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Message From The Mayor: August 2020

Pat O’Neil

Dear Island Neighbors,

 I hope you are having a good summer under our current circumstances. Any of us longing for the “old normal” can certainly take solace in the traditionally hot and humid days and weeks we’ve been enjoying – make that “experiencing.”

Herewith a variety of topics you may find useful, interesting or worthwhile.

THE BEACH REACH APP

More than a year ago, the beach mayors (Mayors Carroll of IOP, Goodwin of Folly and yours truly) met with Charleston County Council Chair Elliott Summey, Sheriff Al Cannon and BerkeleyCharleston-Dorchester Council of Governments Executive Director Ron Mitchum, along with some of their staff. The purpose was to see if there was a way to initiate a regional effort to help manage the ever-increasing numbers of folks in the greater Charleston area who were heading for the never-increasing number of area beaches.

A variety of ideas were discussed, but we all agreed on the need for an accessible and centralized means of communicating current conditions related to the beaches, including current traffic. As you know, everything in government takes a while, but, thanks to the support of County Council and the COG, that effort has resulted in a very useful app for residents and visitors: “Beach Reach.”

The app has a variety of information for each of the four Charleston-area beaches – Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Edisto Beach – grouped by community. It includes the relevant South Carolina Department of Transportation 511 traffic cameras, beach regulations, parking policies, COVID-specific rules and links to relevant social media sites.

This app is not only useful for residents but should be a mustvisit source for folks visiting our communities, whether for an hour or a day. Please get it and encourage your friends who visit here

to do likewise. Head for the App Store – iPhone or iPad – or Google Play, and search for “Beach Reach” by BCDCOG.

I especially encourage folks considering a day trip to the beach to consult the traffic cams on the app or on the SCDOT 511 app.

 THANK YOU TO YARD WORKS!

You no doubt have noticed the improvement in the planting around our entry sign as you come onto the island on the Causeway. We should thank island resident Laurie Ulmer and his team at Yard Works for donating the work and plants to create this lovely spot.

The Yard Works folks have not only been generous but gracious as well, saying, “It is a joy to be able to do something for a town and people that have blessed us so much.”

We thank the Yard Works team for their fine contribution and also our great town maintenance staff, who work so hard to maintain the appearance of all on our side of the Causeway!

A SAD ITEM, BUT CAN YOU HELP?

You may remember the tragic accident on the I-526 Don Holt Bridge on July 1, in which Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Costanzo stopped to assist a tow truck driver who was helping the driver of a disabled vehicle.

Tragically, a vehicle struck Deputy Costanzo’s marked patrol vehicle, which then struck other vehicles.

Both Deputy Costanzo and the tow truck driver, Will Ellis, were outside their vehicles. Mr. Ellis was fatally injured. Deputy Costanzo is on a long road to recovery from his numerous severe injuries.

As many of you know, Deputy Costanzo had been serving as the school resource officer at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, where he had earned the respect and affection of students and staff. A fundraiser site to support him and his family during his recovery has been established at https://bit.ly/deputycostanzo.

A GoFundMe.com site for Mr. Ellis’ family has been established at https://bit.ly/EllisFamily We never know when or whom tragedy will strike. Please consider contributing to the above funds.

LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD WOMEN AND MEN

It’s the time of year when the terms of some of the slots on our boards and commissions expire, and we look for folks who are willing to put their names forward to be considered for appointments to those boards and commissions. This year we have terms expiring on the Planning Commission and the Tree Commission. Please consider applying to participate in the governance of your town. As always, folks looking for their first opportunity to serve are encouraged to apply, as are current members willing to continue their service. For information, please go to https://bit.ly/BandCApplication.

Sarah Church, chair of Council’s Administration Committee, said, “Serving on a board/commission is an excellent way to participate in our small town government and gain an understanding of the process. As long as there are health risks involved in meeting as a group, all meetings will be held virtually.”

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

 See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil, Mayor, Sullivan’s Island

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