Wednesday, November 2, 2011 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.1C
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2C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.3C
RE-ELECT NOV. 8TH
MT. PLEASANT TOWN COUNCIL “Do what’s right because it’s right, not because it’s popular.” - Ken Glasson As Councilman, Ken Glasson has: ★ Stood up to special interests. ★ As chairman of Bids & Purchases Committee, held the line on spending & kept all expenditures under budget. ★ As chairman of the Fire Committee, helped implement an excellent, accredited paramedic program. ★ Is hands-on and action-oriented. Endoersed By: “I have worked with Council member Ken Glasson since 2006. He currently chairs our Bids & Purchases and Fire Committees, and sits on the powerful Finance Committee. I am pleased to fully endorse his bid for re-election to Town Council.” - The Honorable William D. Swails, Mayor of the Town of Mount Pleasant “With Ken Glasson’s re-election, Mount Pleasant will continue to have a voice of the people… It is comforting to know he will continue to serve with his eye on the bottom line.” - Linda Page, Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman
“I have served on Town Council with Ken Glasson for the last two years. His knowledge and leadership are exactly what we need on Town Council. Please join me on November 8th in voting to re-elect Ken Glasson” - John Burn Mount Pleasant Town Council “Ken Glasson has been a good Councilman. As chair of the Bids & Purchases Committee and a member of the Finance and Public Services Committees, he has demonstrated good fiscal management of the Town's revenues & assets. I have learned much from him in my 2 years on Council.” - Elton Carrier, Mount Pleasant Town Councilman
‘Mr. Ken Glasson is an internal member of the current team of Council the leads the town forward in the right direction. He receives my full support for re-election November 8th .” - Dr. Craig Rhyne Mount Pleasant Town Council
Paid for by Re-elect Ken Glasson for Council. P.O. Box 1323 Mt. Pleasant SC 29465
4C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Mount Pleasant: Meet the candidates Mount Pleasant Town Council candidates were given three questions and asked to provide brief replies. See the questions and their responses below. 1. Have you ridden the CARTA bus routes in the Town of Mount Pleasant. What would you do to improve the rider’s experience on our East Cooper bus routes. 2. What are your thoughts on the town’s current form of government? Should the town hold a referendum seeking a switch to a strong mayor/weak council? 3. Experts are predicting another downturn in the national economy at a moment when our country has not fully recovered from the last recession of 2007. First and specifically, what are the top three impacts, resulting from state and national economic woes, upon our town? Second, what do you plan to do as a council member to assist the city in weathering those current hardships, while also preparing for potential economic crisis around the bend?
ing to get shelters for every stop on the routes. I trust this will greatly improve the experience. 2. Yes. The town needs to hold a referendum on this most important issue on strong mayor/weak council. Before we make a decision we all need to study this issue very carefully. As it changes the entire system that has been in place for over 50 years. We now have the best run municipality in the state and to change this requires attention to every detail. Some will say if it is not broke then why fix it? Also, the grass is not always greener on the other side. I will have to study this very carefully then decide when all of us are better informed and educated . 3. One of the impacts will be on our ability to maintain the level of service Mount Pleasant citizens enjoy today, due to the lack of income coming into our town. Another issue will be the ability to attract new businesses while we weather this downturn. One more issue will be balancing the budget and watching costs. I will be on close watch Joe Bustos to make sure the town lives 1. I within our budget. have ridden a bus in Mount George Freeman Pleas1. I ant. I have ridhave alden the so been CARTA a town buses reprebefore sentabut have tive to the CARTA board for not ridthe Town of Mount Pleasant den the for three years. While on routes in that board I advocated that Mount a bus route be established to Pleasant. After completing transport riders from Mount this questionnaire, I plan Pleasant to the Isle of Palms, to ride the Mount Pleasant Sullivan’s Island and return route. To improve the rider’s More park and ride and bet- experience, I would expand ter bus stop locations are the route to include stops needed to make bus rider- along Venning Road, Six Mile ship better and more conve- Road and Hamlin Road and nient. This would also have a prove a discount to students positive effect on traffic. riding the bus. If the funds 2. The town has already were available, I would build committed to having a town a covered station for transfer administrator for the fore- from the East Cooper route seeable future. This would to the Express route. indicate that the present 2. Either form of governsystem of a weak mayor/ ment will get the job done. strong council will continue The individual elected by the to exist. However, if a refer- citizens to the office is the endum was desired, it should important factor. The town be added as a question in the should only hold a referen2013 municipal election. If dum seeking a switch to a the result of that referen- strong mayor/weak council dum is to establish a strong if there is an outcry from the mayor form of government citizens for a change. At this that could occur during the time, I have not heard the 2017 elections. This schedule citizens calling for a change. would prevent the 2012 elec3. The first impact was the tions from having too many tax revenue lost. The second questions during a presiden- was a decrease in available tial election and allow voters funds for infrastructure to weigh their choices for a projects. The third was a strong mayor in a subsequent freeze on job hiring. To remayoral election. solve these issues we need to 3. The top three economic change our position from bewoes facing our town are: the ing a bedroom community to inability to keep seasoned a more diverse community. employees needed to deliver We need to work with other efficient and effective ser- towns and cities to develop vices, second infrastructure a comprehensive economic deteriorating due to a lack of development plan for the maintenance funds and lastly East Cooper area. The plan the inability to create an en- should include the recruitvironment where businesses ment of businesses that can develop and thrive and produce a product as well as therefore be able to create provide high paying salaries. jobs and opportunities for The diverse tax revenue base town residents. To prepare will provide us great protecfor these eventualities we tion in the future against a must identify core services budget shortfall. The plan to be provided in a world should also include an East class manner while reducing Cooper transportation plan those not deemed essential. endorsed by all municipaliRather than a balance sheet ties east of the Cooper. approach the town must establish and live within a budget much like we do our Ken Glasson 1. I own homes. Infrastructure am not must be maintained and it overly will take funds saved each familiar year to attend to those needs with the in the next 10 to 15 years. CARTA We must work with the state b u s legislature to reduce the speroutes cial status of some funds and f r o m enable municipalities to expersonal pend funds to maintain their experiresidents’ vital services. ence, but from talking to people deeply involved with CARTA I’m learning that the Nick Collins greatest deterrent to riders 1. I is not knowing when/where have not the buses are running. Achad the cording to the experts I’m c h a n c e speaking with, we could t o r i d e greatly increase ridership the CAR- and loyalty to CARTA by TA bus better publicizing the bus to date. routes and frequency and enW e o n couraging ridership, perhaps c o u n c i l with a town public relations are try- campaign. Certainly people
