An open letter to the residents of Isle of Palms from Phillip Pounds:
The city of Isle of Palms is at a tipping point, and I believe the right elected official with a strategic lens for the next four years will help IOP achieve its full potential as a leader in the Lowcountry. Our community is thirsty for a leader who has a vision and recognizes that desired results can be achieved through a delicate balance of engaged residents, public policy, public safety, and city finances working together. I trust I can serve as that leader, so it is with great excitement I’m announcing that I will be running for Mayor this Fall.
As your Mayor, I will be transformative for our community and create positive change at a time the island needs it most.
You have my word – I will fight to make the Isle of Palms a cohesive community, a place we’ll continue to be proud to say we live.
Although it’s early in the campaign, I’m honored to have already earned the support from many long-term residents and community leaders.
My journey serving our City began in 2010, when my wife, Laurie, and I first moved to the island. We joined the IOP Methodist Church, where I serve on the Finance Committee. Eight years later, I joined the Planning Commission, which is responsible for reviewing large, strategic projects for IOP. I also became a Board member of the Wild Dunes Community Association. While serving in these various roles, I heard neighbors’ concerns, which weren’t being met, and ran for City Council hoping to help. I was fortunate enough to win a seat on City Council and began serving in 2020 – arguably the worst year ever to start a political career!
While I was on Council, the unimaginable happened: the pandemic struck hard creating an unprecedented need for action by local municipalities such as ours. I served as Chairperson of the ‘Ways and Means’, and ‘Public Works’ committees, and as a member of the ‘Public Safety’ and ‘Recreation’ committees gaining a broad range of experience in the workings of our City. Behind the scenes, my fellow council members and I spent considerable hours planning for the unknown.
By collaborating with City staff, I helped craft a concrete budget that ensured financial stability for the island. This budget would have to account for what was to come, and how to not only survive, but learn to thrive, should revenue streams run dry or thin out. To accomplish that task, I applied the knowledge I gained during a successful career in the financial services industry managing large budgets, projects, and staff.
Today, there are many large, long-term projects competing for limited resources on the City’s horizon, and I would like to offer my help as Mayor in solving these for the benefit of all IOP stakeholders. My background and experience will help manage the many competing priorities, while ensuring we maintain the quality of life in our part of paradise.
Since serving on City Council, I believe the City’s needs have grown larger. Looking ahead, I would like to lead efforts to address: How can we create an environment where we treat one another with kindness again?
How can we be more transparent in what we’re doing to address residents’ concerns? How do we ensure residents have an opportunity to be engaged?
How can we repair this island’s division? How do we do a better job of having dialogue with business owners on the island?
How can we build better, trusted partnerships both on and off the island?
This 2021 election, I would be honored to receive your support for Mayor. I promise to inspire, stand-up for, and listen to all IOP residents, while communicating clearly and often to all parties involved. Ask yourself – What makes a great leader? More specifically—a great Mayor?
With your support, I can look forward to a victory this Fall, hit the ground running, and thanks to this island’s unbridled spirit, preserve our tradition of excellence.