NAACP chairman honored by Florence City Council

April 9, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence City Council passed a resolution honoring NAACP Chairman Leon Russell on Monday afternoon.

Upon the motion of Councilman George D. Jebaily and Councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore, the council voted to add Resolution 2019-10 to Monday’s agenda. Upon the motion of Councilwoman Teresa Myers Ervin and a second by Gibson-Hye Moore, the council approved the resolution 6-0.

Councilman Glynn F. Willis was late arriving to Monday’s meeting.

The resolution honors Russell, who was elected chairman of the national NAACP board of directors on Feb. 18, 2017, for his upcoming appearance in Florence as the guest speaker at the Florence Branch of the NAACP’s annual Freedom Fund Dinner.

Myers Ervin is expected to present the resolution at the dinner.

Russell retired in January 2012 after serving as the director of the Office of Human Rights for Pinellas County (Fla.) government since January 1977. In that position, Russell was responsible for implementing the county’s affirmative action and human rights ordinances, which provide for the development of a racially and sexually diverse workforce reflecting the general make-up of the local civilian labor force and the implementation of the county’s equal employment opportunity Programs.

The NAACP says it is the oldest, largest and most effective civil rights organization in the nation. Its mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race–based discrimination.

The dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at New Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Strive Hard Educational, Recreational and Enrichment Center located at 307 Ravenel St.

The city council also approved upon first reading an ordinance amending its 2018-19 budget.

Bill No. 2019-09 adds the acquisition of up to 10 new patrol vehicles in the Police Department, the replacement of a damaged traffic signal pole and mast arm on the corner of Irby and West Evans streets, repairs to various city parks facilities due to Hurricane Florence damage, the acquisition of property located at 558 and 600 Spruce St., the demolition of the building located downtown at 141 North Dargan St., the demolition of buildings located at 434 and 442 West Evans St. and the restriping of the Celebration Boulevard roadway. It also and provides for the donation of a James Allen sculpture to be placed in the James Allen Plaza to the budget.

Additionally, the bill amends the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund budget to cover the expenses for contracted meter reading services this fiscal year not currently included in the original budget.

The bill passed upon the motion of Mayor Pro Tempore Frank J. “Buddy” Brand II and a second by Jebaily.

The bill probably will be up for second reading at the May meeting of the council. That meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 13 in the city council chambers of the City Center located at 324 West Evans St.