CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION MINUTES
April 7, 2004
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, April 7, 2004, in the City Hall Council Chambers at 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Jim D. N. Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 9:03 a.m. for the discussion of Item 1.

  EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

 1.  **Discussion of employment of an employee
 This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Executive Session at 9:19 a.m. to reconvene the Work Session.

2. **Introduction of Chief of Police – Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager

Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager introduced Chief H. Dean Crisp as the new Chief of Police for the City of Columbia Police Department.  Chief H. Dean Crisp is currently the Police Chief of Greer, South Carolina.  Mr. Austin stated that all three (3) finalists were excellent candidates.

Chief of Police H. Dean Crisp, introduced his family to the members of City Council.  He thanked the members of Council for their support along with Major Swisher and other command staff of the Columbia Police Department.  He accepted the position as Police Chief for the Columbia Police Department and stated that he is honored to work for the people of this great community.

**Mayor Coble introduced Mr. William Campbell to the audience.  William won a raffle to spend one (1) hour with Mayor Bob Coble.

PRESENTATION

A. Proclamation for Building Safety Week April 4 – 10, 2004

Mr. Donny Phipps, Director of Inspections, thanked the members of Council for acknowledging Building Safety Week.  He thanked various city departments for their support.  Mr. Phipps introduced members of the Inspections Department.

Mayor Coble presented the Inspections Department with a Proclamation declaring April 4 –10, 2004 as Building Safety Week in the City of Columbia.
 
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION

B. Community Promotions Funding Recommendations – Judge Mildred McDuffie, Committee Chair

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to authorize the disbursement of Community Promotions Funding in the amount of $5,500.00 to two (2) organizations as recommended by the Community Promotions Advisory Committee.
(See list below)

  B1. **Community Mediation Center Sponsorship
 
Councilwoman Anne Sinclair presented a request from the Community Mediation Center for sponsorship of “Building Bridges” a fundraising / community awareness event on April 19, 2004.
There was a consensus of Council to authorize the City Manager to review and take action on the request for sponsorship.
 
C. International Business Center – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development

Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development, appeared before the members of Council to request funding in the amount f $50,000.00 to develop an International Business Center.  He stated that it is difficult to identify international companies that are interested in moving to Columbia.  He said that the City of Columbia needs a landing zone strategy or a place for international companies to temporarily establish operations.  Mr. Gambrell told the members of Council that four (4) international companies have expressed interest by signing a non-binding letter of intent.  He requested permission to negotiate a lease and to begin preparing the proposed site.  He stated that the companies would pay a monthly fee for a package deal.

Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mayor Coble, Council voted unanimously to endorse the concept of an International Business Center and directed Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager to prepare recommendations for City Council to review.  Staff was directed to determine how this plan would coincide with the Collaborative Plan for Economic Development and the City’s budget for fiscal year 2004/2005.  Staff was also directed to determine the feasibility of establishing a Small Business Incubator Program.

D. Midlands Education and Business Alliance – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development

Mr. Jim Reynolds, Total Comfort, told the members of Council that the biggest issue is workforce readiness.  He reported that approximately 50% of the nurses working at Palmetto Health are recruited from out of state. He said that the Midlands Education and Business Alliance is a collaboration that serves Richland, Lexington and Kershaw Counties by connecting our youth to education and experience in the workplace through such programs as job shadowing, service learning, internships, teachers in the workplace and scholarships.

Mr. Cedric Brown, Total Comfort, stated that he began with Total Comfort as an 11th Grade Student at Columbia High School.  He said that the Midlands Education and Business Alliance helped him see a bright future ahead.

Ms. Val Richardson, Palmetto Health Human Resource Director, said that she has spent 18 years recruiting and she hates reporting that she can’t find qualified staff.  She stated they go to schools and speak to students and they conduct job fairs at colleges in the Midlands.  She asked the members of Council to consider funding the Midlands Education and Business Alliance.

Mr. Jim Reynolds, Total Comfort, stated that the Midlands Education and Business Alliance began five (5) years ago through a grant.  This grant expires in June 2004.  He said that the Alliance serves over 150 schools and many businesses in three (3) counties.  Mr. Reynolds noted that various business partners provide over $300,000.00 in in-kind services and $100,000.00 in financial support.  He requested $175,000.00 annually from the City of Columbia. Mr. Reynolds reported that $170,000.00 was requested from Richland County, $130,000.00 from Lexington County and $120,000.00 from Fairfield County.

There was a consensus of Council to direct staff to consider the request for funding in the amount of $175,000.00 during the City’s current budget process.

APPOINTMENTS

E.  Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission

Upon motion by Mr. Papadea, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted unanimously to approve the re-appointment of Mr. Laddie Howard for a term to expire on February 1, 2007 and Ms. Hillary McDonald as the Columbia Green Liaison for a term to expire on February 1, 2005.   Council voted to approve the appointment of Mr. Howard Duvall for a term to expire on February 1, 2007; Mr. William Harrington Pope for a term to expire on February 1, 2005; and Ms. Hazel Bungy-Curry for a term to expire on February 1, 2005.

OTHER MATTERS

 F. Public Transportation in the City of Columbia – Ms. Wendy Brinker, DRP Media

Ms. Wendy Brinker, DRP Media, stated that five (5) years ago she made a conscientious decision to ride the bus to and from work daily.  She said that riding the bus has been a positive experience.  Ms. Brinker told the members of Council that the common individual mindset is against riding the bus.  She insisted that a targeted campaign is needed to improve the overall image of the bus system.  Ms. Brinker presented three (3) ads that could appeal to various demographics.

Mr. Jonathan Robinson, DRP Media, told the members of Council that the exterior of the buses could be used for advertising space at no cost to the Regional Transit Authority.  He stated that this form of advertisement could generate approximately $900,000.00 in annual revenue.

Ms. Wendy Brinker and Mr. Jonathan Robinson of DRP Media were introduced to Ms. Mitzi Javers of the Regional Transit Authority for further discussion.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Ms. Devine, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 10:57 a.m. for the discussion of Items G. through J.

EXECUTIVE SESSION DISCUSSION

G.  Discussion of negotiation incident to proposed contractual arrangements
- Trelys
- Fire Services Contract – Mr. Jim Meggs, City Attorney
- Celia Saxon Retail Center Development Partnership – Mr. Jim Gambrell, Director of Economic Development
- **Naval Reserve Building – Mr. Steve Gantt, Assistant City Manager
  These items were discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

H.  Discussion of negotiations incident to the proposed purchase of property
- North Main Street Streetscape Project – Mr. David Johnson, Director of Engineering and Ms. Gale Nash, Engineering Real Estate Manager
- Arsenal Hill Railroad Cut – Mr. Fred Delk, Columbia Development Corporation Executive Director
These items were discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

I.  Discussion of employment of an employee
- Municipal Court Judge
This item was discussed in Executive Session no action was taken.

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

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Work Session at 2:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk