By Susan Hill Smith, Island Eye News Staff Writer
Isle of Palms City Councilmember Jimmy Carroll has announced with the start of the new year that he is running for mayor in the city’s 2017 elections in November.
Carroll is a lifelong island resident and well-known local realtor who was first elected to council in 2011 and is currently serving his second term. He is the first to publicly declare in the non-partisan race for the seat, currently held by Mayor Dick Cronin.
“It’s not a three-month race. It’s going to take me 11 months to put this together,” said Carroll, adding that he wants to meet with neighborhood groups and others across the island.
Carroll said his primary focus will continue to be protecting the island’s residential character and putting residents first. He describes himself as a fiscal conservative committed to common-sense decision-making and a more open and transparent government. “We need to be more reactive to our citizens, our residents, our taxpayers’ desires,” he said.
His platform calls for using social media to allow residents to give feedback to the city on an ongoing basis. He said he will continue to promote referendums for all major city projects, such as the plans to overhaul the Isle of Palms Marina.
Carroll said he wants the city to live within its budget, not always using tourism monies to offset deficiencies, but he acknowledges the positive impact of the tourist economy.
He brings up concerns about rising sea levels and hurricanes and points out that erosion is an island-wide concern now, with “major portions” of beach recently lost at the south end up through 6th Avenue. “I think we need to be more proactive and start putting money aside for emergencies.”
During his past five years on council, he said, he initiated and supported several important issues, citing the city’s new parking plan and its opposition to single-use plastic bags in local businesses as an environmental measure.
Carroll moved to the island as a boy with his family in 1959. He is a graduate of Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, Moultrie High School and College of Charleston. In 2015, he sold his interest in Carroll Realty, the company he started with his mother in 1981, to his nephew, but has continued on as an active realtor.