Darlington City Council passes parking ordinance, approves road repairs

Mrs. Georgia Ross addresses the Darlington City Council. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

By Stephan Drew, Editor


On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, the Darlington City Council held a significant meeting where community members voiced their grievances, a parking ordinance was passed, infrastructure projects were approved, and the Police Department honored dedicated officers. The meeting displayed the Council’s responsiveness to residents’ concerns and commitment to improving the city’s services and amenities.

One of the notable issues brought up during the public comments section was by Henry McMillan, who complained about his mother’s treatment by the city when she requested the removal of a mattress from the side of the street. His concern raised awareness about the city’s responsiveness to citizens’ requests and the need for timely and effective actions to maintain cleanliness and safety.

during the public comments, Georgia Ross expressed her dissatisfaction with high water bills. Ross voiced her concerns, saying, “It seems like someone is trying to get what they can.” This statement further alerted council members about the need for transparent billing practices and efficient communication to address residents’ water-related issues.

Ernestine Lyde echoed Georgia Ross’s complaints about high water bills and added her grievances about overgrown lots emitting a foul sewage smell near her property. Her concerns highlighted the importance of maintaining public spaces and proper sewage management to preserve the city’s environment and overall quality of life for residents.

In response to the citizens’ complaints, Mayor Curtis Boyd took a proactive approach by requesting residents’ phone numbers. He agreed to personally call each concerned individual to discuss their matters further, demonstrating his commitment to addressing citizen grievances on a personal level.

During the meeting, Charlie Barrineau, representing the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC), delivered a presentation on the roles and responsibilities of each member within the Council-Manager form of government. This informative session aimed to enhance public understanding of how the city’s government operates and ensures transparency and accountability in decision-making processes. Barrineau stressed that council work together as one unit, not individual councilmembers attempting to correct any problems by themselves. He also reminded council of their Civility Pledge and the promise to handle matters in a courteous manner. 

Moving on to the legislative agenda, the council addressed and approved Ordinance 2023-08 after the second reading. The ordinance allows for the extension of 2-hour parking times in the city until 10 pm, seeking to accommodate residents and visitors’ needs while maintaining efficient traffic flow and parking management.

Additionally, the council approved a $65,000 bid to repair pavement at Cross Street and Roanoke Drive, addressing vital infrastructure concerns to enhance safety and convenience for motorists and pedestrians alike.

Ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water remains a top priority for the city. Consequently, the council also approved a $16,711 Drinking Water Annual Fee from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for 2024. This fee will contribute to maintaining high-quality drinking water standards and ensuring the health and well-being of Darlington residents.

Towards the end of the meeting, the Darlington Police Chief took the opportunity to recognize six outstanding officers for their hard work and diligence with the Police Department. The officers who were recognized are: Lt. Kawon Martin, Sgt. Keith Cauthen, Ptl. Ariel Washington, Admin Asst. Lavonda Green, Sgt. Shane Kaiser, Cpl. Hunter Parker, Lt. John Gutierrez and Sgt. Tony Hayes. This commendation acknowledged the dedication and service of the officers, fostering a sense of pride within the police force and reaffirming their commitment to public safety. The next meeting of the Darlington City Council will be held on September 5, 2023.

Author: Stephan Drew

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