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IOP Ways and Means Agenda, Feb. 19, 2019, 5 pm

February 17, 2019

Thank you for allowing me to serve you as your mayor, and we, me and your council, are doing our best to tackle the issue of having to repair our public safety building and tackling drainage as quickly as we can. We will not know the costs of these issues until we get firm prices on each. We are pursuing any and all avenues of our limited income streams. After all of our budget meetings, we will have a better grasp on this year’s budget and hoping not to have a tax increase in this year’s cycle. However, once we get the firm prices on the public safety building repairs and the cost of improving our drainage, we may have to have a tax increase in future budgets cycles. Believe me, this is the last thing we want to do. I once heard someone say we should give everyone a $1,000 rebate when in reality, we have been walking a tightrope on our financials for years using tourism funds for a balanced budget while not taking care of city assets nor being better prepared for events such as hurricanes. Your council now sees this and is working towards being better prepared. Simple things you, our residents can do, is to make sure your ditches are clear in your yard, and if building or remodeling your home, consider using pervious materials for driveways, sidewalks and swimming pool surrounds, these are all forms of being resilient. Flooding is only going to get worse. Let’s be the community on the cutting edge by becoming more resilient. Thank you.

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IOP City Council Agenda, January 22, 1019, 6 PM

January 21, 2019

First off, Happy New Year to everyone. I thank you for allowing me to serve you as Mayor, and along with your council, we are all working to make our city government transparent. Transparency can sometimes hurt, we have several challenges that we need to address. We all knew drainage was an issue that was growing worse by the year and something that we had to tackle, but we are also faced with investigating the amount of repairs needed at our Public Safety Building on J.C.Long Blvd. which we will be voting on tonight. Mind you, this is just an exploratory investigation, not the repairs. Once we know what the drainage improvements will cost along with the cost of the public safety building repairs, we will then be looking at ways to pay for these costs. Your elected officials are committed to doing the best we can while keeping our costs down for you, our residents.

Isle of Palms Ways and Means Committee Agenda, Tuesday, January 15, at 5 pm

January 12, 2019


As always, thank you for allowing me to be your mayor. I want to make sure everyone realizes that our form of government is not a strong mayor/weak council, but a weak mayor/strong council form. This is one where each of our departmental committees, are made up of 3 council members. Each committee, (personnel, public safety, public works, real property, and recreation) make decisions, that are then brought forth first to our Ways and Means Committee, which includes all council members, for approval and then to city council for final approval. All 8 members of council and the mayor have an equal vote. Several items of notice on this agenda, we have our COLA (Cost of Living Adjustments) and Merit increases, we also have to evaluate the condition of the bulk head at the marina, we need to take care of city assets that are under our control. We are also having to update our public safety radios, the old ones are outdated and will no longer have replacement parts. The last big one is a recommendation to award a contract for the Phase 1 portion of the public safety building remediation. We have a lot of challenges this year, but we have a council that is forward thinking, and one who puts you, our residents first. Hope to see y’all there.

Happy New Year!!! Special Council Meeting appointing Committees, Boards and Commissions January 3, 6pm, 2019

January 3, 2019

Happy New Year Everyone. This past year we worked under the previous council’s budget but going into this new year, we have had a major wake up call with many challenges ahead. While drainage was one of my main objectives and still is, our J. C. Long Blvd Public Safety Building,,that was built only 10 years ago and has been in litigation for over several years, has serious construction defects. The city finally settled our suit receiving about 1.2 million, but the bottom line is that the repairs will end up costing anywhere between 3-5 million on a building that originally cost 6.5 million to build. This, too, is a top priority that has to be done in order to ensure an ideal working environment for our public safety personnel and to prevent the building from further decay. Because of this building’s defects, we had Hill Construction do an evaluation on all city properties and found that we have about another 1.8 million in deferred maintenance. And now that we have a very forward thinking council, we held a budget workshop in December that showed our annual budget is not sustainable. We have lived off tourism dollars for years which we have been depleting, yet we have rising costs with a flat income stream. If we are to maintain our quality of life, we have to create a budget that will take care of city assets (which are your’s), and one that projects way into the future. I compare it to when Wando High School was built; by the time it was completed, it was already too small due to unbridled growth East of the Cooper. Another example is the Ravenel Bridge, which once it was completed, it could not handle the growth in traffic due to reason mentioned just before. Long story short, we will end up having a tax increase. When one looks at our tax millage compared with all the communities around us, we are the lowest, yet offer more in services than most. Sullivan’s Island’s millage is .0509, Mt Pleasant is .04100, Folly Beach is .0369 and the Isle of Palms is .0264. Look at your tax bills and see how much of what you pay actually goes towards the Isle of Palms and then think of all the services you get for that amount. On my home, only $1,161.51 of my total $5,158.60 of taxes went to our city, yet, look at the great police, fire, sanitation, recreation and city assets it pays for. I know this is not a great New Year’s message, but we have to take our heads out of the sand and face reality; we are having more and more flooding events, which not only causes beach erosion, but also creates a flooded island. Please know that with these flooding events, we still have over 1400 homes that are on septic tanks. To put our island totally on sewer, it would be between 45 and 47 million dollars, not counting finance charges. Our first step is to have a drainage system that looks to the future knowing we are having more flooding events every year. Having to maintain our city assets is also s priority. Our personnel expenses that include retirement need to be addressed and planned for. I cannot thank our staff enough for working with council and individual residents who chipped in to help us look beyond just the next year. This council will become the most transparent one ever; these are all challenges, but challenges we can work through. Thank you for allowing me to be your mayor, and please don’t shoot me for making everyone aware of what we are all faced with looking forward.

First Ever IOP Budget Workshop looking into the future, held on December 18th, 2018

December 29, 2018

I want to thank city staff members, Interim City Administrator Desiree Fragaso, Treasurer Debbie Suggs, Ways and Means Chairman Jimmy Ward, Council Member Randy Bell, and city resident Scott Pierce for all working together in looking at the city’s budget, not just for the coming year, but looking into the future and our needs. This is a wakeup call for our residents, this council is all about transparency.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

December 21, 2018

From my family to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very joyous New Year! Thank you for being a friend and I look forward to our new year, and for this island paradise we call home, the Isle of Palms. Like life, we all have challenges, and as a city, we too have some pressing challenges, such as drainage, our public safety building and some other long awaited maintenance, but we are working together in overcoming these challenges. I’m excited about tackling these challenges, we have great city employees, a smart and willing city council who are all in this knowing what we need to do. Enjoy this time with your loved ones, and please always feel free to reach out to me via cell phone, 843-452-1200 or through my city email, jcarroll@iop.net and let me know your concerns and or needs. Thank you for allowing me to be your mayor, and I promise to always strive to do what’s best for our residents and our island. Please remember to follow the city website, http://www.iop.net for our agendas, for past audio recordings of committee meetings and videos of past meetings. And please like us on Facebook through both the city, the police and fire companies. You are our bosses. Cheers!

IOP Ways and Means followed by Council Meeting November 27, 2018, 5pm

November 26, 2018

Sorry everyone, this will be a long night, but it is what it is. Happy Holidays, and please note, we have more King Tides coming just before Christmas, let’s pray that we do not have a northeaster combined with these tides. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as your Mayor.