Budget officer recognized for efforts

  • Friday, June 20, 2014

Jim Tatum/JournalScene Dorchester County Council recognized Budget Officer Jessica Shuler(center holding award) during Monday's meeting Shown from left are Council Vice Chair George Bailey, Chairman Bill Hearn. Shuler, Councilman Larry Hargett, Councilwoman Carroll Duncan, Councilman Willie Davis, Councilman Jay Byars, County Administrator Jason Ward, and Deputy Administrator Ashley Jacobs.

It’s one thing to put together a complicated, lengthy budget – but it’s quite another to make it understandable, much less useful, to anyone besides other bean counters.

Dorchester County Budget Officer Jessica Shuler has managed to do both, and very well.

Dorchester County Council recognized Shuler during its June 16 meeting for her efforts this year regarding the development and presentation of the county budget. In fact, her contributions resulted in Dorchester County’s receiving the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of South Carolina, County Administrator Jason Ward reported to council.

“It’s quite an achievement – only seven counties statewide were recognized,” Ward said.

What it means is that Dorchester County’s budget is more than just a financial report, Ward said. It contains a wide variety of information – demographics, past financials, future growth trends, for example – that not only gives a snapshot of the community as whole but allows the county to use the document as a planning tool, he said. Because it is easily accessible by the public and is easy to understand, it helps increase government transparency, he said.

Other business discussed:

• Council passed first reading on a proposed amendment to the Zoning and Land Development Standards ordinance that would revise the list of permissible land uses in Neighborhood Commercial zoning districts to include business office services.

• Council passed first reading on a request to rezone a 1.53 lot on Orangeburg Road from Multi-Family Residential to Neighborhood Commercial use.

• Council passed first reading on a request to rezone 1.98 acres on Claussen Street near Summerville from Multi-Family Residential to Single Family Residential – Manufactured Housing.

• Council passed first reading on a request to rezone 1.03 acres on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston from Office Institutional to General Commercial.

• Council approved a $15,000 allocation from the Economic Development Fund to support the opening of a Harbor Entrepreneur Center location in Dorchester County. The Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce is contributing $15,000 toward this effort; the town of Summerville is contributing $5,000.

• Council gave approval for the County Administrator to enter into a federally funded public assistance agreement with the SC Emergency Management Division.

• Council gave approval to changing a deputy’s position to a corporal position within the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division.

• Council went into executive session to discuss the following:

• Confidential economic development projects

• Legal Advice on a lawsuit, Limehouse v. Dorchester County

• Legal advice on a possible property purchase.

• Discuss a Fee In Lieu of Taxes agreement for MVW-Ridgeville, LLC

• Discuss a contractual matter regarding the possible sale of a property at 373 Old Fort Drive

• Discuss a personnel matter regarding a Delinquent Tax Collector.

Upon return to regular session, council passed a motion to authorize a $12,645 payment to reimburse an individual who bought property in a delinquent tax sale that later turned out to be owned by Dorchester School District 2.

Council rejected a motion to accept an offer by Tom Limehouse to settle a lawsuit he has pending with the county.

No other motions were made or actions taken.

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