Naming public facilities, bidding procedures addressed by County Council

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By Stan Welch – The Anderson County Council gave third reading approval to an ordinance restricting the naming of public facilities to those who are deceased. District Seven Councilwoman Cindy Wilson had sponsored the ordinance.

“It just seems that naming a building or road after someone who is still living could result in an embarrassing situation down the road,” said Wilson, citing the example of the Earle Morris Highway. Morris, a former SC governor, later became embroiled in the Carolina Gold banking scandal and was sentenced to prison.

The vote was five to two, with Councilwoman Gracie Floyd and Councilman Eddie Moore opposing. Floyd expressed her suspicions that the ordinance was proposed in order to deny one of her constituents such an honor, while Moore said that someone like a military hero should be honored at the time of their actions, and not necessarily after their death.

The Council also gave final approval to a change in the County’s bidding procedures. Under the new ordinance, the entire cost of multi-year purchasing contracts and lease must be revealed and considered. Councilman Francis Crowder sponsored the ordinance, which takes into account the increase in costs often experienced during the subsequent years of a bid that might have had the lowest bid based on the first year of the contract.

Two requests for rezoning were also given second reading approval. Both tracts are apparently slated for assisted living facilities or a nursing home. (See related story elsewhere in this issue.)

The Council also addressed the issue of whether paid spokespersons appearing before the Council should be required to reveal the identity or identities of those they represent. Councilman Dunn amended the original effort by Councilwoman Wilson to completely repeal the requirement by inserting language that would require the speaker to reveal whether they are representing a party or parties that have a real financial interest in the matter before the Council.

“This will allow us to be aware of any such interest, while protecting those who wish to address the Council anonymously,” said Dunn.

The Council also approved a memorandum of understanding with the SC Judicial Department concerning the hosting of the statewide court case management system. The effect of that memorandum would relieve the county of maintaining all of its own judicial records, which currently consumes a great deal of the county’s computer capacity and occupies a full time employee.

The additional cost to the county of $30,000 per year for the state to take it over would ostensibly be offset by the extension of the county computer system’s life span, and the ability to reassign the duties of the employee.