Jul 18 2019

Sullivan’s Island Mayor’s Message: July 2019

Dear Island Neighbors,

 I hope your summer is going well. Hard to believe we are already nearing the end of July!


 Before it’s too late, I’d like to send a serious thank you to all the Island folks who helped us to celebrate this year’s events commemorating our nation’s birth.

Hats off to the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center leaders who put on a well-attended Carolina Day (June 28) event. They donated to the Town a “Moultrie flag” (like the one raised, and re-raised, at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776) to display annually.

They also donated a permanent wayside marker by the Town Hall Sergeant Jasper stone monument that explains why we celebrate Carolina Day. Thanks also to Father McInerny of Stella Maris and former Mayor Carl Smith for their talks on the events of June 28, 1776, which Father McInerny tagged as “the first Brexit.”

As always, the Independence Day holiday was more than one day and as always, July 4 itself was the longest work day of the year for most of the folks who keep our Town running and safe (Police, Fire, and Maintenance staff, and Fire and Rescue volunteers). Without their sacrifice of their holiday, we could not handle the crowds of visitors who spend the day and evening with us.

 And our folks had plenty to do. Over the four-day Thursday-Sunday period, there were five people who had to be rescued off the sandbar, and five incidents that required arrests.

There were also 62 tickets written for alcohol on the beach, and about 121 parking tickets!

 And thanks to the Town staff and councilmembers who organized the Golf Cart parade, and to all of our residents who participated so enthusiastically in it, with 118 golf carts alone this year.


When you think of Town government, you may think first of the Council, or the Mayor and garbage pickup (hmm, what a segue…) or what-the-heck-am-I-paying-all-these-taxes-for, but a lot of your neighbors are playing other important roles in the life of the Town government.

The Town’s five standing Boards and Commissions (Planning Commission, Design Review Board, Tree Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Municipal Board of Elections) consist, collectively, of 29 of your neighbor citizens who have been appointed to them. They all have staggered terms, so every year a number of these seats become open and we recruit for volunteers, both current members willing to be reappointed and other citizens who have interest in serving.

It’s that time of year again! This year, we have openings on all of those entities except the Elections Board (calendar quirk), and are inviting interested residents to volunteer to serve. For more information and application forms, please go to http://bit.ly/SIBoards. You might be surprised at how much you can contribute to the Town!

The deadline for submitting your application is 5:00 PM Thursday, August 15. Although you can only serve on one board or commission at a time, please consider applying for all the ones where you think you could contribute. You can rank your preferences, and this will give Council the most flexibility in appointing folks who will create the best mix for each body. For more information, contact Lisa Darrow at ldarrow@sullivansisland-sc.com or (843) 883-5744. 


 I’d like to salute two Island natives who recently garnered state and/or national records in their athletic specialties, from different ends of the age spectrum.

Hannah Togami is a rising freshman at Wando. In June, she won the junior-high pole vault NATIONAL championship at the New Balance Nationals, delivering a vault of 11 feet, 6.5 inches.

With a recently injured ankle. And maybe a yawn.

 You see, a couple months earlier, she had launched herself (literally) to a personal best and Wando record of a half-foot higher: 12 feet, 1 inch, which by the way was the tops of any eighth-grader in the nation.

It’s also a family tradition: Hannah’s older brother Jonathan also has made pole-vaulting waves, including a previous fourth in the nation for his age group. I’m thinking we may need to alert the FAA to clear the airspace over the Togami house.

And we should also be proud of another island native, Leo Fetter. Leo has been a long-time force in the competitive powerlifting circuit, representing us proudly.

 In June he busted the SC Powerlifting record for his new age class (65-69) with a deadlift exactly twice the weight of your mayor…not that I care to have him demonstrate it that way.

Congratulations, Leo!

            And for all the rest of us Weekend Warriors:  See you around the Island!


Pat O’Neil, Mayor

843 670 9266

| oneilp@sullivansisland-sc.com

| @oneilpm1

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