Saturday, December 17, 2011
"As part of the transparency initiatives at Berkeley County, County Council approved the purchase of a video capture system for Council meetings held in the Assembly room in Moncks Corner. The December 12th meeting of County Council was the first to be filmed. In an agreement with Home Telephone, this County Council meeting will be broadcast at 8:00 PM, on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, according to Robert Reimers, Home Telephone representative. It will appear on Home Telephone's cable network, on channel 6."
Thursday, December 1, 2011
At last Monday night's Council meeting, Supervisor Davis brought up an item that was not on the agenda. He wanted a Resolution passed giving County employees and elected officials a one time "disbursement" as sort of a Christmas bonus. It was pointed out to Mr. Davis that bringing up this Resolution when it was not on the agenda was a violation of FOIA.
Consequently, Mr. Davis has scheduled a conference call meeting for this afternoon at 2PM to address this Resolution. You haven't heard about this special meeting? Well, no wonder as no one on the agenda mailing list received notification.
GE&P has considered all the facts and has established a position: This Resolution is a bad idea for a number of reasons:
1. It goes without saying that our County employees are hard working and very deserving BUT these folks have good-paying, stable jobs with full benefits.
2. Our BC unemployment numbers are at 10+%.
3. This "disbursement" does NOT count toward retirement.
4. The tax liability for this money is far greater than that of a COLA or merit pay increase would be.
5. The taxpayers of BC, including the unemployed, could benefit from a tax reduction. Many of these taxpayers are County employees.
6. The budget process will begin shortly and the new SWMP Fee will be levied. Why not apply some of this excess money to that project?
7. BC's contribution to the employees' retirement fund is almost $5 MILLION in arrears. Will these few hundred dollars in hand right now mean more to County employees than retirement benefits and medical care in the future?
We are certain the very talented BC Finance Department is aware of all these facts. Why didn't the Administration take the time to consider all aspects of this move beforehand. Maybe they did. We must draw the conclusion that there is more to this than meets the eye. Isn't it a shame that folks immediately assume Mr. Davis is up to no good. Justifiably so.