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IOP City Council Agenda, Tuesday, May 26th, 6 pm

May 23, 2020

Wow, what a wild ride this has been but I cannot thank our city staff and employees for a job over, above and beyond what they thought their jobs were considering the Covid-19. I want to personally thank Charleston County Council Chairman Elliot Summey and Sheriff Al Cannon for helping us when we needed it. They sent out upon our request, extra deputies, 3 ATVs to supplement the ones we have, several portable messaging boards and an EMS stationed on the island for the Memorial Day Weekend. While throughout my life, Memorial Day Weekend, the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends are always busy, this year started off a week earlier due to the Governor’s stay at home mandate expiring, and his opening up the beaches. Yes, we were warned in writing that we could be subject to a lawsuit if we did not open up the public beach accesses, so we did what we had to do. On Friday, May 15th, we had a Zoom meeting with Folly Mayor Tim Goodwin, Sullivan’s Island’s Mayor Pat O’Neil, Chairman Summey to discuss our plans for a media campaign to promote social distancing, obeying parking regulations, and respecting our beaches and communities. Because of the pent up demand to be outside, after two months of forced stay at home, Saturday, May 16th was the most people I have ever seen on the beach, at any time of my 60+ years of living here, including holidays. In all of the city’s 67 years history, we held our first ever Saturday night, 8 pm council meeting with Chairman Summey, and Sheriff Cannon and we sped up what we had planned for the following weekend. They delivered everything we asked for within 12 hours, my hat is off to these leaders. But the blame is not with local leaders or the police, but I place the blame on the unbridled growth across the tri-county to every developer of condos, apartment complexes, and subdivisions, who all say the 3 public beaches are but a few miles away. Our beaches are not growing any larger. We all have limited parking. We cannot handle more people. Because of this, the Isle of Palms passed its first reading of increased parking fines from $50 to $100 and increased parking fees on the weekends from $12 to $15 in our lots and from $2 a hour to $2.50 at the meters. We will have second and final reading of the increased fees on the 29th, which will go into effect immediately. Next year, you will see the Isle of Palms go to paid parking at all public accesses. It’s past time for everyone to help us pay for police, rescue, public works and traffic for the public beaches. I truly wish we could do it by this summer but it is impossible. Just know, your council hears you and is taking fast actions. Thank you, Jimmy Carroll

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