Submitted by Jimmy Ward for Island Eye News
Jimmy Ward announces his run for the office of Isle of Palms mayor. Ward has been an Isle of Palms resident for over 34 years. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and raised in Kinston, North Carolina.
He is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, having served four years in New York City, Newport, Rhode Island, and St. Petersburg, Florida, mainly on the search and rescue Coast Guard cutters Unimak and Steadfast. He graduated from Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina, and studied accounting at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He has been a certified public accountant in the state of South Carolina since 1987 (S.C. Board of Accountancy certificate number 2800). His accounting firm, James M. Ward, CPA, PC, provides tax and business consulting services.
His hobby is theater. He is the artistic director of the Crabpot Players Theater Company. He founded the company in 1993.
Through the Crabpot Players, he gives back to the community by performing live plays using local actors while also providing entertainment to the community. Ward also has written several plays.
He was on the City of Isle of Palms A-Tax Committee for several years. He has served on the Isle of Palms City Council for almost 13 years (1988-1991 and 2012-present). Ward has been on numerous City Council committees, including Ways and Means, Real Property, Public Safety, Public Works and Recreation. City Council has made real progress addressing the needs of its citizens recently, but much more work lies ahead. Some of the main projects he wants to see completed are improved drainage and renovations to the Marina. As a licensed CPA and longtime island resident, he brings local knowledge and experience through the good times as well as bad. He was on Council during Hurricane Hugo. It is this type of experience that he brings that no other candidate can.
“The city is in sound financial shape, but we always need to be prepared for unexpected challenges ahead,” he stated.
Another issue he considers to be of great importance is growth in the Charleston area and how it directly impacts the quality of life for Isle of Palms residents. It seems that with every new development that has contributed to the explosion of the population of East Cooper in recent years, the developers tout in their advertising “only minutes from the beach.” We have been a destination for day visitors for years and will continue to be. City Council needs to do everything possible to preserve the quality of life for island families by lessening the negative impact of some day visitors. We have eliminated visitor parking in residential neighborhoods unless they acquire a pass from the residence where they park.
This is a good first step, but Council must explore other ways to lessen traffic and the related strain on city resources and residents. I look forward to cooperating with Charleston area mayors and Councils as well as SCDOT to come together to work on our traffic problems to find meaningful, long-lasting solutions.
COVID-19 continues to devastate the Lowcountry, as well as the entire world. I would like for the city to encourage continued social distancing, frequent washing of hands and wearing masks in public for the foreseeable future. These are small steps we all can do to help slow the pandemic (and keep our businesses operating as normally as possible until this menace is eliminated).
Ward stated: “Having lived on the island most of my adult life, I am extremely fortunate to serve the citizens of Isle of Palms as a member of City Council. I consider it one of the biggest honors of my life. I hope the voters will see fit to allow me to serve as their mayor.”