Jan 17 2019

Sullivan’s Island Mayor’s Message: January 2019

Dear Island Neighbors,

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are having a healthy and happy new year. Here’s to a great 2019 for all with a complete absence of hurricanes and flooding!


For those of you trying to get or stay more active in the new year, here’s a great way to keep that pledge going at least almost to the end of January. The 36th annual Charlie Post Classic 5K and 15K Road Race will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 a.m., on Middle St. at Station 15, with race HQ at the Fish Fry Shack. This is always an interesting race to launch your new year of physical activity right here on the Island. Over the years, the weather has been fascinatingly variable, but it’s always fun. (OK, maybe excepting the year we had a ridiculously high tide that covered the race course with about six inches of water, on a cold day, in the second mile). NOTE: The 5K welcomes walkers as well as runners; don’t be shy.

You can learn more here: bit.ly/2TAKfj6.


As I note annually, that was how the very down-to-earth New Orleans Mayor Robert Maestri started a conversation with his guest President Franklin Roosevelt, when they tucked into some Oysters Rockefeller at New Orleans’ famed Antoine’s Restaurant in 1937. We won’t likely have any presidents in attendance, but you can get some great “ersters”, visit with friends and neighbors, and support our great volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad at our annual Oyster Roast, 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9. The location as usual is the aforementioned Big Tin/Fish Fry Shack (Station 15 at 1453 Hennessey Street). Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Fire Station, Town Hall, the Harris Teeter at Sea Island Shopping Center and Simmons Seafood. It’s all-you-can-eat oysters (bring your own knife), with other food and beverages for purchase, music and entertainment for the kids.

Proceeds support the Squad’s valuable efforts.

They put an impressive amount of time, effort and training into protecting us. Last year, these amazing volunteers contributed nearly 8,400 hours to this mission in drills, emergency calls, weather events and community events. Much of their equipment is bought with proceeds from this wonderful event.

 Hope to see you there to support their mission! For more info, go here: bit.ly/2AF4tkV.


Our next municipal election will be Tuesday, May 7. Three Council seats will be decided in this election. If you’re considering making a run for it, be aware that the filing period ends at noon February 15. For more info, please go to bit.ly/2CfscYG.


It’s been a busy year for the Town of Sullivan’s Island, our hometown.

Let’s take a quick look back to review a number of Town accomplishments in 2018. Thanks to our great Town staff and our Town Council, we have many achievements to brag about.

To name just a few, in random order:

  • Stormwater management is an increasingly difficult challenge for the Island as it is for all the Charleston area, with all the changes in weather patterns and tidal events. In 2018, the Town took a number of steps forward in addressing this. We had previously been awarded a FEMA grant to help us address some of the areas with the worst stormwater problems. This year the first phase of that project (engineering for solutions on two areas) was completed, which will allow us to move forward with the second phase, construction of the portions of that engineering that this grant will support.
  • Remember that the state Department of Transportation owns our stormwater collection system (ditches, drains, pipes, and outfalls) as part of their street rights of way. This year, despite their disturbingly small budget for stormwater maintenance, we were able to get an unusually large amount of DOT help in tending to some of our ditches and pipes.
  • Our wastewater (sewer) collection and treatment system is very old and has needed repair and upgrading for a long time. This year we successfully issued an Installment Purchase Revenue Bond package – at quite favorable terms – to support muchneeded repairs and upgrades of our collection system and treatment plant, as well as other necessary capital projects. The requisite engineering is underway, and construction is likewise ongoing on important previously designed projects.
  • Our Protected Land Management Plan took a large step forward in November. Following years of public meetings with much input from the public and consultants, and much discussion by Council, we unanimously approved a plan to create a transition zone in the 100 feet of the Protected Land closest to adjacent residences. First steps are underway to create this transition zone as soon as possible.
  • To improve our SC703 (Causeway) Sullivan’s Island Gateway, we installed and maintained palmetto trees along the Causeway and collaborated with the Sullivan’s Island Park Foundation to improve the entrance sign to the Island. We are grateful to the Park Foundation and to all who contributed to their fundraising efforts that provided the funding for the new sign.
  • Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad (like the Oyster Roast, remember?), we were able to enhance our water rescue and fire capabilities (dock improvements for boat lift to rapidly deploy the rescue boat and replacement of the boat’s fire pump) as well as acquire an additional handicap beach chair for the elementary school.
  • Under the leadership of Chief of Police Chris Griffin, a number of our officers earned certifications in important areas of law enforcement as part of their never-ending efforts to assure the professionalism of the department. The department also received grant funding for body armor.
  • Through collaborative efforts with Sheriff Al Cannon, Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carroll and Charleston County Chair Elliott Summey, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department agreed to provide a full-time School Resource Officer to the elementary school to enhance the security of our students and teachers.

Please thank our Town staff from all departments when you see them.

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil, Mayor



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