who are especially concerned with traffic tie-ups and those without reliable transportation of their own would be excellent target audiences, and I hope with the right message that they would be receptive. CARTA also has a program for students that could help turn them into regular CARTA riders as well, not just to and from school but also around town. 2. As a council member, I don’t think decreasing the council’s influence will be helpful to our citizens. To tip the balance so one side or the other becomes more powerful means that some ideas which may be very good ideas will get lost in the power struggle. There have been disagreements among councilmen and between the council and the mayor, but because of the professionalism of everyone involved and their sincere concern for solving town issues, we have gotten a tremendous amount done, which is what you always hope for. It hasn’t always been the case with previous councils. If we can keep this kind of mutual respect – because the council members respect each other and the mayor, and he respects us – it’s the best possible combination. 3. The most visible impact on our town has been the downturn in real estate, which has resulted in far less building than previously and secondarily, the de-valuing of much existing real estate, which has hurt a lot of people whose primary assets are in their real estate. That issue has been a contributing factor – though not the only factor to the third huge issue, which is unemployment. Having so many town residents either under-employed or unemployed impacts our community tremendously - people without jobs are not going to spend as much money in the community, which impacts our local businesses, which in turn impacts our tax base. My top priority as a councilman has been strengthening the economic stability of Mount Pleasant. Since I’ve come on council in 2006, the revenue in our general fund has increased from $9million to $16.5-million. My goal is to make Mount Pleasant a AAA-rated community, something only two other communities in the entire country have achieved, which would mean our economic status is rock-solid. Having that kind of money available to us means that in the event
of a natural or economic disaster, we still would have money to pay for town services, so our police, fire and public services departments would remain on the job. The impact of not having these services available is frightening to think about. My greatest focus as a councilman has always been on keeping the bottom line healthy, because if we achieve that – and we are in very good shape right now and on our way to being AAA rated - then we can be assured that whatever happens to the country, we will be able to continue to function. I consider that my most important contribution as a councilman, and it’s something I will continue to fight for.
Thomasena StokesMarshall 1. Yes, I have ridden the # 40 CARTA bus line on several occasions. As a representative of Mount Pleasant on the CARTA Board of Directors, it is important for me to have first hand experience with the level of efficiency, dependability, scheduling time, safety of the bus stop locations and the overall accessibility to commuters. What would you do to improve the rider’s experience on the East Cooper bus routes? I would improve CARTA’s bus schedule dependability. It is important that people who need to ride the bus know that they can be assured that the service arrives and departs on a consistent schedule. I would improve the visibility of CARTA bus stop signage and ensure that stops are placed in safe locations that are easily accessible to riders. Ideally, I would provide a bus shelter and a bench at all CARTA bus stops throughout Mount Pleasant. As a CARTA Board Member, I am aware that the revenue to address this need is not available. However, I believe there is a market for businesses to utilize bus shelters and benches for advertising. Controlled marketing would generate the funds needed for bus shelters and benches at many bus stops in Mount
Paid for by committee to Re-Elect Thomasena Stokes-Marshall
Pleasant. CARTA should explore advertising options as an incentive to encourage local businesses to participate. 2. Over the past 10-15 years, our current form of government has served our residents and the Town of Mount Pleasant well. However, having achieved the status of the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina we must explore the pros and cons associated with a strong mayor/weak council form of government. In our economy, Mount Pleasant must be able to compete with surrounding towns for our share of limited budget dollars. Several of our neighboring towns have very strong mayors. It might be in our interest to make the changes necessary to remain competitive. 3. Yes. Experts are predicting another downturn in the national economy at a moment when our country has not fully recovered from the last recession of 2007. I believe that the three major impacts resulting from the state and national economic woes upon our town in the coming years are: •The mandate for fiscal responsibility: Council must maintain a balanced budget that enables the town to continue providing the level and quality of services currently provided to our residents. •The mandate to implement GASB 45 (Retirement Benefits): The combined forces of an aging workforce, increases in the ratio of retirees and active workers and the rise of medical expenses continue to drive up the costs of the town providing health insurance to active and retired employees. Increases in the annual cost of health insurance and the substantial growth in the unfunded liabilities associated with retiree health plans have forced council to reevaluate our current programs and make fundamental changes to reduce the costs and future liabilities. The provision of health insurance to current and retired employees has become a major financial issue that requires council to reorganize current retirement benefits. •The ability to sustain the town’s long term Capitol Improvement Plan: Much of the quality of life of the residents of Mount Pleasant is contingent on completion of our long term capitol improvement plan.
