Mayor's Message - January 13, 2023
January 13, 2023
Happy New Year! I hope this year is a healthy and happy one for you and your family.
Your City Council is off and running for 2023. January will be a busy month with our first meeting having occurred on the 3rd, 2 short term rental Council workshops on the 9th and 23rd, regular workshop meeting on the 10th, regular Council meeting on the 24th. Citizen’s comments will be on the agenda for all these meetings so please sign up to speak by 3:00 p.m. the day before the meetings.
Our staff recently completed a slide deck detailing our 2022 Accomplishments. It can be found at iop.net on the home page. It was a busy year with great progress on numerous projects and initiatives. Many of these projects detailed will be completed in 2023 with another slate scheduled to begin construction this year.
Use the city website, iop.net, to keep updated for any projects happening or other communications from your city. It is the best place to stay engaged. I would also suggest following on social media the city and our recreation, fire and police departments. They all provide timely information about traffic or other things happening on the island. To further enhance our communications efforts to our residents, early this year we will be hiring a new communications position in collaboration with the Charleston Visitors Bureau. This new staff position will also be looking at technology solutions to make receiving updates easier for our residents.
To our residents, thank you for attending the sessions we held throughout the past year and providing input and suggestions and for your continued engagement in making our island better. Your attendance and emails and other communications with Council are critical as we try to make sure our decisions are focused on what you want and not how we may personally want things to turn out. Many of you, about 160, have attended the coffees that have been scheduled throughout the year or others have dropped in during office hours and shared your thoughts – thank you! I would ask you to continue to focus on finding our common ground and building each other up. Your Council are your neighbors and friends trying to do their best in essentially a volunteer role – there is no playbook for how to be a good mayor or councilmember so for all of us patience is key.
I have been so pleased to see that no matter our differences in values or opinions, we all want what’s best for our City. We love it, we want to protect it and we are in a position to do that. We might disagree on an approach or strategy to get there, but we have time and time again had meaningful and respectful discussions when it comes to issues facing us on the island. We will continue to create public hearings and other opportunities – office hours, coffees, one on one meetings – for residents to weigh in on an issue or project or to just chat. I hope you will take the opportunity to get to know your elected officials as we all try to determine what’s best for our piece of paradise!
I think perspective is so important – generally in life and especially when dealing with the issues facing our city. I have the privilege of meeting quarterly with other mayors around our state. I hear the struggles they have – ensuring clean water for their residents, trying to entice a grocery store to their town so residents don’t have to drive 45+ minutes to the closest one, trying to get a restaurant to open in their business district…. It makes me grateful for the issues that we face. While things may not move as fast in municipal government as any of us would like them to, it’s important we maintain perspective and keep things moving at an acceptable pace.
I saw this 2023 comment recently – everybody will be wrong about something, myself included. Stay humble, flexible, open minded but with a razor-sharp focus and minimize distractions/noise. Good advice to enter the new year with.
- January 9 and 23 – City Council Workshop sessions to discuss short term rentals 6:00 p.m.
- January 10 – City Council workshop 5:00 p.m.
- January 24 – regular City Council meeting 6:00 p.m.
- January 27 – Coffee with the Mayor – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at Acme 31 J. C. Long Blvd
Thank you for the opportunity to serve! See you around the island.
Phillip Pounds, Mayor IOP