Apr 25 2016

Message From The Mayor Of Sullivan’s Island: April 2016

Dear Island Residents,

Sullivan’s Island has been named one of the happiest Seaside Towns in America by Coastal Living magazine. (Photo: Charleston Area CVB/explorecharleston.com)

Sullivan’s Island has been named one of the happiest Seaside Towns in America by Coastal Living magazine.
(Photo: Charleston Area CVB/explorecharleston.com)


Coastal Living magazine selected ten coastal towns for their annual “Happiest Seaside Town in America” competition. Guess who wound up in the Top Ten?

The magazine held a competition on its website among those ten towns. Without any orchestrated effort on our part, we wound up in the #6 spot! See our page in their results announcement: bit.ly/sullivansislandaward

It is gratifying to have yet more validation for what we already knew: We are extraordinarily fortunate to enjoy the many wonderful facets of this island on which we are privileged to reside. I’m especially glad that Coastal Living highlighted our commitment to protecting our environmental and historic assets. Be happy!


At the time of this writing, we have had our first-ever Farmers’ Market session.

Long-time and very valuable town staffer Lisa Darrow, who has cheerfully agreed to wear yet another hat (Market Manager) atop her many others, had this glowing report, to which I can personally attest:

Many thanks to the residents and vendors who helped make the April 7 launch of our inaugural market season a clear success.

We had great turnout, received many compliments on the quality of the market and vendor products, and patrons appeared to have a good time. We are thrilled to welcome Gruber Farms and Hiser Sea Farms to the market beginning April 14. Gruber Farms, a family-owned CSA farm from St. George, will offer a variety of seasonal produce. Hiser Farms offers seafood harvested right off of Breach Inlet. This is as local as it gets. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next markets – Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. 7 p.m. through June 30 at Battery Logan next to the school and library. Visit our social media for more market details: @simarket2016 (Twitter) and sifarmersmarket (Facebook and Instagram).”


We on Town Council have for some time been working on the Town’s budget for the next fiscal year, which commences July 1, 2016. This is when we focus both on funding those activities which are absolutely essential and on deciding which other projects we should prioritize for the coming year. Please come out to our meetings if you wish to provide input.

When you dig into the particulars of our little Town’s budget, you might be surprised at the cost of some items, for example…


Annual cost of those plastic bags provided at our beach paths for collection of doggie deposits (covered by dog registration fees): About $6,000! Avoiding stepping in what would otherwise have been left behind: Priceless!


Although the traffic suggests our beach season has already begun, remember that we start our summer schedule of twice a week garbage pickup (Tuesdays and Fridays) the first week of June.


For some time I have been promoting the idea of real-time traffic cameras on the Causeway so that a) our residents can see vividly what the traffic status is, when considering leaving or returning to the Island; and b) potential day visitors can see what conditions are like and use that information in deciding whether it’s the right time for a day trip.

You will have read in this paper that Charleston County has agreed to fund the installation of real-time traffic cameras on the Causeway and other roadways to our and other beaches. Thanks to County Chairman Elliott Summey and our County Councilman Dickie Schweers for their support of it!

Our neighbors on the Isle of Palms have already initiated installation of a camera facing the Connector from Palm Boulevard, which is already online at the state highway department site.

This is a good time to download the “SCDOT 511” app so you can get this and other real-time traffic cam video feeds. Under “Cameras” > “Charleston”, they have already set up a separate folder for “Charleston Beaches” which now shows the IOP Connector cam and hopefully will also show our Causeway conditions once our cams are online.

As of this writing, Town Administrator Andy Benke has been meeting with the County engineers to help them select the best locations for our cameras, including a shot that will show whether the bridge is open. We hope they will be up and running not long after you read this.

Police Chief Howard also reports that the County is supporting two additional beach service officers for the summer season. They will assist with beach patrols and with enforcing our parking regulations.


It’s a busy scene next to the Fire Station! Our contractor continues to work toward a “dried in” building with installation of roof and windows. Sub-contractors currently working include framers, roofers, electricians and plumbers. Hopefully, by the time you read this, installation of some insulation and drywall will have begun.

Crossing fingers and knocking wood, we hope to move into our new digs the latter part of August. I can’t believe how long we have been operating out of those trailers. Finally the Town will have a home that is suitable for its fine residents and its fine employees.

Enjoy Spring on the Island!

Pat O’Neil, Mayor 843.670.9266

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