Key election day looms on James Island

By Hatzel Vela  bio | email | Twitter

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - James Island voters will head to the polls Tuesday to elect a mayor and four town council seats.

Five candidates are vying for James Island mayor including incumbent Mayor Mary Clark, Brett Johnson, Bill Woolsey, Jonathan Brown and Warren Sloane.

Jonathan Brown didn't spend Monday putting up signs. Instead, he and his wife got on their bicycles and took to the streets because he wanted to deliver the $89 refund check he received from the town.

It is cash that should be used to fix roads and add bike lanes, he said.

"We don't have a balanced budget and yet we're sending these checks out to people. Pretty soon, these checks will arrive with a bill…for our property taxes," Brown said.

To make the point, Brown delivered the check personally to incumbent Mayor Mary Clark.

Brown thinks Clark purposely waited until election time to send out the checks.

Clark called Brown's accusations a "cheap campaign trick."

"When you have little to campaign on, you have to find some sort of issue," Clark said.

Clark said she doesn't decide when the checks go out and added a third of the people won't get checks until after the election.

When asked if she would be campaigning the night before the election, she said there was no need.

Her 14 year record should be speak for itself.

"I've heard that they've knocked on 700 doors, 1000 doors. You think I'm going to get out in this heat and knock on doors. I've already done my work," Clark said, referring the role she played in creating the town.

On Monday afternoon, Bill Woolsey was still knocking on doors and talking to voters.

Most of them want change, said the Citadel economics professor.

"People want to keep their taxes low, protect their services, maintain the independence of the town but then have a town where we get along with our neighbors and we work together to solve problems," Woolsey said.

Warren Sloane helped his father put up signs and spent the day calling possible supporters.

Sloane, a property manager, said the campaign shouldn't be about Clark.

"It's about our plan for the island, our knowledge of the island and what's going on. What kind of issues do we face as a town," Sloane said.

Brett 'Skibo' Johnson said because he is a business owner, he is the perfect guy to take on town issues by following a simply rule.

"I'm going to make a smaller government for James Island. We're going to put a little money away in the bank. We're going to do what's right for the Town of James Island, for the people of James Island," Johnson said.

In the town council race, 10 other candidates will be competing to win four seats.

James Balliet, Leonard Blank, David Engelman, Denny McKeever, Carter McMillan Darren Mullinax, Robin Welch, Bill Wilder, Karen Wilder-Smalls and Parris L are on the ballot.

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