AIKEN, S.C., (WJBF) – Monday Aiken City Council was supposed to discuss an issue brought up in a lawsuit regarding the plan known as Project Pascalis, but it didn’t end up happening.
Project Pascalis is a proposal to revitalize parts of Aiken. The effort has been met with opposition, including a nearly 100 page lawsuit.
The Aiken Municipal Development Commission, or AMDC, is an appointed commission in charge of Project Pascalis. It is named in the suit.
“Right now, there are members of that commission who are not residents of the city, as required by law,” resident Don Moniak said.
An ordinance to amend city code regarding membership of the commission was on Monday’s City Council agenda.
“Essentially, they’re trying to change the law to comply with the bylaws of an unelected commission, whereas the elected officials should be telling the unelected commission, they should change their bylaws to comply with the law,” Moniak said.
Members of the Facebook group “Do It Right” attended the meeting and say they planned to voice their concerns about allowing non Aiken residents on AMDC.
“If you’re going to be spending taxpayers’ money, it’s always better if your hand is in it as well,” resident Debbie Brown said.
But the issue was removed from the agenda Monday night. After the announcement, several residents got up and left the meeting.
“It just doesn’t seem fair when we show up to voice an opinion and they bait and switch. This is not what they originally said the meeting was going to be about. They obviously don’t want us to talk,” resident Mary Beeman said.
Another issue mentioned in the lawsuit is lack of transparency and citizen input. Aiken residents say that issue was only exacerbated by the item being pulled from the agenda.
“I think we’re all very frustrated that there’s no transparency. We have no idea what’s happening. Is this moving forward, isn’t it? We just don’t know. They won’t listen to us. They don’t care,” Beeman said.
Aiken City Manager, Stuart Bedenbaugh, tells NewsChannel 6 there is no time table on this issue returning to the agenda.