Island Vibes Feb 2024

ivisiveness was evident among the nine members that make up Isle of Palms City Council in 2023. After a recent meeting of the minds, there is optimism that that’s no longer the case in 2024. IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds held a oneday council retreat on Jan. 5 at the Post House Inn in Mount Pleasant, in hopes of building more unity and camaraderie to move forward into a new year that looks to have even more pressing issues on the horizon. “Part of the focus was to start us all on the right foot toward this goal,” Pounds said. “And our initial goal was to establish strategic objectives for the next few years and to receive some technical training from the Municipal Association of South Carolina on ethics, effective meetings and council’s role.” 6 NEWS Council retreat aims to mend division among city elect By L. C. Leach III FINDING THE RIGHT INSURANCE FOR ALL ISLAND RESIDENTS Family Owned & Operated COASTAL COVERAGE SPECIALISTS 843.881-4707 Mount Pleasant & Beaufort AUTO • HOMEOWNERS • CONDO • LIFE • WIND & HAIL • COMMERCIAL • FLOOD D Presenting for the Municipal Association was field manager Charlie Barrineau, who provided an overview of best practices for council governments, effective government practices, ethics and matters involving the Freedom of Information Act. Barrineau pointed out that while city and town councils across the state often disagree on how best to handle an issue or resident concern, such open division can lead to decisions that adversely affect entire communities. “For example, Isle of Palms operates on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30 – which means that the city is only five months out from approving a new fiscal budget,” Barrineau continued. “So now is the time to discuss strategies and goals for the upcoming year, so members can begin monetizing those goals and ideas that they will begin working on soon.” Barrineau added that with certain pressing issues still smoldering – such as short-term rental licenses and an island-wide noise ordinance – IOP Council members now more than ever need to adopt a few simple measures including: • Be as eager to listen as to speak. • Concentrate on what you have in common, not what separates you. • Make your point about the issue, not the person. • Make your case on merits, not on what people want to hear. “Isle of Palms is one of 271 towns and cities that we provide orientation and onboarding for elected officials throughout the year,” Barrineau said. “My part of the retreat was primarily aimed at IOP’s two newly-elected members. But it also served as an effective reminder for all current members as well.” New councilwoman Ashley Carroll said afterwards that the retreat put all members in a hopeful spirit. “And if we can keep that attitude going, we can all be successful for what we have to do for the residents of Isle of Palms,” Carroll said. Pounds said that while he too is hopeful for a better 2024, he wants all council members to understand that disagreement doesn’t have to mean division. “In the past two years, we’ve made significant progress on many fronts such as the marina, short-term rentals and regulations for large gatherings on public property, like the beaches,” he added. “Going forward, we certainly won’t agree on each project or issue we will face. But our residents expect us to be prepared, engaged, deliberate the issues constructively and fully and then arrive at the best decisions for our community. And that’s the only agenda that should be driving us all.”