The new year will just be getting started before efforts will be underway to either create, alter or implement ways to move Isle of Palms forward to a future that is already arriving.
And as the island progresses toward finding a balance between resident life and year-round vacationers, IOP City Council members will be working on several fronts that will not only directly affect the island’s quality of life, but influence factors such as growth, traffic and tourism for decades to come. “We have four council members who have been nominated for appointments to special committees, including myself,” said Mayor Phillip Pounds. “We will hold a special meeting on Jan. 2 to swear in new members and confirm appointments.” If approved, those appointments and their spheres will include:
Katie Miars – Environmental Advisory Committee.
IOP City Council formed this nine-member committee in 2021 to advise council in part on matters regarding ways to pursue energy conservation, help reduce island litter and pollution and protect the island’s environment, endangered species and natural resources.
As people, traffic and artificial light continue to increase across the island, part of Miars’ charge will be engaging with other EAC members and with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources as necessary, to keep wildlife habitats for animals such as sea turtles as much as possible in their natural states.
Jimmy Ward – Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority.
As the state’s largest public transportation provider and ranked as one of the top systems in the Southeast, CARTA operates Charleston’s public transportation system for the entire metro area, with a ridership of more than 4 million annually.
Ward said that encouraging people to use daily bus service to and from the island is crucial to reducing the number of summer beach tourist vehicles.
“I’ve been on the CARTA board now for about six years, and we have installed this Reach the Beach project where we offer free rides on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, just in the summer,” Ward said. “And my goal is to get several thousand people to use this service.”
Phillip Pounds – Explore Charleston.
Explore Charleston markets the greater Charleston area as an overnight destination. Currently, about 7.7 million people visit Charleston each year. EC funding is provided through public and private sources including membership dues, accommodations taxes, programs revenue and matching grants.
“If appointed, my top priorities to accomplish would be to be accountable for funds spent on tourism, and how we can spend more funds specifically for IOP infrastructure or other needs,” Pounds said.
Jan Anderson – Charleston-Berkeley-Dorchester Council of Governments.
CBDCOG is a regional agency whose primary objective is to help local governments develop local and regional plans and provide them with planning and technical support to improve the quality of life in the region.
“Earlier this year we saw the importance of regional coordination when we had a serious incident on front beach,” Anderson said. “Without the assistance of a dozen regional communities, we would not have resolved it successfully. I want to continue to strengthen our bonds with neighboring communities and use the resources of COG to better inform our city council.”
By L. C. Leach III