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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 We are also having to update our public safety radios, the old ones are outdated and will no longer have replacement parts.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, 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, 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.

IOP Special Council Meeting on General Fund positive net results, 10-13-18, 9 AM

November 9, 2018

OK everyone, this is a good thing, yet a bad thing. Good that we have $879,917 in year end net positive money, but bad in that, why are we not budgeting better? This year, we inherited this, but now, it’s time for this council and committees to tighten our belts for you, our residents going into this next year, when it is us who will be setting the upcoming budget. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as your Mayor.

IOP City Council Agenda, Oct. 23, 2018, 6pm

October 18, 2018

Your council is listening. We have revised our parking plan to let the parking booklets to be re-usable. As for the dog tag ordinance, the way it is written, I am not in support of it, so please let your council members know what you think, our job is to represent you, our bosses. You can go to and look under government and click on one button to send an email to all council members letting us know what you think. Don’t forget, our Recreation Department’s “Ghostly Tide Tales” is this Friday night, Oct. 19th, starting at 6:30 on the beach down 25th Ave. Come listen to our local pirate tell stories of local lore. Plus, on October 31st, the ever popular Halloween Carnival is at the Recreation Center on 28th Ave. from 5 to 7pm. It is always fun to see the kids and their parents dress up in their favorite and most creative costumes. Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your mayor, please, if you have suggestions good, bad, or indifferent, I am always ready to set up a time to meet, take a call, my cell is 843-452-1200 or email, Lastly don’t forget this is Cancer Awareness month, luckily, medical advancements are moving forward in finding cures for this horrible disease. If you would like to be notified directly of our city calendar, please sign up to follow my site or go to Thank you all!