Currently Mount Pleasant has a balanced budget and reserve fund that places our town in viable financial position. However, we must prepare to address a potential economic crisis. Now more so than ever, it is important for the Town of Mount Pleasant to strengthen partnerships with the CBD Council of Government and the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce; to collectively establish and implement policies and procedures designed to address the potential negative impacts of a declining economy. Improving economic development incentives to attract research and development and technology industries will increase the town’s tax base. Creating small business incentives to attract and expand businesses that specialize in green/environmental technology will help to create a new job market. Incentives to encourage developers to establish workforce housing enabling residents to live, work and raise their families in Mount Pleasant will add the economic diversity necessary to keep our economy vital. We must explore opportunities to outsource some of the non-essential services to help decrease the overall costs of providing these services. This should only be done if we maintain strict control over the level of quality of services provided. We must strengthen the town’s tourism marketing efforts to increase the number of visitors to Mount Pleasant, thereby increasing the town’s annual tourism revenues.
Tate Mikell 1. The council appears to run well as is. 2. We, council m e m b e r s , need to advocate with our state level politicians to send down the money to allow us to help our disabled and aged citizens and for us to do our jobs. We are all their constituents. 3. I have not yet ridden any CARTA routes, but intend to find ways to make the rides safer and more accessible.
See Candidates, page 6C
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.5C
6C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Mount Pleasant: Meet the candidates 1. I h a v e ridden routes 40 & 401, and I was one of 40 citizens to attend a CARTA public forum in Mount Pleasant last February. In addition, my oldest daughter used the express shuttle (park & ride) from Walmart / Kmart to the College of Charleston for four years. I have not utilized the flex service to the islands. The new bus route system, approved by the CARTA board last February, extended existing routes to Mount Pleasant Hospital and Wando High School while preserving the existing Express Bus system. The # 40 and, to a lesser extent, # 401 routes have proven to be successful with stops located at Oakland Plantation, Towne Centre, Waterfront Park, Town Hall and Wando High School. The CARTA board must continue to evaluate the Mount Pleasant routes for effective performance based on the number of riders and fare box collections. If the Mount Pleasant routes do not reach legitimate targets set by the board, they should be modified or terminated. 2. As the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina, our neighborhoods, civic leaders and the business community deserve strong political leadership. Today’s complex communities, like Mount Pleasant, cannot succeed without the guidance of effective mayors who provide a sense of direction and contribute to the smooth functioning of a local government. Mount Pleasant also needs thoughtful, dedicated council members to work with the mayor to establish appropriate policy as well as competent and professional administrators and department managers to carry out those policies. Our current council-administrator form of government encourages neighborhood input into the political process, diffuses the power of special interests, and eliminates partisan politics from municipal hiring, firing, and contracting decisions. Under a “strong mayor,” political power is concentrated in the mayor, which means that other members of the elected body relinquish some of their policy-making power and
influence. This loss of decision-making power among council members could have a chilling effect on the voices of neighborhoods and town residents. I would support a referendum to gauge the interest of the town in changing our form of government. 3. I am a fiscal conservative who will fight against raising taxes and fees, promote open and accountable government and insist on fiscal responsibility on council and from the town staff. Mount Pleasant’s challenges include protecting the financial health of the town (while continuing to provide excellent core services) in a stagnant and slumping economy, while clearing the way for private businesses to create jobs. We are also faced with decreasing home values and foreclosures. We need to encourage growth of existing Mount Pleasant businesses while at the same time persuading new businesses to locate here. My focus will be to lower the tax burden, streamline regulations, decrease spending and enable a businessfriendly environment for job and business creation, including additional solutions for traffic congestion. We no longer have the revenue growth that we had in the last decade, but the town’s expenses, just like yours at home, are going up. We must prioritize our spending, just like you do at home. We need to let existing business grow, and we need to identify businesses that improve the quality of life for residents and recruit them to locate here. Mount Pleasant’s role in job creation is to provide a climate in which large and small businesses are able to create jobs. Our quality of life, including excellent public and private schools, well-maintained neighborhoods, an excellent recreation department, and most importantly top notch police and fire protection and public services, is a significant contributor to economic development.
Chris O’Neil 1. I h a v e ridden CARTA on a few occasions. I have always seen one of CAR-
TA’s biggest issues in Mount Pleasant as lack of awareness on where the routes pick-up, where they drop-off and the frequency in which they run. I think more advertising and marketing needs to be done to help inform Mount Pleasant residents of the CARTA option. Residents just need to be made more aware of the options that CARTA provides. 2. I think the current form of government is effective. Decisions are made from a majority of individuals elected by the people, rather than by one singular individual. I believe the town benefits from the collective wisdom of the eight council members and the mayor. Now, I do think that the Town of Mount Pleasant needs a full-time mayor. As the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina, Mount Pleasant needs a mayor that is committed to the town in a full-time capacity. Being mayor is a job that requires a lot of time and attention to the citizens of Mount Pleasant. It is not a part-time to job to be mayor of Mount Pleasant. 3. The Town of Mount Pleasant has suffered from decreased in revenue while the expenses of operating town government have increased. This is a result of people making less money so they pay less in income taxes, spending less money so there is less sales and accommodations tax revenue, and the decrease in home values and ownership have decreased property tax revenue. The Town of Mount Pleasant government relied heavily on funding from growth for many years. Due to the current economic environment less people are moving to Mount Pleasant, and even fewer are building. Businesses are making less money and hiring fewer people. This has put the town in a position where it has to change and adapt how it spends taxpayer dollars. The cost of purchasing everyday items has increased while wages have decreased. Gas is more expensive. Groceries are more expensive. Healthcare costs have risen. People in Mount Pleasant are being forced to do more with less. Our town council will be forced to do the same. If I am fortunate enough to serve Mount Pleasant as a council member I have unique skills as a Certified Public Accountant to address these issues. I have been help-
