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To review the ordinance regarding mask requirements passed August 27, 2020 Click here. 

Mayor's Greeting- July 2020

Mon, 07/06/2020

Mayor Pat O'Neil

Dear Island Neighbors,


I recently was chatting with lifelong Islander and longtime Island physician George Durst, Jr., and his wife Dawn Durst. Many of you know that Dr. Durst’s father was a highly respected Island physician (and leader of the Township that preceded the incorporation of our present Town), and Dr. Durst Jr. continues a busy practice here with his daughter Dr. Kay Durst and Islander Dr. Rochelle Rutledge.

Dr. George has a very valuable, long and broad expert view of our current Coronavirus pandemic, and he has been generous enough to share it:

There are few of us Islanders left that remember the summer of 1952 when polio swept the Lowcountry. Our world was changed. Isolation was our only protection. In spite of that, two of my island classmates were stricken and left with paralysis below the waist.

In 1954, the Salk vaccine was introduced, changing our world. Vaccines have changed the threat of numerous life threatening infections: smallpox, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, mumps, chicken pox, influenza, shingles etc. We now have the first vaccine against cancer, the HPV vaccine.

Today we face another epidemic with COVID-19, having no vaccine available. What can we do to protect ourselves, family, friends and community? First we must practice the good health recommendations we learned from our parents and school health classes. Wash our hands, use soap, don’t touch our faces. In this epidemic assume everyone is a possible carrier; have as little person-to-person contact as possible; social distance; and wear a mask in public.

Hopefully in the future we will have a vaccine for this deadly virus. Follow the science and advice of the medical experts.

Thank you, Dr. George, for sharing your perspective and expertise. Excellent guidance!


Although many traditional celebrations will be muted or even absent as a result of pandemic concerns, I hope you will take a moment to reflect on the reason for honoring the birth of our nation and the freedoms that has brought for us.

As has been said often recently, America is a work in progress. It has always been a work in progress and hopefully will continue to be, as each of us Americans should try to be as well. We are so fortunate to live in a country that affords the freedoms we enjoy, including the right to have differing opinions from each other.  There were plenty of those in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776, and one could argue that it is because of those differing opinions that our country was set in such a fortunate direction. We just need to find our way to listen to each other in real life in the summer of 2020, and not allow “social” or any other media to narrow and harden our beliefs.


Ok, bad news first. If you’ve not heard, we have had to cancel the annual Independence Day fireworks show at Stith Park. The reason, of course, is you-know-what and the need to avoid close crowds.

The good news: We are planning this year to offer a first-ever Holiday Fireworks Show in conjunction with the annual Holiday Lighting event at the Fire Station and Park, on December 4, 2020. (In other words, the five-month anniversary of July 4th.) We’ll get to have a show much earlier in the evening. Thanks to Munnerlyn Pyrotechnics, who have been very understanding and have promised us a red and green finale!

More good news: We will still have the traditional golf cart parade on JULY 4! Golf carts will depart the Sullivan’s Island Elementary School at 9:00 am. However, to avoid crowding and clustering, it will not be possible to have a decoration contest or post-parade gathering at the Fish Fry Shack. And tell your carts to keep a safe distance apart so they don’t get sick.


Please, please, please: read, learn and follow the State regulations on golf carts. 

Golf carts are not toys. They are regulated by the State and the Town is obligated to enforce State regulations. Among these: The driver of a golf cart on the streets must be at least SIXTEEN years old, have a valid driver’s license of their own and in their possession, along with the vehicle registration (yes, they must be registered with the state) and proof of liability coverage.

In other words: Just like a car.

Those are the rules, folks. We didn’t make them, but we have to enforce them.

And to the comment that golf carts are not toys: Just a few weeks ago, yours truly came upon a golf cart that had completely flipped over while rounding a corner. It was upside down with the front wheels still spinning, with two scuffed, shaken and upset young teenage girls, formerly in it and now alongside it.  This could have ended much more badly.


Even though we can’t have the Town’s (legal) show on the Fourth, all other fireworks are still illegal on the Island on that day as on every other day.



Our Town Administrator, Andy Benke, continues to work with Senator Sandy Senn’s Countywide Intergovernmental Flood Prevention Task Force.  This is a productive effort to have all relevant agencies work together to address chronic flooding concerns. If you have flooding problems, please contact Andy at

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil
843 670 9266