, and $1,000 to Clinton Canopy.
Mayor Bob McLean spoke out in favor of the equipment for the light show, which he predicted will be unique in the Upstate and draw many visitors.
Accommodations tax revenues (3 percent on rooms rented) must be spent under the broad bailiwick of tourism-related activities. The money may be spent on the cultural, the recreational and the historic. The proceeds of hospitality taxes (2 percent on prepared meals and beverages) may be spent on infrastructure – roads, streets, bridges, even water and wastewater services – and advertisements, as long as they relate to tourism.
Council members discussed, but did not finalize, a date for a workshop to discuss the capital improvement projects to be submitted to the countywide committee charged with setting priorities should a referendum pass approving such a 1 percent tax on Nov. 3, 2020.
After executive session – council took no action “related to the sale of real property” – Ward 1’s Danny Cook reported on the recommendations of the Community Grants Assistance Committee, which called for an additional $1,000 to Clinton Canopy and like amounts to Community Garden, Laurens Safe Home, Clinton Little Devils youth program and United Ministry.
Megan Walsh of Ward 6 spoke in favor of quarterly work sessions to prepare for future uses of city funds. Ward 2’s Shirley Jenkins inquired about future redistricting. Cook thanked council and community members for their concern for his recent medical treatment, and McLean congratulated Main Street Clinton’s Adele Alducin for the success of the city’s Fall-O-Ween event at Vance Park.