Contact the candidates Mount Pleasant candidates •Nick A Collins Jr Town Council 327 Wild Horse Ln 843.884.1538 Ncollins56@yahoo. com •Susan I Mellichamp Water & Sewer Commission 1456 Allen Street 843.884.2384 susanmell@bellsouth. net •George A Freeman Town Council PO Box 455 843.324.5757 Votegeorge2011@ yahoo.com •William T Mikell Town Council 1119 Talisman Rd 843.881.1214 firstname.lastname@example.org •Kenneth Glasson Town Council 3471 Claremont St 843.224.2599 kglasson@hotmail. com •Thomasena StokesMarshall Town Council 481 Lillie & Rebecca CYAN-AOOO
Ln. 843.856.9732 Tsm111@comcast.net •Joseph M. Bustos Jr. Town Council 649 King Street 843.822.6363 votebustos@yahoo. com •Christopher W. Nickels Town Council 136 Cooper River Dr. 843.224.2406 email@example.com •Christopher O’Neal Town Council 3383 Linder Ln. 843.991.2524 coneal@moodycpas. com •Mark Smith Town Council 2716 Canebrake Ln. 843.856.4128 mark@votemarksmith. com
annebauer@comcast. net •Ryan Buckhannon (incumbent) 886-4016 firstname.lastname@example.org •Jimmy Carroll 886-9600 jimmy@jimmycarroll. com •Brian Duffy (incumbent) 886-3171 Brianduffy3@comcast. net •Michael Loftus (incumbent) 886-4714 email@example.com •Ralph Piening (incumbent) 886-3582 firstname.lastname@example.org •Jimmy Ward 886-6218 crabpotplayer@aol. com
IOP candidates •Nick Stroud Water Commission 886-3174 email@example.com •Anne Bauer City Council 860-1653
•Joseph L. Debney Election Commission - Executive Director jdebney@ charlestoncounty.org 745-2277 (o) 261-3883 (c) 974-6419 (f)
ing and advising my business and personal clients on these problems since the financial crisis hit in 2007, and we are preparing in case there is another crisis. On town council I will help us diversify and grow our tax base. We cannot increase taxes on individuals in a financial crisis, and we cannot increase fees on struggling businesses. We need to promote the business opportunities that are here and help our existing small business grow. As a council member I will work to help our town do more with less. We have to get more efficient. We need to make sure we spend our tax dollars wisely and efficiently with an eye to the future. Town council does not currently have an accountant or CPA carefully watching spending and making sure that the town is ready for any future financial crisis. I am running for a seat on town council because I believe in these difficult financial times that I bring a skill set that Mount Pleasant needs. As a CPA I work every day to make sure my clients pay as little tax as the law requires so they can keep more of the money they work hard to earn. That is what I will do on town council.
Mark Smith 1. I h a v e enjoyed riding on the CARTA bus system. On one of my recent rides, I met Mrs. Jean Johnson who was driving the #401 route bus. Mr. Johnson, who grew up on Young’s Island, has seen many changes (some good and some bad) during her 20 year career driving for CARTA. I enjoyed visiting with her and several commuter riders who were
traveling between downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant for work. My recent experience on the CARTA system was both enjoyable and efficient. The CARTA Bus system is a hidden gem here in the Town of Mount Pleasant. System wide improvements and several new routes have led to increased ridership each year. For example, the #40 route saw a 16% ridership increase over the past year (May 2010 – May 2011). One of examples of CARTA success is helping to relieve some of the congestion on our main thoroughfares during the rush hour time frame. We need to be mindful of the Town of Mount Pleasant’s limited resource but at the same time we should continue to encourage CARTA to excel and thus raise its ridership. 2. I would support a public referendum to allow the voters to decide whether the Town of Mount Pleasant should move to a Strong Mayor-Council form of city government. The time is right for this referendum. In fact, in South Carolina, the Strong MayorCouncil is the most popular form of local government with over 60% of our localities adopting this form of government. A strong mayor system would provide for a full-time mayor who oversees city operations, employment and budgets. As the 4th largest municipality in South Carolina (1. Columbia, 2. Charleston, 3. North Charleston and 4. Mount Pleasant) the time is right to pursue a public vote so that the voters can decide on the future structure of our town’s government. 3. As the next Council Member for the Town of Mount Pleasant, I will be a strong leader in planting the sign “Mount Pleasant is open for Business.” To attract new business to our community,
the first thing we must do is establish a business-friendly environment for all businesses (big and small). This means low taxes, less regulation, a balanced budget, a pro-business labor environment, a stable real estate market, health care and a highly educated workforce. I will support and push economic policies that let the free market flourish. The next Mount Pleasant Town Council must create a strong and sustainable economic plan for our town’s future. For example, the current employee retirement health care entitlement is roughly 11 percent (and growing) of the Town of Mount Pleasant’s overall health care spending. Without systematic reforms to the entitlement plan for the future employees, the Town of Mount Pleasant could be crippled and unable to fund key critical services. The next Town Council must also stay focused on helping the key critical core services succeed (police, fire protection and sanitation). But most importantly, the next Town Council must remain focused on creating a pro-small business environment and a pro-family environment. As a member of the Mount Pleasant Town Council I will bring small business leadership to the debates. I am a small business owner and every day I face the same issue: constantly looking at the company’s bottom line and finding areas to cut expenses so I can meet payroll and pay the bills. If elected to Mount Pleasant Town Council I will bring this small business experience to the debates on Council. As I mentioned previously, the Town of Mount Pleasant faces some serious issues. I commit to be a leader in working to solve these key issues.
