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KCC determines KH trustee application timetable

Posted: April 25, 2013 4:53 p.m.
Updated: April 26, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council determined Tuesday how it will go about filling three slots on the KershawHealth Board of Trustees this fall. Board Chairman Scott Ziemke and trustees George Corbin and Don Witham are rotating off the board Sept. 30 after six years of service each.

Councilman Jimmy Jones requested that the selection process begin earlier this year than it has before. Jones said he believes council started the process “a little late last time” and suggested it begin the selection process in August.

“I don’t have a problem with Mr. Jones’s timetable,” Councilman Tom Gardner said, but suggested waiting until after council’s budget process.

Vice Chairman Stephen Smoak, acting as chairman in Gene Wise’s absence, agreed and said he “like(s) the idea of the timetable.”

“Let’s face it: this is becoming a political issue and it is by its very nature -- I don’t mean that in a bad way -- but I think that you politicize it even more if you start piling in applications right now and somebody starts campaigning for it early,” Smoak said.

Council agreed to begin advertising the open spots in July, conduct interviews in August and make selections in September for the seats to be filled by October 1. Applications are actually accepted throughout the year.

After deciding on the timetable, Jones took the opportunity to respond to those who referred to him as being out of line in letters recently published in the Chronicle-Independent.

“My job is to safeguard the finances of Kershaw County,” Jones said. “I refuse to hand over $800,000 to any organization without an in-depth investigation. To do less would be a miscarriage of my duty.”

Of the two letter writes, Jones said one is “a medical professional benefitting from a $500,000 contract with the hospital;” the other “the wife of a hospital foundation member.”

“This may mean I’ve hit home on something,” Jones said.

He then spoke of the KershawHealth Foundation, which released a statement Monday supporting the healthcare organization and its board.

“Some have said the hospital foundation complains that employees are not contributing to the foundation. Maybe employees themselves feel disenfranchised with the foundation. The employees and the public see the lavish salaries and bonuses for management, and the parties and events as nothing more than a country club benefitting key individuals and not the hospital itself.

“The issues I’ve raised with hospital management are nothing more than due diligence. I’ve accused no one of any criminal wrongdoing,” Jones concluded.

Also Tuesday, council voted to join the Central Midlands Council of Governments’ Columbia Area Transit Study (COATS) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). County Administrator Vic Carpenter said the county will receive a delineated set of services for a flat fee. The amount the county will pay for this is significantly lower and will also affect a significantly lower population, Carpenter said.

He said that if council chose not to adopt COATS, the county would on the “outside looking in when it comes to federal funding.” The county will pay $11,877 annually until the next census in 2020. Kershaw County will be allotted one seat on the MPO board as well as two seats out of 14 on a transportation subcommittee.

“These are important positions,” said Smoak.

Councilman Sammie Tucker also brought up issues regarding transportation and the dangerous condition of U.S. 1, especially the area from Lugoff to Pontiac. Tucker said the stretch of highway needs to be repaved and revamped due to its current state and the high number of accidents that take place along the highway.

Council voted unanimously to keep the county’s visitors center where it is at the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce. The vote was tied to a request from Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site for funding to assist it in becoming a tourist-focused welcome center. The vote came after Carpenter reported on his findings concerning the amount of money it would take to make the move.

Council heard a presentation from Brian Smith of Carolina Motorsports Park (CMP) on receiving funding from council if the park is chosen to host the 2014 Rotax Nationals. Smith said if CMP is chosen, the county could potentially see a $1.5 million economic impact, perhaps more, due to the participants in the race, spectators and national media coverage. As he did at a recent Camden City Council meeting, Smith asked the county for at least part of $24,000 to cover insurance costs.

Council recognized the Buffalo-Mt. Pisgah Fire Department on its approval for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Also Tuesday, council:

• unanimously passed second reading of an ordinance to amend the county’s zoning map designation for tax parcel #307-00-00-022 for Claude Campbell from RD-2 to R-15 and the designation for tax parcel #307-00-00-078 for Claude Campbell from MRD-1 to RD-2 to R-15;

• unanimously passed second reading of an ordinance amending the unified code of Zoning and Land Development Regulations;

• unanimously passed a resolution in support of Congressional 1130 Actions relook of Silver Star Award for Major William P. Collier to upgrade to Medal of Honor;

• unanimously voted to approve updates to the Kershaw County Safety Policy Manual;

• unanimously reappointed Justin Conder to the Zoning Board of Appeals; and

• received an update on the county’s ATAX Committee which will begin meeting in May.

Kershaw County Council did not hold an executive session following Tuesday’s meeting.

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