The Isle of Signs

We have just learned that to implement the new parking plan the city will need to plant at least 320 new signs!  Now, instead of a sign every 40 feet telling you something you can’t do, we will now have one every 20 feet.

Councilmember Ferencz astutely commented that the IOP will soon by known as the Isle of Signs.  But worry not fair reader.  Because every councilmember is sworn to “fiscal conservatism or death by hari-kiri”, the signs will not be the nice, natural wooden ones you see on Sullivans Island, but the cheapest metal ones they can find.  It is all in keeping with our “North Charleston-by-the-Sea” motif that tells visitors we don’t really care about keeping our neighborhoods beautiful.  Don’t believe me, just look at our gorgeous gas station as you enter the island.  More on that in another post.

Why is this man so angry?

Click on the above video file from the January 2015 IOP City Council Meeting to get a taste of Jimmy Ward, PPO.  (Perpetually Pissed Off)  It is not as obvious on the video as it is when seen live, but Jimmy is just “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”  Why?  Who knows.

This is part of the reason Jimmy has never been able to get “his” legislation passed.  In a representative democracy you have to make concessions and build coalitions that are for the common good.  Being grouchy, angry and acerbic just doesn’t endear others to want to work with you.

Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant

Did you ever wonder why it is so hard to easily figure out what the IOP City Council is doing at the time they are actually doing it?  Yeah, me too.  Currently, the only way to know who voted for what is attend the meeting or spend 2 hours watching the meeting on video after it is posted online the next day.

Most of us just don’t have the time or energy to do this.  I can quickly read a report and find the information I want, often in a matter of minutes.

As it stands now, council may vote on something that you may have an interested in.  But there will be no written record of this until after the NEXT council meeting.  Why?  Because the city wants the minutes approved at the next meeting before posting them online.  So a controversial vote taken in March won’t be on the city website until some time in late April or early May.  Does this make any sense?

A new ordinance goes through 3 readings.  The first reading is almost always perfunctory.  The real discussion and decision making occur at the second reading which is really where it is decided if it will pass or fail.  If it does pass, the third reading tends to be a mere formality.

This is exactly how things happen without the citizens knowing about them.  After a first reading of a controversial ordinance, the second reading and vote will take place before ANY written notification of actions is published by the city on the website.  By the time it is published, in all reality it is too late for you to make a difference by contacting members of council or speaking at the beginning of a council meeting.

Why don’t the members of council fix this by instructing the city to put the results of all votes taken on the website the day after a meeting.  Pretty simple solution.  Maybe too simple and that is why it is not welcome.

Fiscal Conservatism?

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 5.07.01 PM The above Facebook posting is a pristine example of “fiscal conservatism.”  You run for office preaching about out of control spending and how you are going to save the IOP from the self immolation of “spending money we don’t got.”  Then, once elected, you find out how to spend someone else’s hard earned money!  Oh yeah, also make sure to pat yourself on the back while you are at it. This is NOT a post about the lights.  They may or may not be a good idea.  But it seems to this editor that if you are a fiscal conservative and want the lights, you ought to figure out a way to pay for them yourself.  But no, our elected councilmembers go “Washington” on us and come up with a way for some other poor taxpayer to fund the project. Finally, here is the real kicker:  Look at Draft 1 of the city’s budget for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.  On page 24, line 138 under a section dealing with expenditures of Municipal Accommodation Taxes, the city has projected an increase of $35,000 to the budget to pay for electricity for the new lights. Maybe, just maybe, these new lights are not exactly low cost!

The Rich Boy Parking Plan

plants in easement

Tired of having daytrippers park in front of your house in the easement? Just follow this dude’s lead when he built his mini-mansion.  Landscape it out through the easement right to the street.  Make it look nice (not like certain properties on the 28th block of Palm Blvd) and your neighbors will not complain and a daytripper will think twice about plowing over your expensive ornamental bush imported from Bali.

Ocean Boulevard – IOP’s only Sacred Street


At the November 13, 2014 City Council meeting a motion was made to open up Ocean Blvd to visitor parking.  Currently no parking is permitted on any part of Ocean Blvd, a remnant from years past when there were no houses on the ocean side of the street and the side of the road was very sandy making it easy for cars to get stuck.  Thus the state made the road off limits to parking in the right-of-way.

Fast forward and we now have the road entirely built out with homes.  There are 148 homes on Ocean Blvd and 54 of them (36.5%) have rental licenses.  While the streets next to Ocean Blvd, most of which are inhabited by long term residents, have historically been jammed with daytripper’s cars, Ocean Blvd sat there empty because of a statute that no longer makes any sense and could be changed by city council.

Coucilmembers Bergwerf, Buckhannon, Carroll, Ward and Mayor Cronin voted to keep Ocean off-limits to beach parking. 

They say this will decrease the number of cars on the island!  Yeah, sure.  These cars will just move to some other residential area and park in the right of way, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.  The next time you are out and about, ride or walk down Ocean Blvd and you will note abundant parking with a lot of grass and not much sand in sight!  Then, contact one of the above councilmembers and ask them, “Just what were you thinking?”  It seems to this writer that everyone on the island should be treated the same.  No special privileges should be extended to certain out of town owners who have built massive rental homes in the the most prime locations.