Good Evening, Mt. Pleasant! The last few weeks have been a blur, but fortunately in between a lot of work we were able to celebrate some exciting events. Pictured here are the ribbon cutting of the new Playa Taco restaurant on Coleman Blvd, the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Hudson's Imports, Ringing the bell to open the Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market, and the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce First Responders' Award Ceremony recognizing our fabulous retiring Fire Department Head, Chief Herb Williams.
HIGHWAY 41, NEW TRAFFIC LIGHTS, AND THE MOVEMENT OF SOME TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS
This past Tuesday morning, having heard the President talk about how ridiculous the long studies and delays for needed highways are, I contacted Senator Scott’s office regarding Highway 41. I asked if there was anything that could be done to move our terrible timeline up, including the possibility of going to Washington to meet with anyone who could help make a difference in light of the new attitu...
PLEASE COME TO TOWN COUNCIL THIS EVENING
A strong showing tonight in support of Mount Pleasant Ecofriendly Partners could make a significant difference. Please come to the meeting this evening at 6PM at Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Drive. If you can come a few minutes earlier and sign up to speak briefly (up to 2 minutes), even if just to say you support trying the positive alternative first, it may actually sway the vote. Thank you to everyone who sent emails to Town Council o...
A POSITIVE WAY FORWARD - The Short Version
Last night I posted a lengthy piece about a motion I will propose tomorrow night at the Town Council Meeting at 6PM. The shortened version is that in reviewing the proposed ordinance which is very sweeping in nature and not just a bag ban, I discovered many conflicts, discrepancies, confusing language and potential unintended consequences. My proposal is to launch "Mount Pleasant Ecofriendly Partners," which would start on April 21st..., Earth Day, rather than waiting a full year. it is a collaborative effort between the Town, its residents, and local businesses. If you would like to express support for this notion, please email Town Council today or tomorrow at CouncilCLK@TOMPSC.com. Feel free to cut and paste your comments from Facebook during the last several postings to save time. Many of you have written very thoughtful and intelligent comments, but these will not be heard by enough people if they only remain on Facebook. Also, it looks like people are gearing up for a big showing tomorrow night at the meeting, some mentioning me by name. Anyone who can take the time to come to the meeting to show support for this collaborative effort idea would be much appreciated. It will be at 6PM at Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Drive. If you want to speak you can sign up just before for 2 minutes at the microphone.
A POSITIVE WAY FORWARD – COMMUNITY BUILDING VS. GOVERNMENT BANS & RESTRICTIONS
This coming Tuesday, April 10th, Mt. Pleasant Town Council will have a second reading of the “Ordinance Pertaining to Environmentally Acceptable Packaging and Products.” If this ban is passed that night, it becomes effective one year later. Many residents have expressed support for what is commonly known as the “plastics bag ban,” but when you share more about the broad scope of the ban and the pe...
What a fantastic day this was in Mt. Pleasant! We hosted the 41st Cooper River Bridge Run. I ran in it during the last year on the Silas Pearman Bridge, and the... first year on the Arthur Ravenel. Also had a year where I broke my toe or something and was signed up but had to meekly go pick up my number and not get to run on the old Grace Memorial Bridge. None of those compare to the fun this morning of standing up on the scaffolding over the race and watching 35,000+ people run underneath us. Pictured are some of the highlights.
UPDATE ON ROADS, SIGNS & UPCOMING SECOND READING OF THE "PLASTICS BAN"
Happy Saturday and Easter Weekend, Mt. Pleasant! Before I share the latest news on the topic of the plastics ban, here are a couple quick items that had been brought to my attention earlier:
1. Regarding Bessemer Road and the potholes and cracks between the two Arlington entrances, at my request the Town repaired the potholes. Also, our Town Administrator rode out to take a look at the overall condition o...
THE NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR MUSEUM
The timeliness of the commissioning yesterday of the USS Ralph Johnson is significant, as today, March 25th is National Medal of Honor Day. This is a day set aside to remember those courageous and selfless acts demonstrated in battle by members of the Armed Forces who were and are recipients of the Medal of Honor. It seems fitting, therefore, to speak about the National Medal of Honor Museum, whose home is right here in Mt. Pleasant, South C...
COMMISSIONING OF THE USS RALPH JOHNSON
Good Evening, Mt. Pleasant! Today I had the distinct privilege to attend the commissioning of the USS Ralph Johnson, a new destroyer built to strengthen and enhance our US Naval capabilities. Private First Class Ralph Henry Johnson was born and raised in Charleston, and as a very young Marine serving in Vietnam in 1968, gave his life for his fellow soldiers by throwing his body over a grenade in the foxhole where he and several others we...re standing. PFC Johnson died instantly, and two years later he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Our VA Hospital is named for him, and now this magnificent ship will bear not only his name, but his indomitable spirit as demonstrated through the many men and women who will crew this vessel. It was a tremendous honor to listen to the presentations from various dignitaries including Senator Tim Scott, General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Congressman Mark Sanford, Congressman Tim Rice, and Mrs. Helen Richards, the sister of PFC Ralph Johnson. Tomorrow is National Medal of Honor Day, and it is fitting that this ship would be commissioned today, with this true hero and Medal of Honor recipient as its namesake.
Update on signs, roads, and much more work to be done on the pending ban
Good Evening Mt. Pleasant!
