Charleston's mayoral candidate Stavrinakis: 'Focus on work community needs done.'

VIDEO: Charleston mayoral candidate Stavrinakis: 'Focus on work community needs done.'

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston mayoral candidate Leon Stavrinakis says experience is what will make him Charleston's next mayor.

The former Charleston County Council chairman, state Representative and attorney is one of six other vying for the job.

If elected he plans to tackle a problem everyone faces day in and day out – traffic.

"What a challenge getting around today... terrible," said Stavrinakis as he arrived for lunch at Roadside Seafood on James Island.

Stavrinakis experienced the traffic first-hand Tuesday as the King Tides caused roadways to close and back up traffic in many places.

In many of his ads, the West Ashley homeowner talks about Charleston needing a hands on mayor to get things done.

On the forefront is traffic and transportation.

"I've got to deal with it just like everybody else," he said. "The challenge of being patient, trying to find a way to get to the office, in order to get to work."

Stavrinakis founded his own law firm in downtown Charleston.

He's also a State Representative for District 119, which includes parts of West Ashley James and Johns Islands.

On top of that, he's a husband and father of three.

If elected mayor, he says he will be letting go some of those jobs, specifically the legislative position and law firm.

"Mayor is full time for me," he said. "People should know I'm all in, and I will be 100% committed to my work as mayor of Charleston."

Stavrinakis said because of his background and connections on the local, state and even federal level, he can get things done for the city, especially in regards to traffic and transportation.

"It's going to take a regional approach to dealing with this problem because it's not just a city issue," he said. "Commuters are coming across jurisdictional lines. The growth that Charleston is experiencing isn't just in the City of Charleston. Even if we had a plan just for ourselves it would still have to take into account what's happening in other jurisdictions."

Other issues he's laid out in his comprehensive plan looks at crime, education, the government, economy for the city, and the quality of neighborhoods.

To accomplish those tasks he has to follow in the footsteps of Joe Riley, who has crafted the city of Charleston into what it is today.

"In my view if you try to be Joe Riley, or try not to be Joe Riley, you're going to create problems for yourself," Stavrinakis said. "My view is you come in everyday and you focus on the work that the community needs done."

If elected mayor, Stavrinakis said the first thing he will do is get together with City Council and other local leaders to get a definitive plan for traffic.

He also wants to focus on improving the school system in Charleston and bring it to the level it should be.

The election is next Tuesday, November 3.

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