Mayor's Message - November 18, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for in this great country we get to live in and for the piece of paradise we get to call home.  I hope you can spend some time with family and friends and take a moment to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.

Here are nine fun facts about Thanksgiving to share around the dinner table.

  • The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three day harvest festival. It included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted three days.
  • Turkey wasn’t on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish were likely served, alongside pumpkins and cranberries.
  • Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863. Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing letters for 17 years.
  • The history of U.S. presidents pardoning turkeys is patchy. Harry Truman is often credited with being the first president to pardon a turkey, but that’s not quite true. He was the first to receive a ceremonial turkey from the National Turkey Federation – and he had it for dinner. John F. Kennedy was the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go, followed by Richard Nixon who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Bush is the president who formalized the turkey pardoning tradition in 1989.
  • There are four towns in the United States named “Turkey.” They can be found in Arizona, TexasLouisiana, and North Carolina.
  • The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500.
  • Butterball answers more than 100,000 turkey-cooking questions via their Butterball Turkey Hotline each November and December.
  • The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.
  • More than 54 million Americans are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday this year

What’s the Latest?

As I mentioned in an earlier message, we recently held a beach traffic debrief session with several of our partners – SCDOT, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivans Island, Folly Beach, County Parks and Channel 4.  The goal of this meeting was to recap all the pre-season joint efforts and discuss what worked well and what didn’t and what could be improved upon for next season. Mayors, city administrators, police chiefs and senior directors were in attendance. There were a number of takeaways for next year – like starting the social media campaign earlier for the spring break crowds.

One of the more effective efforts this past season was the Channel 4 Beach Information Station: Know Before you Go campaign. The goal was to raise awareness about all things related to beach travel and safety. ABC News 4, Trooper Bob along with mayors and Explore Charleston partnered to produce a series of news stories and messages promoting beach information needed to plan a visit. For Folly Beach, IOP and Sullivans Island, it detailed weather, radar, tides, parking information, parking, beach and pet rules, dynamic traffic maps, traffic cameras, CARTA beach shuttle information and Charleston County Park information for IOP and Folly Beach. Between promotional messages, news messages, and social media posts there were over 11.5 million impressions by local viewers and visitors. A very successful joint effort in trying to reach those visiting our beaches.

We’ve had some lively meetings and public hearings lately with great attendance by our residents.  One thing I’m thankful for is the engagement and passion focused on making our island better. As we all continue to engage and discuss important topics, let’s lead the way in maintaining civility in our dialogues. The Municipal Association of South Carolina recently created the Pillars of Civility which include:

  • Be as eager to listen as to speak.
  • Concentrate on what you have in common, not what separates you.
  • Your time is valuable. So is everyone else’s. Respect it.
  • Act as you would expect someone to act in your home.
  • Ask questions to learn. Answer questions with respect.
  • Concentrate on facts, not theories.
  • Ask “what will persuade people in this room?” not “what will make a great tweet?”
  • Make your case on merits, not on what people want to hear.
  • Make your point about the issue, not the person.

I might add one to this list: Work to build each other up, not tear each other down. We are all facing whatever life throws our way. Bringing some empathy to the table as a default setting is a great way to approach each other.

You can find information for project updates and upcoming meetings on the IOP website (

Upcoming Events

November 25 – no coffee with the mayor this month due to the holiday. Next one is set for December 30 at the Rec Center at 9:00 a.m.

December 3 – Holiday Street Festival – 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Front Beach. Arts and crafts, food vendors, children’s activities, and live entertainment.

December 8 – Coffee with the Chief – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a. m. Join Fire Chief Oliverius at Station 1, Public Safety Building Training Room at 30 J C Long Blvd.

December 20 – Santa’s Cookie Workshop – 2:00 p.m. at the Rec Center.

 Thank you for the opportunity to serve!  See you around the island.

Phillip Pounds, Mayor IOP