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City Council officials sworn into office

Two new members of Walterboro City Council and two incumbents associated with the city government were sworn into office at the Tuesday, July 9, meeting. The new members then sat in for their first official session.

Mayor Bill Young was sworn in after running unopposed for office. This will be his second term in this office, but he has served as a council member since 1989.

Tom Lohr retained his Walterboro City Council seat after the Tuesday, May 28, election. This is his second term in office. Lohr was also selected to be Mayor Pro Tem.

Two newcomers, Jimmy Syfrett and James Broderick, were also voted into office.

One of the newcomers will fill a seat vacated by Charles Lucas, who chose not to run for this term of office. The other will replace Councilman Dwayne Buckner, who lost by a small margin.

Syfrett gathered the most votes at 356, and both incumbent Lohr and newcomer Broderick got 350 votes apiece. Buckner received 262 votes; Deborah Culpepper got 183 votes; Nichole Holmes received 145 votes; and Dewey Griggs got 84 votes.

In other business:

Mayor Bill Young and council members “recognized the tremendous achievements of the 2013 Colleton Preparatory Academy (CPA) War Hawks softball team by proclaiming July 10, 2013, as ‘War Hawk Day’ in the City of Walterboro. Kendall Jumper, Courtney Kramer, Hannah Syfrett, Laura Reynolds, Ashlyn Polk, and Jamie McLaine were formally recognized for making this year’s All Region Team and the High School Sports Report’s All State Team. Jumper, Kramer, Reynolds, and McLaine were also recognized for making the North-South All Star Team.

Team members were also recognized for defeating Clarendon Hall on May 14 to claim the 2013 SCISA Class A State Championship. Jumper was additionally recognized as being the High School Sports Report’s 2013 SCISA Class A Player of the Year and being named Region 1 Class A Player of the Year. War Hawk Coach Mallory Crawford was commended for the High School Sports Report’s 2013 SCISA Coach of the Year and for being selected as the Head Coach for the South’s team during the North-South game.”

-Walterboro businessman Mike Katchuk asked city officials to consider making changes to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Katchuk said he wants an amendment added to Section 13.3 Nonconforming Uses of the UDO. He noted the language of Section 13.3.2 and 13.3.4 needs to be revised, because, as currently written, it is too restrictive for our city, and places an undue burden on property owners.

Katchuk said he also wants an amendment to language on the Walterboro City website, under Government/Code Enforcement Functions. He noted the language on page five should be revised to protect property owners’ rights. A passage states, “Once in each calendar year, the Building Inspector or his deputy shall make an inspection of any building in the corporate limits of the city, and, for such purpose, he or his deputy may enter any building without molestation by anyone.” Katchuk said this violates citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.

Katchuk also noted the statement is in violation of Section 104.6 (Right of Entry) of the International Building Code, 2006, adopted by the city. The passage states that permission must first be obtained from a building’s owner or resident prior to the access. The same International Building Code states within Section 104.6 that a building official must “have reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a structure or upon premises a condition which makes the structure of premises unsafe, dangerous, or hazardous.” Katchuk said that this does not allow for random, unannounced audits of properties, as is written on the city website.

-Council approved various committee appointments for the upcoming year. Councilman Randy Peters will serve on the Economic Development, Airport, and Finance committees. Peters was not present due to illness.

Broderick will serve on the City Appearance Board and the Budget Committee.

Bobby Bonds will represent Walterboro on the Lowcountry Council of Governments’ Board of Directors and the Joint Railroad Right-of-Way Board.

Lohr will continue to lead the Walterboro Youth Commission, and will chair the Budget Committee.

Paul Siegel will serve on the North Lemacks Street Revitalization Committee, and will serve on the Economic Development Board.

Syfrett will serve on the Fireman’s Insurance Fund Board, and the Budget Committee.

Former City Council member Franklin Smalls will serve on the Airport Commission.

Young was named to serve on the Walterboro Tourism Commission and the Airport Commission.

-Council heard a report from Lohr concerning the steady progress of the City Youth Commission.

-Council unanimously approved funding recommendations from the city’s Accommodations Tax Advisory Board in the following areas: Walterboro Exit 53 Merchant’s Association, $6,000; S.C. Artisans Center marketing and promotion, $12,000; Colleton Museum and Farmers Market, $1,000; the airport’s Wings and Wheels event, $5,000; Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Commission, $7,000; Colleton County Rice Festival, $8,000; City of Walterboro Billboard Program, $20,000; Downtown Bicycling Criterium, $15,000, and the Walterboro Rocks Advertising Campaign, $40,000.

-Council reappointed George Cone to serve as City Attorney after coming out of executive session to discuss personnel matters, board and commission appointments, and to discuss negotiations in connection with proposed contractual arrangements.

Rick Tobin, Editor (434 Posts)