LIST OF ISSUES
After 12 years of improvements focused on the peninsula and now West Ashley, I believe it is past time that City Council turns its collective eye to James Island. Our beloved sea island needs investment in time, energy and money to prepare it for the next generation of residents and also protect its vulnerable and unique environment and neighborhoods.
I believe that District 12 needs a fresh perspective. The truth is that our Island is not better off in terms of livability and quality of life than we were 12 years ago. In fact, it's still getting worse daily. My strengths lie in my experience as a nonprofit professional who has sought the protection of natural resources, and I have seen what works and what doesn’t. I believe James Islanders deserve a councilwoman who is able to bring new ideas and a unique perspective to governing and I will be that proactive voice fighting for our collective quality of life.
I welcome the temporary moratorium on new development on our island. James Island as a whole needs a comprehensive master plan collaboratively delivered by City, Town and County as the Mayor has proposed.
We are on that track with the Folly Road Overlay Zone that will I champion for City Council adoption in November, but it should not have been deferred at the last meeting without objection, we have been waiting too long. I believe we need to take a hard look at all our zoning regulations to make sure we are not putting more high-density apartments or infill subdivisions in already crowded areas. We need to be smart about all projected impacts as we manage and control growth, not in the piecemeal strategy that current unplanned zoning uses has inflicted on our Island. We need to make sure that we are supporting any new project or redevelopment in a responsible way and not harming our residents’ quality of life.
I believe we need to prevent any more land infill in our neighborhoods or developments until we are able to determine what effect it will have on our environment. Our manipulation of the James Island landscape has aggravated our issues with flooding and drainage, and I want to take educated steps to prevent further damage. I am calling for a comprehensive flood control spending plan, as well as a drainage plan to combat tidal and rain run off flooding.
I support measures that will ensure the smooth flow of traffic, as well as promote alternative ways of travel. I want to see more best practices multi-modal lanes for safer and enjoyable travel around the island. Residents of all ages want to walk or bike to their favorite places. They need the safe travel paths to help them get out of their cars, as they desire. I will work with CARTA to prioritize James Island commuter and beach travel bus routes. I will work with all stakeholders and neighborhoods to ensure that sidewalks and bike paths are well maintained to ensure walkability and safety. By working to improve all modes of transportation, we will help combat pollution and improve our residents’ health and safety.
I advocate for environmental protections of our fragile waterways and marshes. Ellis Creek, or James Island Creek, has seen unprecedented amounts of pollution over the past few years due
to failing septic tanks, yard and pet waste and clogged sewer drains. This poses a harm to swimmers, kayakers, fishermen and all sea life. Ultimately, as marsh areas are damaged, we will debilitate our natural air cleaning estuary. I will work to protect our marshes to shield homeowners and business owners from tidal flooding and storm surge.
Parks & Recreation
I propose that we invest more in our sources of recreation and parks on James Island. For example, the James Island Recreation Center is a great resource for our community, but it could be better. I’m hearing good suggestions that range from minimal operations improvements to more costly capital improvements. I look forward to convening a local group to agree on priorities for the places we love to congregate with friends and families. This island’s beauty is unrivaled. I believe that my experience with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Palmetto Community Land Trust and the Historic Charleston Foundation gives me a unique
perspective and appreciation for the value of collaborating across municipal lines to preserve, expand and enhance James Island’s natural resources.