Tom Allen to chair County Council

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By Stan Welch

The 2012 Anderson County Council elected its chairman and vice chairman Tuesday night. District Four representative Tom Allen was elected unanimously to the chair, while former two term chairman Tommy Dunn was elected as vice chairman.

District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson’s nomination as vice chairman died for a lack of a second.

In an interview after the meeting, Chairman Allen said that he thinks the Council shares certain goals, such as economic development and job creation. “I think we need to get our paving program and the construction of infrastructure along our I-85 frontage on the move. Without that, we are at a disadvantage in trying to attract industry.”

The remainder of the agenda included a discussion of Council’s decision last month to purchase Ipads for the members who want to use them in lieu of the voluminous paperwork that currently exists. The discussion which was led by Councilwoman Gracie Floyd, was curious in that the purchase has already been approved by a 5-2 vote of the Council at their last meeting.

Floyd, having abstained from voting for the purchase, had no procedural standing to bring the matter back to the floor for another vote, rendering the point moot, and making the twenty minute discussion meaningless.

Council also declined to take action to reconcile county ordinance with the covenants governing the Vandiver Commons subdivision. The developers followed those covenants in establishing the minimum square footage for the houses instead of county ordinance, which requires a minimum of 16 square feet for homes included in planned development neighborhoods.

Tony Cirelli, representing the developers was seeking an amendment to that ordinance allowing a reduction of the required square footage to allow some of the homes to meet the standards.

Councilman Tommy Dunn, a home builder by trade, expressed sympathy for the owners of the non-compliant homes but said that the County has ordinances for a reason and to allow some to avoid compliance would send a bad message to others. No one on Council offered a motion to amend, and the matter died.

The Council also ratified the schedule of meetings for the coming year, while acknowledging that the meetings during the week of the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving might be rescheduled or canceled altogether.