10 IMPORTANT REASONS WE SHOULD VOTE FOR
Nick Collins 1. Nick Collins keeps his promises 2. Nick Collins has increased education opportunities for Mt. Pleasant residents. 3. Nick Collins has expanded recreation facilities for Mt. Pleasant residents. 4. Nick Collins practices full and open transparency in government. 5. Nick Collins has worked to improve Mt. Pleasant roads and infrastructure. 6. Nick Collins has fought for Mt. Pleasant’s “fair share” of tax revenue from the state and federal government. 7. Nick Collins led the effort for waterfront access at Shem Creek and Waterfront Park. 8. Nick Collins is dedicated to protecting our existing quality of life and improving our future. 9. Nick Collins is completely committed to Mt. Pleasant Town Council and will not seek a different position during his term in office. 10. Nick Collins places Mt. Pleasant residents and their needs FIRST - not special interests! “It has been one of the great honors of my life to represent you on Town Council and I respectfully ask for your vote in Tuesday’s election so I can continue our tremendous progress.” - Nick Collins
Paid for by Collins for Town Council. 327 Wild Horse Lane, Mt. Pleasant 29464
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 ____________________________ www.moultrienews.com ___________________________________ MOULTRIE NEWS.7C
Isle of Palms City Council: Meet the candidates Each candidate for Isle of Palms City Council was provided with three questions. Each provided a brief but descriptive answer. See the questions and their responses below. 1. The purchase of 3206 Palm Blvd. are you for it or against it? Why? 2. Quality of life has been a big issue in the past, is the community’s quality of life in balance with the other activities in the community? And what needs to change if anything? 3. How do you propose the Isle of Palms should balance its budget?
Anne Bauer 1. The proposal to use greenspace dollars for the purchase of 3206 P a l m w a s unanimously approved by Isle Of Palms City Council and the plan is in motion. I am in favor of using greenspace dollars - no city tax dollars - for the purchase of land on the Isle of Palms. Since there is little available land that meets the “greenspace criteria,” I support this effort. I also support acquisition of the remaining funds required to purchase this land through grants, donations, etc. 2. I believe Isle Of Palms residents’ quality of life is generally in balance given recently passed ordinances limiting ‘mini hotel’ occupancy and formalization of the livability court. However, given the large numbers of visitor on the island for several months of each year, I believe it is critical to continually monitor ‘quality of life’ issues for the residents, anticipate issues and work positively to deal with them. 3. I have reviewed Isle Of Palms budgets for the last few years, have attended the last few council meetings - to include the external auditor review of the budget - and am confident that the Isle Of Palms budget is balanced. In fact, there is a surplus. Naturally I would work to continue keeping a balanced budget.
Ryan Buckhannon 1. This w a s ‘sold’ to council that Greensp a c e funds were only available to purchase property. This is not true. A better use of these funds would be to offset those allowable expenses that are in the city’s current budget. An example would be the budgeted dune walkovers. We don’t know if we will ever have enough money to purchase this property, so let’s offset our budget expenses now and pass the savings on to the taxpayers. 2. The quality of life for our residents is first and foremost. That is why the city took the initiative five years ago to develop the Livability Court. This has helped alleviate problems associated with rentals, to improve the quality of life for year round residents and maintain that balance. Continued enforcement of our current ordinances allows us to keep things in check. We need to be diligent about enforcing these laws to maintain the balance between our residents and visitors. Those on council may think that supporting and voting for an ordinance that allows tearing down dunes in a residential neighborhood to put in commercial parking lots for day trippers is a type of balance. I was the only one on council to disagree. What needs to change is the way that these knee jerk ideas get fast tracked into ordinances without public input. I will continue to work with the residents’ best interest in mind to improve this island’s
quality of life. 3. The same way I do at my house and in my business.’ Expenditures should be equal or less than revenues. The city is in good financial shape, mainly because we have a revenue source that many communities throughout the state do not have the opportunity to receive. Our Accommodations Tax funds helps the city to balance its budget. But recently the city has had dip into the Accomodations Tax reserves in order to balance the budget. That is one reason that I did not support this budget. If those on council who supported this type of “balanced budget” make it a habit of dipping into savings to meet the city’s expenditures, eventually the savings are gone and another revenue source will have to be applied, usually through a tax hike. Unnecessary spending will go far in achieving a true balanced budget. Recently, Patriots Point requested $10,000 for a study to improve their facilities, this city council awarded them $15,000. I did not support this expenditure because I felt the Isle of Palms residents’ tax dollars could be better utilized in their own city. Some of those seeking re-election thought it was a great use of tax dollars. This type of spending needs to stop.
