From the Daufuskie Island Front Porch:
The Front Porch is looking for volunteers and fresh ideas. Please join us for an informational meeting at the Melrose Beach Club on Thursday, September 29th at 4:00P.
From the Daufuskie Island Council:
Daufuskie Island Council Meeting Minutes, September 20, 2016
Chairman Charlie Small called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. The following council members were present:
Charlie Small, John Schartner, Tina Fine, Janet Adams, Deborah Smith, Chuck Hunter
The following members were absent:
Dave Hutton, Len Pojednic, Steve Hill
A sufficient number of the Council Members being present, there was a duly constituted quorum in attendance.
Council Member Charlie Small reported that Council Member Len Pojednic is up north with his wife, Eileen, who is undergoing knee replacement surgery. The Council joined Charlie in extending best wishes to Eileen for a speedy recovery.
New Golf Cart Law
Charlie Small reported that in June SC Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that allows properly equipped golf carts to be driven after dark. Beaufort County and other municipalities must now develop specific rules to implement the new law. Charlie has talked to the Sheriff’s office, who clarified that prior to finalization of the county rules they have no intention of giving tickets at night, but if there is an open alcoholic container on the cart the driver will be cited. The Sheriff also said that cart owners must have functioning front and back lights, and that the Sheriff’s primary focus will be to crack down on underage drivers and alcohol consumption. Cart permits will soon be required for a $5 charge, and a DMV official may be scheduled to come to the island for such a purpose. Cart owners will also be required to provide proof of insurance for the cart.
Daufuskie Island Rum & Strum
At the request of the Chair, Anthony Chase provided an overview of the Daufuskie Island Rum & Strum, a two-day event schedule for October 7-8and featuring the music of six bands.
In anticipation of 550-600 attendees, the DI Rum Company has hired private security and will have both a security tent and a first aid tent. They have been in communication with the sheriff’s office, and have obtained a special permit from the county zoning office. Special precautions are being taken to keep island residents’ properties secure, including volunteers who will patrol the island for trash after the event. There will be camping onsite and well-defined transportation between Freeport and the Rum Company will be provided by the Rum Company trolley and the Freeport Marina bus. Tony said that Freeport Marina has been very helpful, including allowing boaters with reservations the ability to dock their boats for the entire weekend.
Freeport representative Terry Painter stated that reservations were almost gone for the Freeport Marina’s dock for this weekend, and that reservations are definitely required in order to dock there.
Public Restrooms – Construction Status
Council Member Chuck Hunter reported on the status of the island public restroom constructions. The County is expected to award the wining bids for the Francis Jones Park bathroom and trails on October 1st. Regarding the county dock bid, the county is developing Scope of Work criteria. There is an issue relating to the property being under the flood level, but Chuck stated that he believes that issue has been resolved. The Bloody Point Beach restrooms are more challenging; in part because the area is located in the Coastal Barrier Resources Area (CBRA) zone. There is an issue of handicap access, as well as the structures needing to be at least 8 feet above ground; Chuck expects the contract for the construction of restrooms at both the county dock and at the Bloody Point beach to be awarded by the end of the year.
Council Member Deborah Smith reported that she and Council Member Len Pojednic have been spearheading a review of the Council By-Laws, last amended in 2010. She explained that virtually every governmental body has self-governing procedures. State and county legislative bodies must include provisions from the state ethics and open meetings acts so that there is transparency, accountability, consistent practices, and opportunity for public participation. The DI Council is not legally obligated to follow these state laws because it does not currently accept public funding. However, the sense of the Council is that we are committed to the same level of accountability as other elected bodies, and want the community to have full confidence that the Council will always act in the public interest.
The review is ongoing and has been based on research of other island council practices, guidelines provided by good government organizations, and consultation with the chair of the Beaufort County Council. Other Council members have already provided input, as well as one public member who asked that the Council include provisions relating to improved communications with non-resident property owners.
The goal of the Council is to adopt revised By-Laws in an expeditious fashion, and Council Members are committed to building consensus on all issues. Areas still to be fleshed out include how Council vacancies are to be filled and which Council proceedings should be open to the public. There already appears to be consensus on two areas designed to promote public confidence in Council activities, including for future Councils. The first is the adoption of a Code of Ethics similar to the one used by the Beaufort County Council. The second is By-Laws language that addresses parameters for participation of a Council Member who has a potential conflict of interest with a matter pending before the Council.
