Wednesday, April 3, 2013
In approving the lease for the new Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, Sullivan’s Island Town Council established a special arrangement for one particular piece of property on Sullivan’s Island and exempted this piece of property from long-established design review procedures.
In connection with the lawsuit regarding the petition for referendum, attorney Rutledge Young, III submitted an attached affidavit from Mayor Carl Smith, addressing this issue.
As Mayor Smith stated in the affidavit, the Town of Sullivan’s Island created architectural review standards for the entire town in October, 2004. A primary purpose of the design review process was to intentionally and deliberately divest the Sullivan’s Island Town Council of the ability to review the design of new construction on Sullivan’s Island.
The affidavit states that by placing itself in charge of elements of design review for the new elementary school on Sullivan’s Island, the existing town council is defeating the purpose for which the Sullivan’s Island design review procedures were set up. By ordinance, members of the Design Review Board may not be elected officials on Sullivan’s Island or office holders for the Town of Sullivan’s Island.
For well over a year, town council has stated that it would not hold a vote as required in the petition for referendum, stating that the petition was defective. On March 8, Judge Markley Dennis disagreed with town council’s position that the petition was defective. Yet, council still refuses to hold a vote.
Why? Sullivan’s Island residents are entitled to a vote on this issue — an issue that will affect all island residents and all Charleston County taxpayers for generations to come.
The first community Bulls Bay Nature Festival – From the Forest to the Sea was held on Saturday, March 23 Local, state, and federal agencies, townships, organizations, businesses, churches and schools came together to encourage the Bulls Bay communities to get outside and enjoy nature. Festival activities were planned in the Francis Marion National Forest and at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Camp Sewee, Hampton Plantation, and the Sewee Visitor Center. Despite the cold, wet weather, more than 200 people came out to celebrate our natural places and wildlife. There were nature tours and walks, Red wolf, reptile and raptor programs and children’s archery, fishing, crabbing and cast net workshops. Vera Manigault, Gullah-Geechee historian and artist, taught the fine art of sweet grass basketry. Dr. Patrick McMillan, director of Clemson University Museum of Natural Sciences and host of ETV’s Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, gave the keynote, an inspiring presentation on the forces of both nature and man that shape our landscapes. We express our deep appreciation to the guides, instructors, Ms. Manigault and Dr. McMillan for promoting awareness and encouraging others to learn about our natural world.
Community artists and craftsmen and the Lincoln Middle-High School National Art Honor students displayed their intricate and beautiful works of art in an exposition, and the Lincoln Middle, St James Santee and Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School students in grades 3-8 provided an amazing Wildlife Art Contest. The two red wolves at the Sewee Center now have the names Haley and Sierra, thanks to the first and second grade students from CREECS and St James Santee Elementary. The Lincoln Middle-High School Steel Band, Kathie Livingston, The After English, Flat City and the Awendaw Community Singers gave wonderful musical performances.
We thank the teachers for their active involvement and support of the festival and are thankful that our young students are so engaged with our natural world. In recognition, a 2014 wildlife calendar, comprised of the student’s winning artwork, will be sold at the Sewee Visitor Center and community schools with proceeds to benefit the school’s art programs.
We thank the Awendaw Fire Department, Greater Zion A.M.E., Nebo A.M.E., Ocean Grove United Methodist Church and McClellanville United Methodist Church for providing delicious homemade meals, desserts and burgers and hot dogs. We also appreciate the beverages and snacks provided by the Sewee to Santee Community Development Corporation.
We offer our sincere gratitude to the festival sponsors whose outstanding support enabled the partners to host the festival.
Cape Romain NWR