By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News
The Isle of Palms City Council probably will have a different look next year. Two current Council members will be vying to be the city’s next mayor, one has chosen not to seek reelection and two more are unsure about whether they want to be on the Nov. 2 ballot. With the Sept. 3 filing deadline approaching, Council Members Phillip Pounds and Ryan Buckhannon have announced that they will face off for the mayor’s seat, John Moye has chosen not to run again, Susan Hill Smith is undecided about her political future and Randy Bell “will take until the last minute to make that decision.”
Meanwhile, John Bogosian, Blair Hahn and Jeffrey Rubin have declared that they intend to run for Council seats. If no one else gets into the race, anywhere from three to five candidates will be battling for four spots on the Council. The filing period, which opened Aug. 2, runs through Sept. 3.
Jimmy Carroll, 67, said he was ready to retire after serving on the Council for a decade, the last four years as mayor. “I gave 15 years leadership to the Association of Realtors and 10 years to the Isle of Palms. I sold my business five years ago, my apartment complex four years ago, my marina two years ago and just finished turning my office building into condos and have sold them all,” he commented. “I have been setting myself up to go play comfortably.” After serving one four-year term, Moye cited his family and his career as reasons to vacate his seat on the Council. He said he and his wife are expecting their second child soon and “the demands from my job are increasing as my company grows.” “While it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my community, some absolutely wonderful life changes are making this a somewhat easy decision,” he said. “I look forward to supporting those who lead our city in the years to come. I’m eternally grateful to our citizens, staff and businesses for the opportunity I’ve been given.” Buckhannon, who served on the Council from 2000 to 2016 and again for the past four years, pointed out that the city must “do more to protect the island’s unique quality of life.” He said he hopes to concentrate on “common-sense decision-making, fiscally conservative values, positive reforms and transparency.”
He added that it’s time for the Council to work to improve infrastructure and traffic issues. Pounds hopes to help the Isle of Palms “achieve its full potential as a leader in the Lowcountry.” He promised to fight to make IOP a cohesive community.
A former member of the IOP Planning Commission, he earned a seat on the Council in November 2019, “arguably the worst year ever to start a political career.” Pounds promised to “inspire, stand up for and listen to all IOP residents, while communicating clearly and often to all parties involved.”
Bogosian, entering politics for the first time, has spent his career building and managing businesses.
He said he would “utilize these same skills, with the same passion, to solve the problems facing the Isle of Palms.” He cited quality of life, effective governance and keeping the community safe as the major issues facing the island. Hahn, a former product liability attorney who now works in commercial real estate and also is part owner of a yoga studio, pointed out that “the resources of our island must be properly managed to safeguard those assets and ensure the future of the quality of life on our island.” A political novice, he said the main issues facing the island are parking and traffic.
Rubin said he decided to run for a Council seat “to help protect the future of our community and to preserve the island that we call our home.” He has spent most of his career as a vascular and endovascular surgeon with several large hospital systems. He cited quality of life, safety and leadership as major issues facing the island.