Mayor-elect Wiley Johnson shares plans for Summerville

VIDEO: Wiley Johnson ousts Bill Collins as Summerville mayor

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A big change in leadership is ahead for the town of Summerville after voters picked Wiley Johnson as Mayor, ousting current mayor Bill Collins.

It's his first time in politics, but former commercial pilot Johnson said he's ready to pilot the town of Summerville. And protect it.

"We need to protect the historic area, specifically," Johnson said. "We need to make sure we do nothing to destroy this nice little gem in the town of Summerville."

Johnson ran on the plan to protect the past and preserve the town's future. For him, that means keeping further high-rise development out of the historic district.

"Downtown high-rises are contra to what we want Summerville to look like. The businesses downtown don't need a high rise next door," Johnson said.

He does want to encourage industry development in Dorchester county.

"High tech, high paying industry in Dorchester County will lower the tax base for most people in Summerville," Johnson said. "I'm hopeful that we can get some spinoff from Boeing and Volvo. Hopefully, we can work with the county on this."
The mayor-elect is also looking at infrastructure and traffic, with hopes to finish the Berlin G. Myers Parkway.

"We need to finish the Berlin G," Johnson said. "We've had windows of opportunity. Hopefully, we're in one right now where we can actually start finishing the Berlin G. sometime next year."

Johnson also said he's planning to give back two thirds of his salary to the town to help pay for a town administrator. He said it's a role the town needs to run efficiently.

"We call ourselves a town, we like to think of ourselves as a town," Johnson said. "We're a city. We've got to act like a city. We've got to be grownup. We've got to run things correctly. We've got to be fair and honest and forthright and transparent."

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