The following is a candidacy statement provided by each candidate for Isle of Palms City Council. Responses are ordered alphabetically.
Isle of Palms Council member Barbra Bergwerf announces her candidacy for re-election in the upcoming November 5, 2013 election. If elected, this will be her second full term having been elected previously to fill an empty council seat for 6 months after having served on the Isle of Palms Planning Commission for three years. She is well prepared for civic service holding a degree in Government and International Affairs from The George Washington University, in Washington D.C. Her broad and diverse background includes: US government service, 15 years as a photojournalist, 22 years as a small business owner of an award winning stained glass studio, and as the photographer of two award winning children’s books. This blend of government and commercial experience is invaluable for the continued viability of the island community. Barbara is also an energetic volunteer in the community serving as a Department of Natural Resources licensed member of the Island Turtle Team since 1999, as well as a volunteer at the Sea Turtle Hospital of the South Carolina Aquarium.
Barbara Bergwerf is focused on protecting the island she loves. She believes that without a healthy beach and marsh environment our quality of life will cease to exist, as we know it. A primary goal of Barbara’s is to foster a sense of community by preserving the residential character of island neighborhoods and the livability of the city while welcoming visitors to the city. This will be challenging as we face pressures from neighboring communities’ growth.
Bergwerf will maintain the City’s stable financial footing. The current economic climate has a real impact on revenues the Isle of Palms receives, so it is imperative to be vigilant of the City’s budget. She wants to maintain the City’s excellent services such as police, fire, and public works while being fiscally prudent. She notes that the city has outstanding employees.
Barbara Bergwerf works to find common ground and is currently serving on the following committees: Ways and Means, Recreation, as Chair, and Public Safety, as Vice-chair. Her key accomplishments include:
- An ordinance to limit the overnight occupancy to 12 for new short term rental licenses which did not affect existing short-term rental license holders
- Maintained city services without raising taxes in four years
- Supported the public works initiative to remedy the drainage issues around the island
“I want to continue to make a positive contribution to the City I love,” Bergwerf says. Contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 886-5355.
I grew-up and attended schools in the Northwest. I was stationed here in the Navy in 1967. I have been on the Isle of Palms in the same house since 1971. I am a retired BellSouth Business Systems Project Manager. I was elected to City Council in 1997 and have served on all Council Committees. I am also a member of the CARTA board. I served on the Carolina Lowcountry Regional EMS Council in the 80s and have served two terms on the Sullivan’s Island School Improvement Committee. I am married to Linda Condon Bettelli, and have three children and three grandchildren.
I will continue to make every effort to ensure that our island residents, businesses, and visitors have an island that is safe, clean, and family oriented.
I grew up in North Charleston and graduated from North Charleston High School and Winthrop College. After moving away to Nashville for 10 years, I returned to the lowcountry and began my life on the Isle of Palms in 1994 with my husband Rick and my mother Grace DeWitte. Come this November my mother will celebrate her 90th birthday on the island.
After many wonderful experiences meeting and working with fine and generous people, I concluded my career in manufacturing and not for profit administration in 2006. I officially retired and turned my time and talents fully to volunteering and some business related travel in Asia and South America.
Currently, I am serving as a pro bono development consultant with Neighborhood House, Co-Chair for Roper Saint Francis Patient and Family Experience Council (PFEC), and Chair of the Accommodation Tax Committee (ATAX) for the Isle of Palms, plus several ministries at St. Benedict Catholic Church. I am now ready to give my time and experience to our island’s City Council.
Over the last two years I served as Chair of the ATAX committee. This committee makes recommendations to City Council regarding distribution of funds from the state accommodations tax to city services such as the police, fire and recreation departments that are impacted by tourism. I have attended IOP City Council meetings, Ways and Means, and standing committees to familiarize myself with the workings of my city. I found these meetings educational, exciting, and a bit frustrating because I had to just sit there and listen. It was then that I decided I wanted to be an active participant in the process of city government.
The future of Isle of Palms is undeniably linked with the current and anticipated growth of Mount Pleasant, both positively and negatively, and in many ways. We are the beach of choice, a summer sports venue of choice, a vacation destination of choice, and we are slowly growing into a dining destination of choice.
An island by definition has a fixed amount of space for both visitors and residents. Therefore our immediate challenge is to create minimally intrusive solutions for traffic and for parking. These solutions must be formulated after gathering as much data as possible and from as many different sources as possible. Once the consultant we have hired to gather data and propose solutions has completed his work and presented it to all of us, we must make our decisions and turn the solution into reality. We, as Council members, must vote what is best for the sustainability of the island and the community.
Change, more than just the shifting sandbars, is coming to our island paradise and I look forward to being a member of her leadership and a true custodian of all she offers us.
Dr. Patrick Harrington
I was born and raised in Michigan. My twin brother Michael and I were the last of six children. I knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher and coach. I now look back fondly over my 45 year career working with students and others in the field of education.
I met my wife Barbara after college while she was living Sullivan’s Island. Barbara spent her formative years on Sullivan’s Island. After our marriage in February, 1967 she joined me in Michigan where I pursued my professional career in Education. We made annual trips back to SC to visit family until building our home on the Isle of Palms in 2003. I have seen and experienced the growth and resulting changes in the complexion of the Islands and surrounding communities.
My interest in serving others has not abated in my recent retirement. I am not interested in settling. Rather, I believe with my formal training, lengthy administrative experience, and other leadership involvement, that I can make a contribution in the civic arena. I have the knowledge and have developed the skills to work with others on City Council to resolve problems and seek agreement on the important issues facing our community.