Fountain Inn, Local

Change in form of government spurs changes in City Council procedures

After a council retreat in Mauldin in January and a follow-up special called Council meeting in February, Fountain Inn City Council has agreed to change the way it operates with regard to Council meetings and citizen input.

In a synopsis of those meetings, city administrator Shawn Bell relayed some of the agreed on changes. The following are statements from Shawn Bell.

Standing Committees Eliminated

“Our Council has chosen to adopt the City of Greer model in which we will not have regular standing committees. We will have our 12 monthly regularly scheduled City Council meetings, but we will have Special-Called Council meetings as-needed. Our Council can meet as often as needed (still adhering to the Freedom of Information Act standards), but instead of only 2 or 3 of the members getting information about a particular subject and “passing it on to the entire Council”, our entire City Council will have the opportunity to be presented all of the information about every subject in the City. This model has worked well in Greer and we hope it will work well for us here too”.

Public comment

“With the referendum and form of government change, Council has also decided to add a public forum to each regularly scheduled council meeting. Previously, the only way a citizen could speak at a council meeting was if they signed up almost a week in advance (prior to the agenda being posted). Fortunately, Council realized this was an antiquated system and didn’t foster good council-citizen relations. We hope this change will allow citizens to bring to our attention items of concern as well as compliments when deserved.”

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“I have worked in the Council-Manager form of government as well as the Strong-Mayor form of government. Once we get switched over, I will have now worked in all three types of municipal governments allowed by statute in South Carolina. While each form has its pluses and minuses, I really think the success of a community is dictated by its leaders, not the form of government.”

“When you look at the 270 municipalities in South Carolina, most medium sized communities have gone to either the Council-Manager or the Council form of government and most of them are professionally managed. The really small municipalities (1,000 population or less) is where you typically see the Strong-Mayor form of government or in some of our largest municipalities like Charleston and N. Charleston where the Mayors are Full-Time and have a tremendous amount of staff. With a few exceptions, most the communities in-between have gone away from the Strong-Mayor concept.”♦

The City of Fountain Inn is excited to announce the summer music series. This year’s Friday night music series, “Dancing on Depot” includes a lineup for all music lovers and even some new elements of entertainment to include comedy and a magic show. “Dancing on Depot” will run from June 1 – August 31. There will also be traditional Bluegrass music on Saturday nights beginning May 12 – June16th.  These are family friendly, free events. For more information please contact the Special Events department, 864-724-8044.

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