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Mayor's Greeting- November 2023

Fri, 11/17/2023

Mayor Pat O'Neil

Dear Island Neighbors,

We’ve got stuff related to past, present and future this month, so let’s start!

Are you aware that before the Town of Sullivan’s Island was incorporated (just in 1975), two separate towns were located on the Island?

Moultrieville, SC, was generally west (harbor side) of where the causeway currently runs. Atlanticville, SC, was on the east (IOP) side of the Island. Their periods of existence were different, but Moultrieville was incorporated back in 1817! It originally was governed by an “Intendant” (think mayor) and a Council (“Wardens”).

Town Hall has long had bound volumes of Council meeting minutes and other records from the Town of Moultrieville and later the Township of Sullivan’s Island, dating back to 1895. They provide a very realistic, you-are-there view of life on the Island back then. Of course, these fragile documents weren’t the sort of thing we could make available at the Poe Library!

However, we can now all access this treasure trove online! Supported by a grant from the State Historical Records Advisory Board, three volumes of minute books dated 1895-1936 have been scanned and are available online. Thanks to Clerk of Council Bridget Welch, who worked with Lowcountry Digital Library at the College of Charleston to accomplish this. This scanned collection along with brief descriptions can be viewed here: .

I’m sure I’ll return in future columns to the fascinating insights from this collection, but for now I’ll have to settle with a tease or two:

  • Per an ordinance ratified August 14, 1895, if a horse, cow or other animal died on your premises, you were obligated to move the carcass outside of Town limits. If you didn’t, the fine was $10. (In 1895 dollars!)
  • In 1919, the Township entered into an agreement with B. Buckley for “scavengering” services (i.e., garbage collection) for the entire Township. He was to pick up 6 days a week May-August for the princely sum of $97.75 per month, but only twice a week the rest of the year, for $20.00 per month

You’ve got to check this site out!

Come out to Stith Park on Friday, December 1st, around 5:00 for our annual Holiday Park and Fire Station Lighting ceremony. The talented, award-winning Wando High School Chorus will perform some great seasonal music... followed by turning on the ever-impressive holiday lights, and then..FIREWORKS!  Yep, we again have them at this event in addition to the show on Independence Day.

The music starts around 5:30 but come well before then to get a good seat and visit with neighbors.

Setting up and taking down the holiday lights each year is always an impressive feat by members of our Fire and Maintenance Departments, both under the leadership of Chief Anthony Stith. Please thank those folks when you see them.

Finally, Chief Stith has dropped this tantalizing hint: “We may have a surprise visitor this year.”

Hmmmm...I wonder who?? Somehow I never figure this out.

Chief of Police Chris Griffin encourages us to avoid having packages left on porches and steps. If you are traveling, please ask a neighbor to pick up your packages. You might also want to ask the police to put your home on their watch list. If so, fill out the form at and drop it off at Town Hall.

Fire Chief Stith reminds us to keep our Christmas trees watered, and check the lights for frayed wires or buy new ones.

Our Sullivan’s Island Police Department is sponsoring their 3rd Annual Christmas Bike Drive, benefitting Toys for Tots to make a better Christmas for kids in need throughout the Charleston area. Please donate one, or MANY, new bikes to this effort.

This year’s goal is 300 new bikes, either in the box or assembled. Helmets are also welcomed. Donated bikes can be dropped off at the Sullivan’s Island Police Department at Town Hall during regular office hours. Or you can shop online and have the bikes shipped directly to the Police Department at 2056 Middle Street.

Questions? Contact Deputy Chief Glenn Meadows, who orchestrates the effort, at or cell (843-834-4298).

Let’s go people!  Those bikes aren’t going to buy themselves!!

State statute requires every municipality to produce a comprehensive plan every ten years. As stated at the Town website: “The comprehensive plan communicates a community’s goals and objectives, provides a blueprint for future land use, and serves as the basis for zoning, land use and historic and environmental preservation.”

You can get to our current (2019) plan here: .

By law these plans must be reviewed at the five-year mark. Our Planning Commission and Town staff have begun that review of our current plan. The next Commission meetings on this matter will be held on December 13 and January 10, both Wednesdays. To increase public participation these meetings will be at 6pm instead of the usual Planning Commission meeting time of 4pm. Come out to participate in this important process!

As I have previously expressed, I frequently catch myself taking the Island for granted in the course of day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

So I always find it healthy to remind myself of the abundant blessings we enjoy here: a wonderful small-town place with great neighbors; tremendous natural resources all around us with an amazing array of flora and fauna; a fascinating history that predates the founding of the country, with lots of historic resources all around us. What’s not to like?

As I reflect on life here, I am very thankful for the size of our BIGGEST problems!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil
843 670 9266
Twitter: @oneilpm1