Island Vibes April 2024

erhaps the best way to describe the cover of this issue of Island Vibes is to sum it up in one word – community. The plan for this gorgeous spring photo came together one piece at a time. It began with the Isle of Palms Front Beach Fest, where fun times were had, and new friends were made. Among the new friends made at the Island Vibes booth were our adorable cover models, Juniper Jones and Addison Skinner. Both were quick to agree to a midday, rooftop tea party. Juniper and Addison were accompanied by moms Kristina Jones and Erica Skinner. (You might recognize Kristina and her husband, Bret, from their many island business ventures: The Dinghy, IOPizza ,Smuggler’s Island Eats and Rum Shack) and Papi’s Taqueria. Dunes Properties realtor Brandy McMahon suggested to our publisher a lovely rooftop setting overlooking Morgan Creek in Wild Dunes, connecting us with homeowners John and Cindy Marrs at 32 Yacht Harbor Court. It’s for sale by the way. The Marrs were gracious hosts. Their dogs Ellie and Lucy received an invitation to the tea party too. Juniper, Addison, Ellie and Lucy were not only sweet and cooperative with our photographer Tonya McGue, but also perfectly attentive to the many 5 NEWS About the Cover By Laura Fogarty P IOP hires parking service, frees up police for higher-priority calls By L. C. Leach III his summer, Isle of Palms police officers will have more time to patrol the beach for longer periods. As of March 1, the city began a partnership with PCI Municipal Services to manage the city’s parking plan. The partnership is intended to not only keep island parking from becoming a bigger problem, but for the police to focus their attention on other more pressing issues. There are no changes in parking fees, stickers, passes and permits for residents or visitors. “This new measure will allow us to focus on higher priority calls for enforcement, more serious calls for service and for our beach patrol officers to have more of a presence to handle beach violations,” said Sgt. Matt Storen, IOPPD special services and public information officer. “It’s been on the table for the last few seasons between the city and police and it’s a really positive step for us.” For example, a random holiday weekend currently brings in around 65,000 visitors. This translates to approximately 30,000 vehicles, all vying for what has now become a spot T of prime real estate to leave their vehicle for several hours or a day. And during the summer months, the height of the tourist season, the number of vehicles only keeps rising. “With the increase in vacationers and people coming from mainland Charleston, we were spending more time handling traffic and parking issues than enforcing our laws,” Storen said. PCI Municipal Services was chosen for several reasons, a major one being the long-proven experience and approach of its company leaders. Founded in 1974 by Gill Barnett with the concept that “the customer and client come first in every decision we make,” PCI offers full-service parking and transportation that specifically services the unique needs of developers, asset managers and governmental entities, such as Isle of Palms. Clients currently include Folly Beach, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Orange County, California, and Ontario International Airport in Canada. “I can’t think of any place we’ve taken over a parking operation that we haven’t increased the net profit for our customers,” Barnett said. Mayor Phillip Pounds said that another significant reason is the April 2023 beach shootings that left six people injured during a ‘senior skip day.’ Pounds added that while the IOPPCI partnership was already under discussion, the beach shootings “solidified and maybe hastened the decision.” And the last reason concerns vehicle licenses. Throughout the rest of the year, the city will transition to a license plate system to better keep track of people who have paid for parking spaces. Despite only being in place a short time, the new partnership is already showing some early benefits. “It’s freed up our beach patrol and we’ve hired two officers for our spring and summer seasons who would otherwise have handled parking,” Storen added. “So I think it’s going to work out well.” directives given to them. A special thanks to Susie Molony, owner of Southern Belles, for enhancing the aesthetic by providing a beautiful pink dress for Juniper to wear (bottom right).