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Sullivan’s Island Mayors Message: March 2019

Dear Island Neighbors,

A variety of items for you again this month.


 Speaking purely objectively, the commemoration of good St. Patrick is devoted to such a worthy saint with such a beautiful name that the Island will be celebrating it a day early this year. There are two events of note.

 First, our annual family-oriented celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Stith Park will be held this Sat., March 16, from 10 a.m.-noon. The Town is happy to again sponsor this enjoyable and entertaining event for leprechauns of all ages.

Says Council Recreation Committee Chair Sarah Church, “We have Hungry Monk music performing Irish music, and No Hands Magic will join us for an interactive comedy/magic show. See you there!”

For more info

Second, during the day Saturday you can also come out to enjoy the annual commercial district celebration with food and beverages inside and outside our restaurants, which will occur basically as it did last year. Middle St. will remain open to traffic, but PLEASE drive slowly in that area to avoid injuring any of our Irish-for-a-day revelers. Station 22 ½ between Middle St. and I’on Ave. (alongside Dunleavy’s) will be closed to traffic during the day and will reopen to traffic at 7 p.m.

Please celebrate responsibly. Chief of Police Chris Griffin tells us that there will be law enforcement aplenty here and across the area. If you intend to party beyond walking distance of home, plan to get home with a personally trusted designated driver or Uber or Lyft. Also: impaired driving of a golf cart is as illegal as impaired driving of a car or truck.


 Our next Town election will be Tues., May 7. This year three Council seats are up for election (we have staggered terms; the other three seats and that of the Mayor will be up in 2021). This year’s candidates are Gregory Hammond, Mark Howard, Rita Langley, Bachman Smith and Kaye Smith.

Once again, the pastor and members of the Sunrise Presbyterian Church are generously offering use of their facility as our polling place. On Election Day, it will be open from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee voting is available before then through the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

 If you are not currently registered to vote on the Island, you have until April 6 to register if you want to vote in this election. For more information on this election, go to

Please learn about the candidates and their positions. But I offer one caveat: If you encounter letters, postings, signs etc. that do not indicate their author or sponsor, they are best disregarded. Ballots should be anonymous, but not campaign claims.


Our Fire Chief Anthony Stith reminds us that the changes of time betwixt Standard and Daylight Savings should be twice-a-year cues for changing the batteries in all our smoke detectors that rely on batteries for power. If you did not do this last weekend, please do it NOW! How long can it take?

 If you have a security monitoring service and you’re not sure whether your smoke and CO detectors have batteries that might need replacement, please call your service.


 It wasn’t easy, because taking the path of least resistance at several times over the last several decades could have led to a vastly, vastly different place than the one we love to call home. To emphasize that point, consider the title of an upcoming talk on those earlier, critical choices: “Sullivan’s Island Turning Points: Myrtle Beach or Nantucket?”

On Thurs., March 21 at 6 p.m., the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center will offer another richly informative look into our past and how it influences our current life on the Island. At the Fort Moultrie Visitor Center Auditorium, the group will premiere a videotaped interview of former long-time resident and public servant, Carl Smith, followed by a Q&A session with him in person.

Carl served the Town for decades, as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals and then Town Council and then Mayor. (Don’t hold this against Carl, but I honor him as an important mentor of mine throughout many of my years in Town involvement).

Please come out to learn about many of our past critical controversies and decision points, some of which you might not be aware of. For more info visit


OK, Spring impends and you are getting the itch to lay in some new flower beds, or to plant some bushes or trees you’ve been thinking about, all on your own estate. What could go wrong?

Plenty, if you or your workers happen to slice through any of the things that may be serving you and your family from somewhere a few inches below the surface of your yard: electricity, land line phone, cable, water, sewer. But where are those things?

You may not know, but you can (and should) get someone who does know to locate them. Just call 811.

Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed April of 2019 as “Safe Digging Month” to encourage us to call 811 to ask for locator services to identify those lines. You should call at least three days before your planned dig. Business hours for the service are 7:30–5:30, Monday– Friday.


Last month I asked for suggestions on how we could step up our public outreach and education efforts to encourage folks to dispose of their cigarette butts responsibly. Several of you were concerned enough to submit suggestions, which I’ve forwarded to our Land Use and Natural Resources Committee. I appreciate those suggestions, and invite any more that you might have.

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil, Mayor



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