June 2, 2016 Minutes

John’s Island Council
Post Office Box 208
John’s Island, SC 29457

Minutes of June 2, 2016 Meeting

Members attending: Sam Brownlee, Chris Cannon, Rich Jenkins, John Kozma, Thomas Legare, Gary Marino, James Owens, Catherine Poag, Rich Thomas, Tim Squire
Guests attending: Kathy Swanson, Ted Smith, Claire Smith, Jessica Cervantes, Raymond Cervantes, Deborah Getter, Gregg Bragg

The meeting was called to order and the pledge of allegiance followed.

With a motion duly made and seconded, the minutes of May 5, 2016 meeting were approved.

Chairman’s Report:
Chair Chris Cannon said that he had invited several primary candidates for Senate seat #41 and was expecting them to come but none showed up. Lee Edwards who is a candidate for House seat #119 did come and introduced himself and said he would be happy to talk to anyone following the meeting. He is running against Leon Stavrinakis.
Chris said there has been a hearing on May 2 regarding a tree at 3004 Maritime Drive. It was approved with limitations. In the City, there had been a request to remove 10 grand trees for a new neighborhood that Mr. Pearlstine owns on land that is between Village of St. John’s and Winnsboro. Guest Deborah Getter had walked the property with Chris and had contacted County to get questions answered. Her homeowners association had received very short notice that this would to be on the agenda and most homeowners were opposed to removal of the trees. Chris had talked to staff and they were not going to approve the request. Prior to the meeting, the request was withdrawn. That means it would have to be completely resubmitted. Ninety houses are planned for that area. The road coming off of Maybank into Villages of St. John’s will continue through this new development and then come through Winnsboro and end at Bohicket Road. Councilmember Thomas Legare noted that it is important to get information out to area residents before zoning changes and items such as tree removal are approved either by staff or City/County Councils. This was an example where many people contacted City staff and voiced their concerns and were planning to attend the meeting and speak in person had the item remained on the agenda.
John Kozma pointed out that the John’s Island Council By Laws allow the Executive Committee to take action if need be on behalf of the John’s Island Council when issues such as this come up in between meetings. Chair Chris Cannon said that he will usually ask for a deferral if public notice is on a short time frame.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Sam Brownlee reported that the bank balance remained at $637.06 and the Scholar’s Fund was at $387,947.60.

CHATS: Sam reported that there had not been a meeting.

Wadmalaw Island: Gary Marino said there was nothing to report for Wadmalaw Island.

Old Business: Council member Rich Thomas reported that I-526 was finally dead. The STIB had voted against allowing any more time for the County to come up with its share of funding. The STIB and County will work to unwind the agreement and some projects will still be funded if County submits plans to use some of the money. There was discussion about the importance of the flyover at Main Road and Savannah Highway /17 South. Council member John Kozma made a motion to send a letter to County and ask that the flyover at Main and 17 be a high priority should money be available from the STIB. Council member Thomas Legare seconded. Council member Tim Squire made a motion to amend and add that that Flyover should be Main Road over Highway 17. The motion passed. Council member John Kozma will draft the letter.
There was also discussion about the beach baseline and setback and recent legislation for the whole SC coastline. DHEC will have to survey the entire coast and then the baseline will be set. The setback/baseline for Sam’s Spit will be set by this legislation. There has been considerable erosion at the neck and on the Kiawah River side of the Spit. The river side is where Kiawah Partners want to build a revetment and a road. Gregg Bragg said the line can be redrawn in 2017. He also mentioned that SCELP (SC Environmental Law Project) has been very active is suing against the revetment and road construction and has won 2 of 3 court cases. It is now going to the SC Supreme Court. One of the other guests mentioned that she had been the Clerk at Folly Beach and at a meeting years ago, it was pointed out that erosion happens and is natural to beaches and especially on barrier islands and there is not much that can be done. The area at the end of the Spit where Seabrook opened a new channel has been eroding ever since it was cut through last summer. Sam Spit will still be an issue and all agreed it must be protected.
Secretary Catherine Poag said that the letter had been sent to Mayor Tecklenburg asking for the City to install a “Smart Traffic Light System” as soon as possible at Maybank and River Road. A copy of that letter was provided and is attached here. The letter was sent by certified mail to the Mayor and had been signed for. Email copies with a cover letter were sent to Elliott Summey, Anna Johnson, Joe Qualey, Marvin Wagner, Jim Armstrong and Molli LeMin. To date, County Council member Joe Qualey is the only one to reply and said he agreed with the idea and said he had tried in the past to have the light controlled at peak times by officers. The City would not agree to that and Mayor Riley was very much opposed to the idea. Everyone appreciated Joe’s support and past efforts and we will stay in touch with him. JI Council member Thomas Legare made a motion to send a letter to the paper or make the press aware of the JI Council letter and suggestion and the fact that there had not been any response from the Mayor’s office. Council member Rich Thomas seconded and the motion passed. Rich said he would follow up. Guest Jessica Cervantes said she would be glad to post the letter on a neighborhood Facebook page and encourage contacting the Mayor in support of the letter.
Councilmember Rich Jenkins asked about the status of the Maybank Road widening project between River Road and the Stono Bridge. Council member Thomas Legare said that there are AT & T and St. John’s Water Company lines along the road and no one has contacted either company about the lines and the road widening which will come into where the lines are located.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 8:20PM.

Respectfully submitted

Catherine Poag, Secretary