MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Grassroots group Mt. Pleasant United delivered a petition containing nearly ten thousand signatures to Mt. Pleasant Town Hall Monday in hopes of letting voters decide whether the town should change to single-member district elections.
Currently, the town's eight council members are elected "at large," where candidates compete for empty at-large seats without geographic boundaries. The petition would put a question on the November ballot asking Mt. Pleasant voters to weigh whether they want to convert from at large to single-member districts. With single member districts, Mt Pleasant could be divided into geographic districts with each town council member representing a single district or area.
According to Mary Beatty, who spearheaded the petition efforts, single member districts would ensure more equal representation across the town. "The
people have spoken in a clear, unified voice that we deserve the chance to consider and reform the way we elect our representatives," Mary Beatty said in a press release.
Former Mt. Pleasant Councilwoman Thomasena Stokes-Marshall also joined the group in delivering the petition Monday. "Today is an example of grassroots democracy in action. It is a reminder to our elected officials that power lies with the people, not politicians or special interests," Stokes-Marshall said.
Yet, some Mt. Pleasant residents oppose the proposed change.
"I feel it's a solution in search of a problem," resident Barry Wolff said. "We had a spirited election in 2015, and it didn't seem to be an issue then."
The town is moving out to 17...you could end up with a situation now where they think there is unbalanced representation now, but as the population moves out 17, you could very well find the situation reversed," Wolff said."