Dear Neighbors and Friends,
It is my hope that this Update will provide you useful information about your City and community. If you have any questions or comments, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell phone at 864.905.5529.
Thank you for all that you do for our community.
Taking a Stand Against Racism
I was proud to stand against racism at a rally in downtown Greenville with hundreds of neighbors and friends, and alongside Mayor Knox White, Rep. Chandra Dillard, Rep. Jason Elliott, Councilwoman Lillian Flemming, and Councilman Ken Gibson.
Greenville Mayor Knox White, who spoke to the crowd, had this to say about the event: “I believe words have power, but it takes action to create meaningful change. Less than two weeks ago I stood on the steps of the Peace Center plaza and mourned the loss of George Floyd with a group of young activists. I asked the black men in the crowd to raise their hands. I told them, “This is your City.” I meant it and I mean it for all people of color in Greenville.”
Greenville PD Use of Force Policy Being Reviewed
I am a proud supporter of our police. And, I am proud that our citizens and law enforcement clearly set themselves apart from other cities in the last few weeks. However, we must intentionally listen and we must work harder to continue improving the way in which public safety is carried out in Greenville City.
That is why Council and staff are proposing a nine-member Citizen Advisory Panel on Public Safety to be formally established at the June 22 Council meeting; and for the Panel to provide a report to Council within 60 days.
The Panel is intended to improve the communication flow between the police department and the community and develop a dialogue about Greenville policing. The panel will review the GPD Use of Force policy and the composition, duties and responsibilities of the Public Safety Citizens Review Board. Panel members will be asked to review GPD training and minority hiring practices, as well.
Furthermore, it is important to note that GPD adheres to #8can’twait recommendations. The GPD:
- Bans the use of chokeholds, strangleholds and neck restraint
- Requires de-escalation before the use of force
- Requires verbal warning before the discharge of weapon where practical
- Mandates intervention when another officer witnesses improper conduct
- Requires comprehensive reporting to a supervisor when force is used
- Utilizes a use-of-force continuum
- Requires an officer get out of the way of a moving vehicle rather than fire into it
City Seeking Your Input on Residential Infill Development
Neighborhoods are an essential fabric of our community. It is where we live, play, and raise our families. That is why we must make sure any growth or new infill compliments existing neighborhoods. As a result, the City recently created an Infill Task Force to look at what the City is doing well and where it needs work; and then incorporate those recommendations into policy.
As part of that process, the City is launching the first of a series of short surveys to determine how residents and community stakeholders view infill development in residential areas today. Please take a moment to fill out this survey HERE.
Last Day for the GVL2040 Virtual Open House
Today is the last day that the City of Greenville will be hosting a live virtual open house for the comprehensive plan update process. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with members of the consultant team from czb and Ingalls Planning & Design during a live virtual meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The meeting password is GVL2040 and the zoom link can be found HERE.
Don’t forget to fill out your 2020 census. Information can be found HERE. And, don’t forget to wear your mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.
City Council Approves Next Year’s Budget
Greenville City Council unanimously approved the City’s FY 2021 budget. Expenditures are at $101 million.
Greenville will continue to invest in:
- Public safety and first responders
- Economic development
- Affordable housing
- Road safety, neighborhood traffic calming, trail improvements
- Day-to-day service to our community
Budget highlights include:
- $1 million for new sidewalk construction
- $2 million for affordable housing
- $500,000 for intersection safety improvements
- $750,000 for new Economic Development Initiatives
- $3.75 million for wastewater system rehabilitation
- $3.5 million for bridges for Swamp Rabbit Trail expansion
- $1.3 million Stormwater improvement projects
- $1 million for street resurfacing
Let me know if you have a question about one of these line items or another not listed.
TD Saturday Market Resumes
The City was excited to have South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers officially open this year’s TD Saturday Market. It was great to see all of the vendors, farmers and neighbors enjoying downtown.
I was honored to join Commissioner Weathers in officially opening the TD Saturday Market.
Remembering the Emanuel Nine
It was five years ago this week that South Carolina lost nine of her citizens with the senseless killing at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Included in those lost was a friend to all of us who worked at the South Carolina State House. His name, Clementa Pinckney. Clementa was a reverend and state senator from Jasper County. He was larger than life, with a soft deep voice, who cared deeply for people. Please take a moment this week to pray for Senator Pinckney, the Mother Emanuel Nine and their families.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you. It is my honor.