The Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, August 24, 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 8:11 a.m. The following members of Council were present: The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Daniel J. Rickenmann. The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine was absent. Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Salley, City Clerk.
A. Responses to the Request for Proposals for Lobbying Services – Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager
Ms. Wendy Arndt Holmquist, Founding Partner of Capitol Information Affiliates (CIA), explained that they are a broad based firm that offers monitoring services, lobbying services, grassroots networking, public relations and association management. She presented the terms and conditions of the contract in response to the Request for Proposals. She noted that additional services would be tailored to the needs of the City of Columbia. Ms. Holmquist stated that they would attend all City Council meetings; she proposed grassroots training for City employees; and offered to plan the City’s next Legislative Reception. She stated that their firm has three (3) active Lobbyists and would contract with Mr. Darrell Campbell if they were selected.
Mr. James R. Courie, President of MG&C Consulting Services, LLC, explained that the firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Columbia based regional law firm McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC that represents clients in the core service areas of governmental relations, legislative and regulatory advocacy, business development, government procurement, public affairs, and captive insurance company development. He noted that the Lobbyist would have the resources of the firm’s Attorneys as well. He explained that they would begin by developing a strategic plan for the City of Columbia during a planning session or a retreat.
Ronald C. Fulmer, State Capitol Group, LLC said that they have represented
the City of Columbia since1999. He stated that they always send weekly
reports to the City Manager and they meet with the City Council as needed.
He noted concerns about not being able to meet with City Council on a regular
Ms. Mia Butler, McLeod Butler and Company will partner with the State Capitol Group in their lobbying efforts on behalf of the City of Columbia. She noted that she represented the City on the recent “Gang Legislation” and the “Meth Bill”.
John C. West, Jr., State Capitol Group, LLC stated that he worked on the “Pre-Trial Traffic Diversion Program”. He said that they also are concerned about the number of agencies that receive a portion of traffic fines; therefore, increasing the amount due. Mr. West explained that “Capital Projects Sales Tax” is another major issue they are lobbying.
Ronald C. Fulmer, State Capitol Group, LLC informed the members of Council that the “Billboard Legislation” is the second piece of legislation on the Senate calendar and that they will partner with the Municipal Association and the county to stop the legislation from being passed.
Mayor Coble thanked the presenters and stated that a decision would be made at a later date.
CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION / ACTION
B. Development Corporation Reforms – Ms. Dana Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development
Ms. Dana Turner, Assistant City Manager for Commerce and Development presented recommendations for the restructuring of the City’s Development Corporations.
· Council adjourned the Work Session at 10:01 a.m. to convene the Public Hearings.
· Council reconvened the Work Session at 10:59 a.m.
Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve the following recommendations on restructuring the Development Corporations:
· Amend the Bylaws of all development corporations to provide as follows: Each corporation will advertise for members in accordance with terms and conditions contained within the bylaws of the corporations. Each corporation would nominate new members for consideration by City Council and City Council would actually make the appointments as appropriate.
· Limit the participation of any one City Council member to no more than 2 corporations.
· Amend the bylaws of each development corporation to provide that only community members or business leaders may serve as officers of the corporation.
· Restructure the Boards of the TN Development Corporation and the Eau Claire Development Corporation. According to the TN Development Corporation bylaws, the corporation is supposed to be composed of 12 board members, but only about 5 members attend the meetings and most of those are Council Members. According to its bylaws, the Eau Claire Development Corporation is supposed to be composed of 14 board members, but only 6 or 7 members attend. CHDC, Columbia Development Corporation and South Columbia Development Corporation are well attended.
· Clarify the resolution recently passed by City Council concerning terms limits. If immediately imposed, this will eliminate the participating membership of some of the development corporation boards. Accept proposals from those boards that will allow for replacement of board members in a gradual fashion to insure continuity of knowledge but will bring each corporation into compliance with the recently adopted resolution concerning term limits.
· Amend the bylaws of the development corporations to provide that terms of board members are consistent. Currently, ECDC and CDC have two-year terms; TN, CHDC and SCDCorp have three-year terms.
· Hire an accounting firm for the Columbia Development Corporation, the Eau Claire Development Corporation and the South Columbia Development Corporation. This firm would prepare monthly and annual financial statements and attend and report on the financial status of the corporation at the monthly meetings. CHDC and TN have an accounting firm that provides this service.
Upon motion by Mr. Osborne, seconded by Mr. Cromartie, Council voted four (4) to two (2) to approve the following recommendations on restructuring the Development Corporations. Voting aye were Mr. Cromartie, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Davis and Mr. Rickenmann. Voting nay were Ms. Sinclair and Mayor Coble.
· Reduce the number of council members on each development corporation board so that no more than 2 council members serve on each board. In the event that a Council member does not wish to serve on a corporation to which he or she is appointed, allow that Council member to appoint a person in his or her place to serve on that corporation. Each corporation would be required to amend its bylaws as needed to include these provisions.
Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Osborne, Council voted unanimously to go into Executive Session at 11:20 a.m. for the discussion of Items C. through F. as amended.
C. Receipt of legal advice, which relates to a matter covered
by attorney-client privilege
- USC Research Campus – Mr. Dan McLeod, Esquire and Mr. Brent Robertson, Financial Advisor / Merchant Capital, LLC - This item was discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
- **Congaree Vista Guild – Mr. Jim Meggs, City Attorney - This item was discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
D. **Employment of an Employee – This item was discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
E. **Investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct – This item was discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
F. **Receipt of legal advice, which relates to a pending, threatened or potential claim - This item was discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
· Council adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Salley