Before I share some updates, I would like to add our family's condolences to the Manigault family's loved ones and friends during this very sad week as they were laid to rest. Our son, Joseph was a classmate of the accused, and he said everyone knew him as he was a talented football player at Wando. It is so tragic to see this terrible loss, and a horrible thing to witness a yo...ung man turn so violent against those who raised him.
Thank you for continuing to provide your input on matters that require attention. Just two weeks ago, Denise from Dunes West let me know there was a historical sign of some kind hidden behind branches on 41 as you approach Joe Rouse Rd (turning toward Bessemer). I requested that our folks take a look, and it turns out this was the Phillips Community welcome sign. Technically, the sign is in Charleston County property and is supposed to be maintained either by the community itself or Charleston County, but I asked our fellows if they could cut back the branches that were blocking its view and clean it up a bit. As you can see below, this turned out very well. Thanks, Denise for your sharp eye and taking the time to let me know!
Another member of our ND community told me we are having trouble with the road between the two entrances of Arlington on Bessemer. The road was resurfaced relatively recently and already is cracking and has several pot holes. As a quick update, I pointed this out right away but the fix will take a bit longer. I will keep y'all posted on that one.
Regarding the proposed ordinance for banning single-use plastic, Styrofoam, etc..., I am sure most of you saw the result of the first reading vote from Tuesday evening's Council meeting. Thank you to everyone who came out and spoke at this meeting. You were all so articulate and well-prepared in your presentations. Despite the 8 - 1 vote with yours truly being the 1 vote against sending the ordinance on to a second reading next month, there is much opportunity for change between now and then. After listening to many comments from business owners, I truly believe the solution to protect our environment and move forward as a community in an ecofriendly manner is to start with a positive, promotional effort. I have met with leaders from other very forward-thinking communities that are having success using this approach, and actually have had problems with negative consequences from outright banning of even just one item, plastic bags. I will be sharing this information with other members of Council in order to come back to the residents of Mt. Pleasant with something that can address this important concern while still respecting the rights of our business owners and choices people make. Stay tuned for more on this subject.
GOOD EVENING, MT. PLEASANT!
Thank you so much for all of your input in the last week. Some have thanked me for encouraging a "Virtual Town Hall," and that's terrific. What I have already been learning from serving on the Council is that too many measures are considered and even passed without a lot of input from the community. While it is true that you elect your representatives to make decisions and policy on your behalf, when it comes to something that affects your lives on... a daily basis I think the policy is made better if many different voices are heard.
Below is a clip from the News 2 segment run this past weekend. Since then I have had meetings with the author of the proposed ordinance, four of the environmental groups supporting it, and emails back and forth with many citizens. I think there is much more homework to be done to find the right solution for our community, one that more people can support. We can get there without it being a sweeping change that negatively impacts many businesses and takes away the choice from consumers.
While we really appreciate the emails from many of you, if you can possibly come to the meeting tomorrow evening at 6PM and sign up to speak for up to 2 minutes, it will resonate much louder than emails. We have received hundreds of emails, mostly in favor of this ban as proposed, which they nearly always refer to as the "plastic bag ban." Thanks again for all your thoughts and concerns on both sides of this issue.
A POSITIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE PROPOSED BAN
Good morning Mt. Pleasant! Thank you so much for the outpouring of comments, discussion, and general airing of concerns and opinions on the pending municipal legislation here in our community. Several people have thanked me for creating a “Virtual Town Hall,” and it seems that is exactly what we have. If you could have seen the crowd in the room during our Economic Development meeting last Monday, you would have witnessed what appear...
GOOD EVENING MT. PLEASANT! HERE IS THE ACTUAL ORDINANCE AS CURRENTLY PROPOSED - MORE THAN A PLASTIC BAG BAN
I would like to point out that my concerns in the Economic Development Committee as quoted in the Post and Courier today were truncated and did not fully explain my real issues regarding this ordinance. The actual ordinance is below. This ban is not just on plastic bags, but all plastics and Styrofoam including but not limited to plastic forks, spoons and knives, plates...
SCHOOL SECURITY AND A POSSIBLE PLASTIC BAG/STYROFOAM/PLASTIC EVERYTHING ORDINANCE
Good Morning Mt. Pleasant! Last evening, I posted the following on Next Door, which in my area reaches 40 neighborhoods with about 9000 followers. This post affects our whole community, and now with the Post and Courier article, here is the whole story, not just soundbites.
Today was Town Council Committee Day. In between all the regular committee meetings (I sit on 5 committees but only 2 met t...
On Friday I attended the Harbor Deepening event for Charleston Harbor, held on the Yorktown. Mayor Will Haynie, Councilman Gary Santos and I represented the Town of Mt. Pleasant. Charleston Harbor will be dredged to 52 feet in depth, the deepest port on the US East Coast. This is highly significant because it means many more companies will consider locating in SC due to access to the ships coming in and out of our harbor. Thank you to Jim Newsome of the SC Ports Authority for his leadership in making this project a reality! Thank you also to the many dignitaries who visited Mt. Pleasant for this event and made this day possible.
HIGHWAY 41 & BESSEMER ROAD UPDATES
Hey Everyone! I’m going to try to keep this brief but wanted to provide a few quick updates. First, there have been a lot of questions about all the random signs popping up on the corners of 41 and the frontage road behind CVS as well as 41 & 17. It turns out that both of these spots are Charleston County property rather than Town of Mt. Pleasant, so our Assistant Town Administrator pursued a request with the County to have them come out and...