Jimmy Carroll 1. The p u r chase of 3206 P a l m Boulevard to be used as a passive park is the most ludicrous idea I’ve ever heard. Palm Boulevard is already over run with parking problems which is growing worse every year. The residents who live along Palm Blvd. are up in arms. They used to take care of the right of ways, but now they have been turned into sand pits. Traffic along Palm Boulevard has turned into a ever slow procession of cars looking for a space to park. People dart in and out between traffic. The city has attempted several solutions, cross walks and a painted white line along Palm Boulevard, four feet off the side to move cars away from traffic, but those are not enough. Palm Boulevard has become a parking lot and those who live on the northeastern side of the island have a long slow drive to get home. Not to mention, what happens in emergencies. In fact, someone is going to get hurt crossing the road and not being seen. I would hate to think we promoted that. Plus the economics of this purchase. I’m told it is not Isle of Palms tax payers money, but it is. Every time we go to the pumps, we are paying. It is a tax. Plus, we will be taking this lot off the tax books, right now, it generates $19,884 in tax revenue as a lot. Not to mention its annual upkeep as a passive park, liability insurance, it would become an attractive nuisance for people to hang out on. I am all for “green space” but this is not the right location. It is my understanding that we can use these monies to improve other beach accesses, we could buy another lot elsewhere that would not cause traffic jams. This decision was a knee jerk reaction to one person’s suggestion. Put this out for a public referendum. I’d go along with what the residents want. 2. The quality of life on the Isle of Palms is fantastic. I’m the only person running for council or sitting on council who actually grew up here. The Isle of Palms has always been a tourist destination. As a kid, the population swelled during the summer months and it died during the winter months. We used to have parties about getting our island back after the summer months. The Isle of Palms took steps several years ago to stop the commercial use of homes for weddings, receptions, parties and such. I was all for that. Any new rental
home built is limited to 12 guests, any existing rental home is grand-fathered in. (I’m not sure that was all that great an idea, but I have no desire to change any law that the city enacted based on what the residents want). We have noise ordinances and a livability officer who patrols for such infractions. The rental companies have done a great job in promoting family oriented vacations. If one looks at the police reports, our problems are not rental homes. Our biggest quality of life problems are with those who come to our beach for the day, cause parking problems, cause traffic problems, leave their trash, disrobe in public, are disrespectful to property owners and more, plus, they don’t spend a dime out here. Yes, these problems swell during the summer months, but otherwise, it’s over. I understand people wanting to come to our beaches, they are the best around, seven miles of wide sandy gently sloping beaches, plus, they are the easiest to get to. I also feel the beaches are for everyone, but not at the expense of those who live here and pay taxes. We need to find a way to provide and control parking, and to steer the bulk of the day trippers to the front beach area where we have parking, restrooms, restaurants, lifeguards and emergency response units. We bought over five acres in 1987 to be used for parking, of which we used a portion for our fire/ police department. Maybe we can look into Charleston County helping out with the Charleston County residents who use our island. They could run a shuttle from the public parking around the island. They offered to buy some of our land for a parking garage, but we turned them down. Maybe we could see if that is still a possibility. We could look into annual beach parking passes for the residential areas. There are lots of great ideas out there, but our current majority on city council wanted to build parking nodes along Ocean Boulevard between homes. They didn’t even talk to the surrounding residents. Destroying sand dunes to build parking lots was as stupid as buying the Palm Boulevard lot to be used as a “passive park.” Our quality of life is great, I choose to raise my three sons here so they could do the same things I did growing up. There are no longer woods to play in, but if there were, we’d still have just 300 residents and nothing else.
Change happens, the Isle of Palms has done a great job in keeping us from becoming a Myrtle Beach. Our services are unsurpassed, our recreation center is for all ages. We have 56 beach accesses from Breach Inlet to 57th Avenue We have two boat ramps to our interior waterways. Like my parents, this is where I plan to live out my life. 3. The Isle of Palms budget is balanced due to one reason - the make-up of owner occupied homes verses non owner homes. It is roughly 1/3 owner occupied paying four percent in property taxes, 1/3 non owner occupied, who don’t rent, yet pay six percent in taxes, and the last 1/3 non owner occupied who rent, pay six percent in taxes. Plus bring in additional room accommodations tax revenue. The bulk of the island’s revenue is due to non owner occupied homes. They subsidize our lifestyle. If we have a higher percentage of owner occupied homes, our taxes will go up. If we have another Hugo, and we lose rental income for a few years, we will be in trouble. Our room accommodations income will stop until we recover, yet our expenses will continue. We need to prepare for such events, we need to keep our cost down, and have budgets for extended emergency events like a hurricane.
Brian Duffy 1. The r e s i dents are for it. According to the Greenbelt Advisory Committee this is a good project. The Isle of Palms residents overwhelmingly voted for the funding of greenbelt projects and I listen to the residents. 2. Quality of life is and will always be an issue. The Isle of Palms is made up of many, many neighborhoods. Each has its own needs and issues some of which translate to the island as a whole and others that remain specific to a neighborhood. The important thing is to stay alert and keep listening to the residents. 3. The budget is balanced. I will continue to scrutinize every line item and monitor all expenditures closely and ensure that all revenue streams are used appropriately and will not send any
monies back to Columbia
Michael Loftus 1. I voted to move forward w i t h the plan to use green space funds to purchase the lot on Palm Boulevard to become a natural park. This was the first opportunity where a landowner was open to selling property that would meet the very strict guidelines set by the county on how we can use green space funds. There has been a lot of misinformation being deliberately circulated about this scenario. Let me set the record straight this property will be left in a natural state for all to enjoy. There will be no parking on this property and no island tax dollars will be used to fund the purchase. These funds are our island’s share of the green space dollar created by the half-cent sales tax and I believe these funds should benefit the island as opposed to going elsewhere in Charleston County. There is no other property on the Isle of Palms that has the ocean view setting and truly remains in its natural state. I’m sure other candidates would like to see another mini-hotel on this space, but I think most residents would prefer a natural park. 2. As we drive over the Isle of Palms Connector and see the ocean, how can island residents not be pleased? We live on a beautiful barrier island, but we need to be proactive too - among other things, protect that view. I have worked diligently on council to help maintain that fragile balance that exists between residents and visitors. The island has always welcomed tourists but we need to be careful not to get our priorities out of balance. We need a city council that remains tuned into island residents as opposed to the financial interests of real estate developers and outside investors. Voters need to be sure that the right people are on the Isle of Palms City Council, so the residential quality of life continues. I don’t think we need to focus on increasing tourism and I do think we have an opportunity to focus on parking and other elements that tax the island’s infrastructure.
3. We have received the highest audit rating possible for a municipality by an accredited CPA firm using standard GASB municipal accounting procedures. I think residents want confirmation that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and that they continue to receive excellent city services. I took office in 2008 and since then we have only raised our general fund expenditures by 5.9 percent. Between 2001 and 2008, those same general fund expenditures increased by 74.8 percent. During the last four years, we closely examined each department’s budget and expenses and found ways to cut back and apply best practices in fiscal management. I’m proud of the fact that the Isle of Palms was able to be financially stable and responsive to our residents during the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes.
Ralph Peining 1. I am absolutely for it. This is a beautiful parcel of land that can be kept in its natural state for perpetuity. It will not be a park and it will not be a parking lot. Where else on the island can you sit with a picnic lunch under a shade tree and watch the ocean without being on private property? Other monies are available for repairing and developing walkovers. Finally, no city money will be spent on this project. Let’s preserve a small piece of the island that reminds us what the Isle Of Palms was like 100 years ago. 2. The city is finally in balance and this was long overdue. Council is no longer controlled by the developers and investors, rather, residents’ interests are put first. I believe we should be a residential island that welcomes visitors and not vice versa. If anything were to change, I would like to see even more full time residents. I would love to have the Isle Of Palms full of kids year round. Now that would be paradise. 3. This question suggests the budget is not balanced. Nothing could be further from the truth.
See Candidates, page 8C
8C.MOULTRIE NEWS ___________________________________ www.moultrienews.com ____________________________ Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Isle of Palms: Meet the candidates Continued from page 7C
heads do a fantastic job of keeping our expenses down and our budget balanced. In Ralph Peining fact, we are projected to close Our city finances are in out fiscal year 2011 with a excellent shape and I have $571,000 surplus. proof of this. We are audited every year by an outside accounting firm that special- Jimmy Ward izes in municipal audits, 1. Supporters of this lot Greene Finney & Horton, purchase are touting that the and they have given us the lot will be turned into a pashighest marks my four years sive park. We already have on council. a huge passive park on the Our city administrator, our island. CPA and our department It is called the beach. I am
against using any Isle of Palms tax doll a r s (Municipal Accommodations, Hospitality or State Accommodations tax included) to purchase this lot. If private citizens would like to form a group to purchase, maintain, pay taxes
and insurance on this residential lot, that’s fine with me. The city already owns two residential lots behind the public works department (purchased in 2006 with 1,000,000 taxpayer dollars) that need to be utilized. 2. Protecting our current zoning laws is critical to maintaining our quality of life. We simply can not entertain any suggestions to changing residential neighborhoods into commercial
use. The current city council proposed construction of commercial parking lots in the residential neighborhoods on Ocean Boulevard this past summer. That proposal was a huge mistake. 3. The city council must stop authorizing spending more money than it has current revenues. I am very alarmed at the major reductions in some fund balances since June
30, 2010 . The city’s disaster preparedness fund balance is woefully inadequate. I would like to see the city continue to work on improving its “AA” credit rating by Standard & Poor’s by paying down its over $16,000,000 long term debt and reducing expenses. The city of Charleston, Charleston County, Greenville and even the state of South Carolina all have “AAA” credit ratings. We should strive to attain this goal.
East Cooper polling locations •Mt Pleasant 01 - 301 - Alhambra Hall - 131 Middle St - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 856-2166 •Mt Pleasant 02 - 302 - Mt P Municipal Complex - 100 Ann Edwards Ln - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 856-2174 •Mt Pleasant 03 - 303 - Mt P National Guard Armory - 245 Mathis Ferry Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-2831 •Mt Pleasant 04 - 304 - Mt P Municipal Complex - 100 Ann Edwards Ln - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 856-2174 •Mt Pleasant 05 - 305 - Mt P Municipal Complex - 100 Ann Edwards Ln - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 856-2174 •Mt Pleasant 06 - 306 - Hibben United Methodist Church - 690 Coleman Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-9761 •Mt Pleasant 07 - 307 - Hibben United Methodist Church - 690 Coleman Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-9761 •Mt Pleasant 08 - 308 - Moultrie Middle School - 645 Coleman Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 849-2819 •Mt Pleasant 09 - 309 - Moultrie Middle School - 645 Coleman
Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 849-2819 •Mt Pleasant 10 - 310 - Whitesides Elementary - 1565 Rifle Range Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-9626 •Mt Pleasant 11 - 311 - Whitesides Elementary - 1565 Rifle Range Rd Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8492838 •Mt Pleasant 12 - 312 - Whitesides Elementary - 1565 Rifle Range Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8492838 •Mt Pleasant 13 - 313 - The Palms Of Mt Pleasant - 937 Bowman Rd Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8846949 •Mt Pleasant 14 - 314 - Sweetgrass Village - 601 Mathis Ferry Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 881-9809 •Mt Pleasant 15 - 315 - Mt P National Guard Armory - 245 Mathis Ferry Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-2831 •Mt Pleasant 16 - 316 - Mt P National Guard Armory - 245 Mathis Ferry Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-2831 •Mt Pleasant 17 - 317 - Seacoast Church 750 Long Point Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 881-2100 •Mt Pleasant 18 - 318 - Trident
Academy - 1455 Wakendaw Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8847046 •Mt Pleasant 19 - 319 - Trident Academy - 1455 Wakendaw Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8847046 •Mt Pleasant 20 - 320 - Mt P Waterworks - 1619 Rifle Range Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8849626 •Mt Pleasant 21 - 321 - Mt P Waterworks - 1619 Rifle Range Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8849626 •Mt Pleasant 22 - 322 - Christ Episcopal Church - 2304 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 884-9090 •Mt Pleasant 23 - 323 - Christ Episcopal Church - 2304 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 884-9090 •Mt Pleasant 24 - 324 - Christ Episcopal Church - 2304 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 884-9090 •Mt Pleasant 25 - 325 - Seacoast Church 750 Long Point Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 881-2100 •Mt Pleasant 26 - 326 - Jones Recreation Center - 391 Egypt Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 849-
2528 •Mt Pleasant 27 - 327 - Belle Hall Elementary - 385 Egypt Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 849-2841 •Mt Pleasant 28 - 328 - Jones Recreation Center - 391 Egypt Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8492528 •Mt Pleasant 29 - 329 - Jones Recreation Center - 391 Egypt Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 8492528 •Mt Pleasant 30 - 330 - Brickyard Community Center - 1100 Brickyard Pkwy - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 452-3882 •Mt Pleasant 31 - 331 - Greater Goodwill AME Church - 2818 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-0903 •Mt Pleasant 32 - 332 - Greater Goodwill AME Church - 2818 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-0903 •Mt Pleasant 33 - 333 - Thomas C. Cario - 3500 Thomas Cario Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 8564595 •Mt Pleasant 34 - 334 - Greater Goodwill AME Church - 2818 N Highway 17 - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 - 884-0903 •Mt Pleasant 35 - 335 - Park West
Rec Complex - 1251 Park West Blvd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 •Mt Pleasant 36 - 336 - Jennie Moore Elementary - 1256 Hamlin Rd - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 8492815 •Mt Pleasant 37 - 337 - Hamlin Plantation Comm Bldg - 100 Amenity Park Dr - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 216-6891 •Mt Pleasant 38 - 338 - Wando High - 1000 Warrior Way - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 849-2830 •Mt Pleasant 39 - 339 - Wando High - 1000 Warrior Way - Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 - 849-2830 •Isle Of Palms 1A - 10 - Isle Of Palms City Hall - 1207 Palm Blvd Isle Of Palms, SC 29451 - 8866428 •Isle Of Palms 1B - 11 - Isle Of Palms Recreation - 24 28th Ave - Isle Of Palms, SC 29451 - 8868294 •Isle Of Palms 1C - 12 - Isle Of Palms Recreation - 24 28th Ave - Isle Of Palms, SC 29451 - 8868294 •Sullivans Island - 32 - Sunrise Presbyterian Church - 3222 Middle St - Sullivans Island, SC - 8833888
Voting on Electronic voting - fast facts for the iVotronic Voting System County has elections. In accordance with HAVA, and secure. battery backup. election longCharleston relied on electronic vot- the iVotronic unit requires The new iVotronic is even The audio-ballot will allow Therefore, no votes will ing to provide free and fair each voter to review his/her visually impaired voters to be lost even in the event of more user friendly, secure, day elections. ballot before casting their cast their vote without as- a power outage. A compre- and efficient than previous
•ID required (1 of the following) •Current and valid S.C. drivers license •Current and valid photo ID issued by S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles •Voter Registration certicate that has been signed
The new iVotronic is even more user friendly, secure, and efficient than previous systems. Precinct specific ballots are burned on the Master PEB (Personal Electronic Ballot) for each precinct prior to each election using a dedicated computer at the Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office. The iVotronic unit and the dedicated computer are never connected to the internet or outside/Charleston County computer network. Each iVotronic Voting Terminal is a completely standalone unit.
vote. Every voter will be able to make sure that his or her ballot is correct before they press the “Vote” button to cast their vote. The iVotronic unit is interactive. If a voter neglects to vote in every race, the iVotronic alerts the voter. However, South Carolina does not require that you vote on every race on the ballot. In addition, voters cannot select too many candidates in any race (overvote), allowing voters to make sure their ballot is counted. Your vote is anonymous
sistance, providing a level of secrecy and anonymity previously unavailable. When you press the “Vote” button, your ballot is stored in triple redunant memory within the voting unit and also on a flashcard that can be removed following the election. On Election Night, the votes are collected on the Master PEB and carried to Election Central for accumulation of election results from all precincts within Charleston County. A report is printed and posted on the door of each polling location. Every unit is equipped with
More information: (See a demo at www. scvotes.org or http://vote. charlestoncounty.org) The Board of Elections and Voter Registration of Charleston County 4367 Headquarters Road North Charleston, S.C. 29405 PO Box 71419 North Charleston, S.C. 29415 Phone: 843-744-VOTE (8683) Fax: 843-974-6419
Elect Jimmy Carroll Isle of Palms City Council
Who is Jimmy? • Deep roots, the only candidate or incumbent who is a lifelong resident of the Isle of Palms and whose sons represent a 3rd generation. • A dedicated family man. • A small business owner who became an industry and civic leader. • A truly independent candidate who funded his campaign
•Current and valid photo ID or 1 of the following
Visit www.moultrienews.com for a comprehensive online guide to the Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms election Nov. 8.
•Additional ID may be required if you did not present ID when you registered to vote:
•Current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document – excluding your voter registration card
hensive internal activity log in the iVotronic unit records every transaction made on each iVotronic unit. This log can be used to detect any unauthorized attempts to tamper with the iVotronic system. A detailed report can also be printed that shows each individual ballot cast in random order that could be used in case of a manual recount. The iVotronic Voting System (see demo at www. scvotes.org or http://vote. charlestoncounty.org) Charleston County has long relied on electronic voting to provide free and fair
I believe in and support: • Preserving our dunes instead of using them as parking nodes • Preserving our neighborhoods ahead of creating parking lots for non-residents around the island. Maximize our current commercial parking lot. • Green space; but not through the purchase of an oceanfront residential lot on Palm Blvd to be used as a “Passive Park”. There are other options for the use of these monies. • OPEN GOVERNMENT: No back door decision making.
Listening to our residents to assist Council in open discussions for decision making. • Being conservative with our City budget to plan for the future and not spend every dollar we get. Understanding where our money comes from. “I want to be what government is really all about, a voice for the people… I promise to listen and I will respond.” – Jimmy Carroll
Paid for by Jimmy Carroll, 11 Tabby, Isle of Palms, SC 29451 YELLOW-OOAO
•Hours - 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.