This is an important phase of our city budget. The Ways & Means Committee will be meeting tonight and then again next week just prior to next week’s council. I wish they would not push so fast in this process and allow council proper time to digest. We got this on Friday, the city was closed on Monday and now, push, push, push. To me, it would be more transparent to meet tonight, and tackle it again next month thereby giving council proper time to digest.
IOP Ways and Means Agenda for Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, 5pm (Agenda says the 19th, it is not, it is the 17th)
It is with great excitement, gratitude and anticipation that I am announcing my bid to serve the Isle of Palms residents as their next mayor. When I originally ran for council in 2011, the island was discussing building parking lots on the beachfront along Ocean Blvd; they were wanting to buy an oceanfront lot on Palm Blvd to be used as Green Space. It was ludicrous ideas like these that got me elected. I ran on a 3-prong platform: #1) as a fiscal conservative, #2) as a common sense independent thinker, and lastly, #3) to improve our quality of life. At the time, we had a major parking problem that had been kicked down the road for years; adding more parking pads in a residential neighborhood was not going to help, nor was buying an oceanfront lot going to discourage visitors. It was a contentious race with all kinds of trash being thrown out like this past year’s Presidential Election. However, in the end, those who stood for the well being of our island won. We finally came up with a workable parking plan, and while it is not perfect, it works. It wasn’t that we don’t like day visitors, but with the overwhelming, unlimited growth taking place across Charleston and especially in Mt. Pleasant, the two public beaches could not safely handle the traffic. We installed an app for phones that can be downloaded called SCDOT511 so that one can see how the traffic is on the SCDOT roadways. Now, if we can get Mt. Pleasant to join on board with Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms in installing cameras, maybe we can cut down on the bottlenecks in Mt. Pleasant. It’s actually cheap when compared to the big picture of people being stuck in traffic for hours, or if not worse, accidents. These are all steps in the right direction for our overall quality of life. In a nutshell, if one asked me what my motto would be, it would be to improve our quality of life for our residents, to be prepared for disasters while maintaining the tax base which would give us the best in the services we provide our residents.
Today, we have new problems that are becoming major. We used to have have just erosion at the northwest end of the island, but over the last few years, we have seen a lot of erosion on the southeastern end. Our beaches are our natural resources. We all chose to live on an island because of its remoteness and because of its beautiful beaches. However, tourism is the goose that lays the golden egg for our island; because of vacationers, our taxes are the lowest around compared to other beach communities, including Mt. Pleasant and Charleston. We need to work with the state representatives in protecting this resource. We are supposed to spend so much per year in promoting our beaches, when in fact, I strongly feel we should be spending more on re-nourishing our beaches instead of advertising, and by having healthy beaches, people will come. In the same token, we are spending just about every dollar that comes in, when in fact, we need to save more for emergencies. It’s not a matter of if a hurricane hits, but when. Hurricane Hugo took us almost 5 years to recover from, and today we cannot withstand this kind of impact. We need to be ready. There are many on the island who would love for us to have a world class marina, another gymnasium, and even a swimming pool, but these major ticket items cost money. With big ticket items such as these, I’d want a public referendum on each to see what our tax payers want. I’ll agree with whatever the majority wants, but my goal would to be always let our residents decide. We had referendums to build the bridge, to build the expanded gym, to buy the marina, and to buy the city parking lots; this is the way government should work. As a life long island resident who loves this island, I promise you an open, transparent government which will encourage citizen’s input. Please, if you have questions, feel free to call me anytime on my cell which is 843-452-1200. While I appreciate offers of financial support, I will accept none. However, I do need your personal support and your help in getting others on board. After today, this posting will be on a separate Facebook site: Jimmy Carroll & IOP Today, please like that page to keep up with my postings and upcoming agendas. Thank you for allowing me to have served you over these last 6 years.