Tuesday's city council meeting will take place on Daniel Island during rush hour

Police racial bias audit to be discussed on Daniel Island


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Tuesday's meeting takes place at Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island - PHOTO VIA DAVID WOODY/GOOGLE MAPS
  • Photo via David Woody/Google Maps
  • Tuesday's meeting takes place at Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island
Charleston City Council is scheduled to discuss details of a police audit for racial bias at its meeting tonight on Daniel Island, an affluent suburb  inaccessible by regular public transit. Today's meeting, set for 5 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church, follows up on yesterday's Public Safety Committee decision to remove Novak Consulting from a long-planned police audit and issue a new request for proposals.

Activist groups have been calling for changes to the police audit since Novak Consulting was hired to conduct the survey in February, citing the firm's inexperience in conducting racial bias audits. Large turnout is expected.

That is, if people can get there.

Daniel Island, where single-family home prices are comparable to downtown Charleston, is not served by regular CARTA public transit routes. Normal drive-time to the Daniel Island meeting location is 23 minutes from City Hall with light traffic. But in rush hour traffic on I-526, that time can vary greatly. Charleston Area Justice Ministry, one of the main groups pushing for changes to the police department audit, has also pointed to lack of transportation as an issue across the Charleston community.

Also on the agenda is discussion of the Folly Road Overlay District on James Island, which is up to a one-hour drive from Grimball and Folly Rd. at 4:00 p.m.

"This meeting was scheduled by the Clerk’s Office through their normal process of scheduling off-site locations throughout the city," said city spokesperson Chloe Field.

"It was not a specific request by Council or the mayor."

Here's the procedure for changing meeting locations laid out by city code:
All regular meetings of council will be held in City Hall except that the council will, unless it determines otherwise by majority vote at the preceding meeting, meet at an alternate location within the city limits for the second meetings in the month of January, March, May, September, and November. Special meetings may be held at any time on the call of the Mayor, at his/her discretion or whenever he/she shall be thereunto requested in writing by at least one-third ( 1/3 ) of the whole number of councilmembers elected; such request stating in brief the nature and objects of the call.
City ordinance allows for off-site meetings and they have been held in other areas of town with some regularity. So far this year, meetings have also been held in West Ashley and on James Island, both areas accessible by public transit. City Council last met at Providence Baptist in 2016.

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