CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
February 16, 2005
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers
3rd Floor City Hall - 1737 Main Street

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m.  The following members of City Council were present:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, Rickenmann The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr. and The Honorable Sam Davis.  The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine joined the meeting at 12:15 p.m.  The Honorable Daniel J. was absent. Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

CITY COUNCIL PRESENTATIONS

A.  Legislative Update – Mr. Joe Grant, The Grant Group and Mr. Larry Marchant, The Palmetto Policy Group

Mr. Joe Grant of The Grant Group reported that the Gang Legislation has more activity and interest since the Gang Summit.  He urged city representatives to attend the February 17, 2005 sub-committee hearing on both bill versions at 9:00 a.m. in Room #308 in the Gressette Building. He stated that they support S79 and have prepared amendments based upon discussions during the Gang Summit.  He said that he only expects that the 13-year-old age limit would be adopted.
 
Mr. Larry Marchant of The Palmetto Policy Group reported that the Photo Cop Bill S40 passed favorably out of the Transportation Committee.

Councilwoman Anne M. Sinclair asked the lobbyist to contact Representative Jimmy Bales about the Billboard Legislation.

**Councilman E.W. Cromartie, II provided a briefing in response to the cut backs in federal funding.  He stated that all elected officials are asked to engage in conversation with the members of Congress.  He said that the cutbacks might not be as drastic as we assumed.  He indicated that the legislation might provide new initiatives also.

B.  Communities in Schools of the Midlands Update – Ms. Marcia Benson, President of the Communities In Schools Board of Directors

This item was deferred.

 C.  2005 Three Rivers Music Festival Update – Ms. Virginia Bedford, Executive Director of the Three Rivers Music Festival
 
This item was deferred.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

D.  Funding for the City Center Partnership – Mr. Matt Kennell, Executive Director of the City Center Partnership

Mr. Matt Kennell, Executive Director of the City Center Partnership, stated that this is the third year that he has requested that the City of Columbia make a voluntary contribution to the City Center Partnership.  He told the members of Council that private property owners must pay a special assessment through the Business Improvement District, but governmental entities are asked for voluntary contributions. He noted that for the first two (2) years City Council provided $60,000.00 annually to the City Center Partnership.  He requested that the City of Columbia pay an additional $9,616.00 in assessment fees since the purchase of the Washington Square Building. The total Business Improvement District assessment for the City of Columbia would be $69,616.00. Mr. Kennell stated that they also receive $50,000.00 annually from Richland County.

There was a consensus of Council to direct staff to consider the request during the fiscal year 2005/2006-budget preparation cycle.

PRESENTATIONS

D1.  **Dr. Naby Camara Day in the City of Columbia – The Honorable Mayor Robert D. Coble

Mr. Warner Montgomery introduced Dr. Naby Camara from Guinea, South Africa.   He said that Dr. Camara was in Columbia for eye surgery and to continue his historical reaserach that connects his village in Guinea to South Carolina.  He added that Dr. Naby Camara hosted Richland School District One during their visit to South Africa in 2001.
 
Mayor Robert D. Coble and the members of City Council proclaimed Wednesday, February 16, 2005 as Dr. Naby Camara Day in the City of Columbia.

CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

E.  Development of CanalSide – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development

Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development advised the members of Council of the need to discuss the development of CanalSide in Executive Session.

TRAFFIC ISSUES

F. Brennen Elementary School Zone – Mr. David Brewer, City Traffic Engineer

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the request from Brennen Elementary School to install a flashing overhead 25 MPH School Speed Zone sign on Beltline Boulevard subject to approval by SCDOT.

APPOINTMENTS

G. Accommodations Tax and Hospitality Tax Advisory Committees – Ms. Libby Gober, Ombudsman

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of the current Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee members as listed below. Consideration of the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee appointments was deferred.

Mr. Bill Ellen  Mr. Tony Tam  Mr. Ron Jones
Ms. Dianne Light Ms. Harriett Green   Mr. Jim Hardy, IV
Ms. Wendi Nance – Chair

H. Columbia Development Corporation

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to approve the re-appointment of Ms. Cynthia Pryor Hardy to the Columbia Development Corporation for a two (2) year term to expire on December 31, 2006.

I. Small Business Regulatory Review Committee

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Ms. April Heyward to the Columbia Small Business Regulatory Review Committee.

· City Council adjourned the Work Session at 9:57 a.m. to convene the regular meeting.

· City Council reconvened the Work Session at 10:26 a.m. Mr. Cromartie was not present at this time.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

Upon motion by Mr. Davis, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 10:26 a.m. for the discussion of Items J. through L. as amended.

J. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed sale of property
- Request from Mr. William M. Gregg
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

K. Discussion of negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- CanalSide
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

 L. **Receipt of legal advice which relates to pending, threatened or potential claim
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· Ms. Tameika Isaac Devine joined the meeting at 12:10 p.m.

· City Council adjourned the Executive Session at 12:15 p.m. to convene the Audit Committee Meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

· Mr. Cromartie joined the committee meeting at 12:36 p.m.

Ms. Ann Ross of J W. Hunt & Co. spoke with the members of Council about audit controls and fraud.  As the city’s External Auditor she urged them to be familiar with the preventive measures that are utilized throughout the city. She recommended that City Council receive quarterly reports from the city’s Internal Auditor.

· City Council adjourned the Audit Committee Meeting at 12:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk