The following statement was provided by the political candidate for The Island Eye News.
My love affair with the Isle of Palms began as a child. Every summer, I would visit family on the Isle of Palms, often helping in my uncle’s restaurant, The Islander. This restaurant is where the locals went and where daily community discussions and debates occurred at the ‘Round Table.’ It was a simpler time – before the era of iPhones, Instagram, and yes, pandemics. Time slowed down when you crossed the one bridge onto the island. And I knew that is where I wanted to be and be a part of that sense of community. I vowed that one day, I’d return. And return, I did. Along with my wife Sonya, we jumped headfirst into serving this incredible community. We have raised our now 22-year-old triplet boys on Isle of Palms. All three boys, Ashton, Beck, and Collin, grew up at the recreation center, Sullivan’s Island Elementary, Laing Middle School & Wando High School. I have thoroughly enjoyed working for this community and the Isle of Palms residents as your council member. I have served this council as Chairs of Public Safety, Public Works, Recreation, Personnel, and Mayor Pro Tempore. We must do more to protect the island’s unique quality of life. Our community is affected by the rampant growth from the surrounding communities. South Carolina Department of Transportation is steadfast in its position on the city’s ability to manage beach parking.
Traffic chokes too many roads, and poorly managed development in the tri-county area makes the problem worse. We need someone to work with SCDOT, State Representatives, municipal governments, and county officials to develop solutions to parking management and traffic congestion issues. Flooding, stormwater runoff, and beach erosion threaten not only the natural beauty around us but our economic vitality. The city’s Phase Three drainage Project is currently underway. This project will make significant drainage improvements to the 30th, 36th, and 41st Avenue outfalls, improving the number of standing water events experienced by residents and property owners.
I have worked on the Phase Three Drainage project, and as Chair of the Public Works Committee, worked on the first two drainage projects that have brought drainage relief to other areas of the island. I look forward to completing this current project and developing plans to bring flooding and drainage relief to the rest of the island. As your council member, I worked for positive reforms in our community. As Chair of Recreation, I developed the FastStart sports program for our three and four-year-old island children. I created a sinking fund that allowed the city to improve the athletic field’s grounds and lighting without borrowing and incurring more debt. As Chair of Public Safety, I worked with the admin and department heads to allow golf cart parking at the beach accesses. I will continue to work with our business community as I have in the past. This type of leadership has allowed me to earn the endorsements of many of our island businesses. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same commonsense decision-making, fiscally conservative values, positive reforms, and transparency that I have proven as your council member to the position of Mayor. I have watched your tax dollars like a hawk and will continue to do so and will fight hard for our fair share of state funding. Now, more than ever, we need a leader who has experience working on the issues that will define this decade and beyond. It’s time for action to improve infrastructure, traffic, and our quality of life.
Please consider supporting my campaign for Mayor of Isle of Palms in the Nov. 2 election and ask that you follow or subscribe to our campaign for future updates and events on Facebook at Ryan Buckhannon for Isle of Palms Mayor or RyanBuckhannon.com.