Provided by Barbara Bergwerf
Barbara Bergwerf is running for re-election to the City Council on the Isle of Palms. Bergwerf brings valuable experience and insights into the needs of the City and its residents, having been a member of the Planning Commission for three years prior to winning her Council seat. In addition to her civic contributions, Barbara is also an energetic volunteer in the community serving as a DNR licensed member of the Island Turtle Team since 1999, as well as a volunteer at the Sea Turtle Hospital of the South Carolina Aquarium and The Center for Birds of Prey.
A graduate of The George Washington University in Washington DC, with a degree in Government and International Affairs, Barbara is well prepared for civic service. She has a broad and diverse work experience which 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 our island community.
Barbara and her husband, Ben, bought their home on the island about 12 years ago and moved here full time when they retired seven years ago. The Bergwerfs were drawn to the uniqueness of the Isle of Palms, its beauty and sense of community, and have been concerned with the increase in density on the island and the stress put on both the ecology and the economy of the island.
She believes the three top priorities of our city government are:
1. To protect our beach and marsh. Without a healthy environment, the island as we know it will cease to exist.
2. To maintain the City on a stable financial footing. With the current economic climate, the City must look at every part of its spending and work to keep the budget balanced.
3. To foster a sense of community by preserving the residential character of our neighborhoods.
“When we bought our home we had neighbors on all sides. Now we are just about totally surrounded by short term rentals,” says Bergwerf. “There will always be rentals on the island, but there is a tipping point that will change this island forever. We have to work at making this an attractive place to encourage new residents with a strong feeling of community. I want to continue to make a positive contribution to the city I love.”