This is an exciting time of the year; fall is upon us, the Isle of Palms elections are upon us, and believe it or not, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year will be here and gone before you know it. For me, it’s exceptionally special. I’m on my last 88 days of being mayor as of this day, but who’s counting. Let me explain this a little more, especially for those who are running for both the mayor’s position and for our next half of city council. While many say it’s a thankless job, it’s not; it’s very rewarding, especially for those who are doing it because they love our city and want to preserve it for future generations. These last two years have been tough, extremely tough due to COVID-19 and the problems it presented in trying to keep everyone safe. Add to that, social media, and as we all know, if it’s on social media, it has to be true. (I’m still looking for all the billions I got paid under the table for doing my $5,000 a year mayor’s job). I’m grateful, though, for all the calls, texts, and conversations in which most of my constituents have thanked me for the hard work of the past four years. Luckily for me, after a lifetime of working and serving the Isle of Palms, I’m now looking forward to retiring with my wife, Carol. We have bought a RV and will start exploring this great country we live in at the start of the new year. We will begin our travels after the new mayor and council are sworn in on Jan 4th. Then, it’s off to the Everglades, which I have never seen, followed by Key West, which Carol has never seen. We are both looking forward to our next chapter of life. As for the elections, it appears that we have a race for the mayor’s position with three candidates, two of whom seem to have a very strong following.
And in the council election, I now believe we have eight candidates from the original 11. And here too, we have a great selection to choose from, with a wide array of professional backgrounds. Based on what I read, I feel confident that the next mayor and council will fight hard to protect our parking plan, to fight to make our bridge safe again, and to always strive to improve our quality of life while maintaining our community feel. The future looks bright! I thank everyone who was willing to run, including their families. City wise, we just held our city Employee Appreciation Day which was held at the Isle of Palms Exchange Club’s back deck overlooking Hamlin Creek. It consisted of games, food, laughter, and the selection of the annual Leola Hanbury Employee of the Year. Due to all the challenges over the last two years, our personnel committee had to choose the person who went over and beyond their normal everyday duties and exceeded all expectations.
After an exhaustive search, it was determined that every city employee deserved this award, which council unanimously approved.
Leola Hanbury, a transplant from New York, fell in love with our island paradise, adopted the island, put her heart and soul into the island and into the Isle of Palms Garden Club. She later ran for and was elected to City Council. Upon her passing, she left a tidy sum to accumulate every year, from which, a city employee would be named the employee of the year. I am sure that Leola would be most pleased with our decision to award every employee this year, especially, considering what everyone has gone through. We just had the 29th Isle of Palms Exchange Club Connector Run for the Child with well over 800 runners. This was a partnership between the Exchange Club, the Town of Mount Pleasant and the City of the Isle of Palms. There were volunteers galore; the city’s Recreation Department, the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works Department and city staff all worked hard to put this on.
The only two times in its history that it had been cancelled was once due to a hurricane, and last year due to COVID-19. It took a community to make it happen, and it was a huge success. Thanks to our ever-busy Recreation Department; some upcoming events include our Ghostly Tide Tales being held at front beach by the fishing pier, on Oct. 15 starting at 6 pm. This is a great family event, lots child friendly Lowcountry ghost tales, hot chocolate, and with fires on the beach all while watching our everyday stunning sunset. Next on their agenda is last of the Farmer’s Market being held at the Recreation Center on 28th Ave. This will last 4-7 pm, and includes low country grown vegetables, face painting, food trucks and live entertainment. Do not miss this, the last one of the year. And of course, to finish out October, the Recreation Center is having its 2nd annual decorated golf cart parade, starting at the Recreation Center, driving around a few blocks, and ending with a drivethrough haunted house. This will be followed by a drive-in movie, “Sonic The Hedgehog”. The Director of Fun, Norma Jean Page and her right-hand supervisor Karrie Ferrell have certainly made the Recreation Department stand out, besides the many activities they do, day in, day out. Please visit iop.net and look under departments to see everything they offer, besides seeing everything the city offers. Lastly, to sum up the city projects, the marina redevelopment is doing as well as it can be due to the COVID-19 setbacks, especially when it comes to supplies.
The docks are well on the way, and we are hoping that the completion will be shortly after the first of the year. The same thing with our new restaurant, Marker 116 at the old Morgan Creek Grill.
They are experiencing the same types of material delays and cost increases but are also hoping to open after the first of the year. I see the marina becoming a major destination location for the Isle of Palms.
Our drainage projects are close to bidding after getting the last of our 14 required permits, but we are getting there. This has been exciting finally getting all these projects to the point they are, nearing completion.
In closing, I cannot thank everyone enough for allowing me to serve you. I wish you all the best at this; the beginning of the fastest times of the year, the holidays. I also thank everyone who wins in the upcoming mayor’s race and council races. Please, if you don’t win, stay involved and volunteer with the city on a committee or even as a coach for one of our many recreation teams. I remember many decades ago, my coaching T-Ball, basketball, micro soccer and made so many friends doing so. So please, get involved, be part of the community. See y’all at the Ghostly Tide Tales!