Members of Greenwood County Council and Greenwood City Council met for the first time in several years on Tuesday afternoon to form more partnerships between the two entities that will benefit the Greenwood community.
Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams and county council chairman Mark Allison opened the meeting by thanking the two governmental bodies for agreeing to meet together. County manager Toby Chappell and city manager Charlie Barrineau noted several collaborations between various city and county departments and how those partnerships were producing good results. Chappell noted that the recent creation of the Violent Crimes Task Force, a joint investigative unit comprised of county investigators and city detectives, has curtailed the spike in violent crimes throughout the county. Chappell said that the unit had a 100 percent clearance rate on homicide cases. The national average is below 50 percent, Chappell said.
Barrineau presented the council members with the findings of a focus group of young professionals in Greenwood. The comments of the focus group were circulated and Barrineau noted that one of the comments that surfaced repeatedly during the focus group was the lack of parks and green space in Greenwood. The two councils agreed to put together a joint committee to take a closer look at how to address the upkeep of parks throughout the county. That committee will be ready to meet by Oct. 1.
Other council members thought that other issues needed to be addressed before parks. Councilman Gonza Bryant said that collaboration on any issues would be a good thing for the entire community.
“I don’t care what the project is,” Bryant said. “I think we all need to sit at the table, no matter how long it takes, and talk to each other and work on issues together. I think the citizens of this county deserve to have the elected officials sit at a table, like we’re doing today, and talk about what we can work on together.”
The two councils agreed to address other issues aside form parks through joint committees, specifically issues noted during the young professionals focus group.