Several members of City Council along with Mayor Foster Senn took their oaths of office Tuesday as part of October’s regular City Council meeting.

Prior to oaths of office, Senn explained that South Carolina law required the certification of election results which showed that he, along with Councilmen Zebbie Goudelock, Thomas Louis Boyd and LeMont Glasgow were unopposed in their re-election bids for Mayor and City Council seats one, three and five.

Following the certification of municipal election results, City Municipal Judge Frank Partridge administered oaths of office to Senn, Goudelock, Boyd and Glasgow. Family members were present to participate in the ceremony.

Senn said he along with council were thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Newberry.

“Things run really smoothly here thanks to our great city staff and we appreciate what y’all do to make this job pleasurable,” Senn said.

Several recognitions were made by council Tuesday night to include Mary Alex Kopp for her five years of service with the City’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department. Kopp began working full time with the city on September 9, 2013 and serves as the tourism and events manager.

Scott Sawyer, director of PRT said Kopp was recently promoted in July to her new position of tourism and events manager and did an amazing job of her responsibilities with the many events the city put on, including the most recent Oktoberfest event.

“She’s done an excellent job and we’re excited to have her with us,” Sawyer said.

David Hurst was also recognized Tuesday for his 20 years of service as a volunteer firefighter with the city’s fire department. Hurst began volunteering with the department on August 10, 1998 and is also a full-time veterinarian at the Friarsgate Animal Hospital in Irmo.

Fire Chief Keith Minick said Hurst was active in assisting the department with fundraisers and staffing events in the community.

“We can’t say enough about David’s involvement with the department’s golf tournament that helps us raise funds for our Kids Fun Day event,” Minick said. “We appreciate all you’ve done in your 20 years and we hope for 20 more from you.”

Under updates and announcements, Senn highlighted praise he has received about various city departments. Senn said he was recently contacted about the city’s police department and their work in solving the case of a robbery at a local bank and how good the bank felt being within the city limits with the city police department. Under the fire department, Senn said he received many compliments about their Kids Fun Day event and their work at local elementary schools for Fire Prevention Week.

Senn read recent comments about the city’s utilities department from citizens regarding the positive attitudes of city lineman and their efficiency in restoring power. Under parks, recreation and tourism, Senn mentioned the success of Oktoberfest and a compliment from visitors to the area that evening saying the turnaround of the cleanup from that event had been spectacular which was a compliment to the public works department. He concluded by complimenting the city’s finance department for their friendliness when greeting customers each day that pay their bills at City Hall.

With the upcoming threat of Hurricane Michael, DeWitt spoke on the city’s preparedness plan. With the possibility of heavy wind and rain, DeWitt said they had a team of city staff pulling together on Wednesday to follow up on plans and would have an update at the Newberry County Emergency Operations Center later this week.

“We just went through this process with Tropical Storm Florence a few short weeks ago so we’re still geared up from that,” DeWitt said. “We’ll make sure we have a good team coordinated and all of our supplies ready to go.”

Old Business

The following readings were passed Tuesday by City Council under old business:

  • Second reading was passed of an ordinance to amend the text of the zoning ordinance for the city. Motion was made by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd and seconded by Councilman David DuBose.
  • Second reading was passed to establish standards for the placement of small wireless facilities in covered areas in the city in an effort to encourage an investment of a wireless infrastructure and the set of standards by which interested parties would follow. The ordinance was assembled using the Municipal Association of South Carolina sample language. Motion was made to accept second reading by Councilman Boyd and seconded by Councilman Glasgow.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Goudelock and seconded by Councilman Boyd to accept second reading of an ordinance to amend sexually oriented businesses. Over the past year, the Planning and Development Services department has worked closely, Senn said with a consulting firm to update the zoning code. Through that process it was recommended to staff that the sexually oriented businesses ordinance become a stand-alone ordinance as it has other facets unrelated to the zoning code.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Goudelock and seconded by Councilman Boyd to authorize the renewal of the Newberry Dove Club lease.
  • Second reading was passed providing for the construction, management and leasing of a dark fiber network to be owned by the City. Senn said the network would extend the fiber the city currently has to manage its infrastructure for use of residents, businesses, etc. Motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman DuBose.
  • Motion was made by Councilman DuBose and seconded by Councilman Glasgow for second reading of an ordinance providing the allocation of surplus funds to extend the city’s existing fiber network for use by the city to manage its infrastructure as well as for use by residents, businesses and organizations of the city.
  • At a previous meeting Councilman Edwin Wicker asked that pre-approved minutes be placed on the city’s website so that if a citizen wanted to challenge something a board or commission was doing and there was a 30-day time limit for an appeal, the pre-approved minutes would communicate what the boards and commissions were working on. Senn and Wicker clarified Tuesday that those boards and commissions that had a 30-day timeline for appeals and would post pre-approved minutes included the city’s Architectural Review Board, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Construction Committee. Wicker made the motion that those four committees would be the ones to post pre-approved minutes and the motion was seconded by Councilman Goudelock.

New Business

Under new business, Utility Director Tim Baker reminded the community that it was currently Public Power Week. However, because the City of Newberry ran a combined utility that they were celebrating the week as Public Utilities Week to include the water/sewer portion of the utility as well as electric. A celebration is planned for Friday at Marion Davis Park from 3-6 p.m. and will have a variety of activities for the whole family, Baker said.

“We’re trying to make this a really fun event, thank our customers and show them the benefits of being a part of a public power utility,” he said.

A motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman Boyd to nominate Councilman Goudelock for another term as mayor pro tempore for a term of not more than two years. Senn said that following each general election it was required that the council elects from its membership a mayor pro tempore.

Also under new business:

  • Motion was made by Councilman DuBose and seconded by Councilman Boyd for first reading authorizing the city manager to execute the dark fiber lease with qualified vendors. Senn said the ordinance allowed the city the authority to sign an agreement should a vendor wish to use city fiber.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Glasgow and seconded by Councilman DuBose for first reading to authorize to allow the city manager to execute a professional service agreement to manage the city’s fiber network.
  • First reading was passed with a motion by Councilman DuBose and seconded by Councilman Boyd to change the publishing requirements for service of complaints. Senn said that South Carolina state law states that publishing requirements for service complaints should be two weeks. The current zoning code dictates a three-week time period. The ordinance would conform the city to state regulations.
  • Motion was made by Councilman Wicker and seconded by Councilman Boyd on a resolution to establish a set color palette to help direct the color selections available to property owners wishing to enhance their property through the Architectural Review Board. Colors and changes to the palette may be made only upon council approval.

 Several members of council took their oaths of office Tuesday. Councilmen from left to right (pictured with family members): Councilman LeMont Glasgow, Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd and Judge Frank Partridge. 

 Mayor Foster Senn took his oath of office Tuesday night and is pictured with his wife, Sharon and Judge Frank Partridge. 

 Mary Alex Kopp was recognized by City Council for her five years of service with the city’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department. Kopp began working full time with the city on September 9, 2013 and serves as the tourism and events manager. She is pictured with PRT Director Scott Sawyer and City Manager Matt DeWitt. 

 David Hurst was recognized for his 20 years of service as a volunteer firefighter with the city’s fire department. He is pictured with Fire Chief Keith Minick.