The “forum” was put together by council member Dickie Schweers and included representatives of various municipalities, the U.S. Forestry Service, the Low Country Housing Trust and others.
As Schweers said at the meeting, little effort had been made in the past toward regional planning. This was a step to bring it together. Nothing was binding on the county or any of the represented entities.
Chairman Teddie Pryor Sr. said the town of Awendaw had complained that the Charleston County was treading on its turf. He was also concerned about a request that County Planning Director Dan Pennick attend meetings.
Pennick’s attendance could give an official look to something that wasn’t, Pryor warned. Council member A. Victor Rawl basically reiterated Pryor’s concern, but also applauded the Schweers’ efforts.
Schweers was probably taken aback by the criticism of a well-meaning initiative. He also had the support of council member Colleen Condon. Schweers had informed council of what was planned back in December and there was no objection at that point.
It seemed that council was generally happy for staff to attend the meetings but with the provision that the meetings be open to the public. And, of course, that nothing bound the county.
Warwick Jones is a resident of Charleston and has been involved with a number of area organizations, including the Charleston County Greenbelt Advisory Board and the Preservation Society of Charleston.