Mayor Pro-Tem vote

Greenwood City Council voted unanimously to appoint Councilman Johnathan Bass as mayor pro tempore for the next two years.

Greenwood City Councilman Johnathan Bass, who represents Ward 4, will serve as mayor pro tempore for the next two years.

“Mr. Bass is kind of the natural next person in line,” Greenwood City Manager Julie Wilkie said. “He has indicated his willingness to serve.”

Council voted unanimously to appoint Bass to the position. The mayor pro tem fills in when the mayor is unavailable. The person with the title would become mayor until a successor is elected should a vacancy occur in the office.

Municipal Judge Lee Miller administered the oath of office to Councilwomen Niki Hutto, Ward 1, and Betty Boles, Ward 3, who were reelected to four-year terms on Nov.3. Miller also administered the oath of office to Commissioner Henry Watts of Greenwood CPW, who was also reelected.

Kathy Nave Felder was reappointed to the planning commission unanimously while council decided to hold off on the reappointment of Sheila Reynolds. Reynolds moved outside of the city limits and council wants to explore changing the appointment rules for city boards to allow council flexibility in appointing someone who is not a city resident.

Bishop Oliver McCray appeared before council to advocate on behalf of a community swimming pool and aquatics center at Magnolia Park.

“We the people, the taxpayers of Greenwood, would like the city council to approve funding for a swimming pool after an exploratory committee has been put together,” McCray said.

McCray distributed a brochure which explains the two phases he is requesting.

The first phase would create an exploratory committee and propose a design with estimated costs to council before Jan. 1, 2021. McCray suggests the exploratory committee be made up of 10 residents along with Boles, Hutto, Wilkie, Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce interim CEO David Dougherty, members of the planning commission and the city engineer.

Phase two would see a larger committee made up of community clergy, small business owners, chairpersons of foundations, youth advisers, educators and volunteers to organize fundraising efforts. The brochure said hospitality tax funds, grants, corporate, public and private donations would also be sought.

McCray introduced Dr. Nancy Hart Wicker, a Greenwood physician, who told council she shared McCray’s proposal with other physicians in Greenwood and obtained 90 signatures on a petition to push for this project.

Mayor Brandon Smith said he wants to sit down with McCray to discuss this project.

“This is something the city needs,” McCray said.

Velma Wardlaw of the Westside Coalition Planning Team spoke to council about slow waste pickup and the parking situation at residences on Milwee Avenue, where cars are parked halfway on the road creating a traffic hazard.

Council voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement with CPW for the use of office space at the city building. The city and CPW purchased the building from Greenwood County in 1966. CPW later moved to their current location and has leased their portion of the building to the city since then. The lease is for 10 years.

An update to the Uptown Overlay district to include public art was also approved unanimously by council.

The city had first reading on several ordinances related to the budget. Public hearings will be conducted on second reading at the next council meeting, Dec. 21.

Contact staff writer James Hicks at jhicks@indexjournal.com or on Twitter @jameshicks3.