Deborah said that additional public input is welcome, and said that the current By-Laws can be found on the Council’s website. Anyone wanting to provide such input should email them to Deborah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Webb Tract Development
At the request of the Chair, Aaron Crosby reported that the Webb Tract development team recently met with County Planning Director Tony Criscitello for a review of their plan. There were some inconsistencies between the County’s interpretation and the developer’s interpretation on certain matters, and the developer is now compiling a list of such items that need clarification from the Planning Department. He said that Mr. Criscitello did make it clear that both the Daufuskie Island Council and the Planning Department would continue to be involved as the plan moved forward. Charlie also added that County Councilman Tabor Vaux had assured him that the Daufuskie Island Council would be involved.
Daufuskie Island Ferry Transportation Services
Charlie Small commented that there has been a great deal of positive feedback about the new ferry service, and that Richard Inglis of the Ferry Company has said that ferry ridership is on track with expectations. He said that Palmetto Breeze staff may be willing to send a representative to Daufuskie to issue ID cards. He said public feedback re the timing of the visit would be helpful. Council Member Janet Adams asked how people should provide input.
Charlie was not sure at this time, but said perhaps through NextDoor Daufuskie.
Public Member Sylvia Wampler commented that Mr. Inglis had informed her that the company is considering the addition of a once-a-week mid-day trip to Hilton Head, perhaps around 1:00 pm. She suggested that anyone who wants to encourage the Ferry Company to implement that extra trip should contact Mr. Inglis by PRIVATE message through NextDoor.
No Trespassing Signs on Oak Ridge
Council Member Tina Fina has researched the installment of “Private Road: No Trespassing” signs on Oak Ridge. Pete Lang owns the Oak Ridge tract, including the traversing roads. There have been several incidents with people being injured on carts. The signs have been posted for liability protection, and residents should still feel free to use the roads. She also added that Mr Lang’s intent is NOT to close the roads.
Public Member Sallie Ann Robinson said that her family owns property on Bryant Road, and that the road is experiencing more tourist traffic and lots of trash being discarded. She said they they may end up installing “Private Road/No Trespassing Signs”, but local residents should still feel free to use the road.
On a related matter, Charlie Small commented about the success of the Daufuskie Island Conservancy’s Adopt a Road program, and observed that both visitors AND residents are responsible for trash. He described Daufuskie as “a magical place” and urged people to avoid littering.
Tina Fine reported that hunting season has begun and will continue until January 1st. Legal hunting time for deer is the time between one hour before official sunrise until one hour after official sunset. Hunting property is posted, and Tina urged all residents to stay off of posted properties because of safety issues.
Deborah Smith added that Melissa Davis has raised a deer named Hank since he was an orphaned faun, and that he has a collar on him. Hunters are requested not to shoot him.
Public Member Kristi Nelson Chase noted that Turtle Beach Road is often used by people who may not know that it is in hunting territory.
Loggerhead Turtle Nest Report
Council Member Janet Adams reported that a record 98 nests on Daufuskie this year, and said the turtle team still hopes to identify two more. She said the excessive heat was a problem, with four nests non-producing because of overheated eggs and hatchlings.
Golf Cart Sticker Program
Janet Adams reported that she and Chris Sutcliffe had put the vacationer cart stickers on hold until pending clarification of the new golf cart law. They expect to move ahead soon.
DI Feral Cat Proclamation
Deborah Smith reported that several residents had requested that the Daufuskie Island Council join other government bodies around the country in adopting a proclamation honoring Daufuskie Island Feral Cat Day. Laura Winholt, representing the Daufuskie Island Feral Cat Program, described the efforts of approximately 40 island volunteers who care for six free-roaming feral cats and a greater number of cats who are confined in an enclosed sanctuary. All cats have been spayed/neutered, tested for disease, and vaccinated. The island’s program, which is now an affiliate for the Hilton Head Humane Society, has served as a model for other communities interested in establishing effective and humane feral cat management programs.
Deborah Smith moved and Charlie Small seconded a motion for the Council to approve a proclamation declaring October 16th the annual Daufuskie Island Feral Cat Day. The motion was passed unanimously.
Public Member Karen Opderbeck provided copies of Holger Opderbeck’s 2017 Daufuskie Calendar featuring beautiful island photographs inspired by the Rob Kennedy Historical Trail. The cost of the small calendar is $25 and the large calendar is $35. $10 of each sale will go to support the DI Feral Cat Program. Karen said that the calendars will be provided for sale at locations around the island, and she will be providing order information through NextDoor Daufuskie.
Terry Painter expressed the need for more County treatment for mosquito control. Several other comments reinforced the sentiment that more spraying was needed, and especially in heavily wooded and marshy areas on the island. It was suggested that calls should be made to the county’s Mosquito Abatement line to request more treatments: 843-355 5800
There being no further business at hand, the meeting was adjourned by Charlie Small at 7:24 pm.