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No election, but still a vote of confidence

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

There won’t be an election in the town of Pawleys Island this year.

Filing closed for candidates and write-ins last month with only the current mayor and council signed up to run. By state law, no election needs to be held for the uncontested races.

“We very much appreciate this vote of confidence,” Mayor Bill Otis said.

For Council Member Mike Adams, there was an additional vote of confidence. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Pawleys Island Civic Association at its annual meeting over the weekend.

The award recognizes Adams’ role as the go-to council member when there are special projects, said Howard Ward, an association board member.

Adams, who is the mayor pro tem, was responsible for obtaining permits for a dredging project in Pawleys Creek last year that moved sand from shoals onto the beach at the north and south ends of the island.

This year, he agreed to work with Georgetown County after the town learned that a project to improve drainage on Highway 17 would end up sending stormwater through concrete pipes into Pawleys Creek.

The county agreed to install a state-of-the-art filtration system in the pipe before it reaches the creek.

“Mike brings his own special integrity to everything he does for the town,” Otis said.

The civic association led the effort to create the town in 1985. Their ties are still close, with 419 association memberships in a town with 552 dwellings. Otis serves on the association board, as does Council Member Mary McAllister. Adams’ wife, Eleanor, is the vice president, and ran the annual meeting in place of its long-time president Linwood Altman.

“I don’t know whether I deserve this or not,” said Adams, who received the plaque from Ward, who chairs the town Planning Commission. “The town deserves this.”

Adams told the association members he doesn’t do any more than anyone else on council.

“I have a lot of support,” he said, adding that it comes from property owners, the association and people who live off the island.

Adams spent several years working with state and federal regulaators and the town’s engineering consultants to get permits for the creek dredging project.

It was a goal of the associations for nearly 30 years, and grew out of concerns that the creek is slowly filling in.

Some property owners would like to see additional dredging as a way to improve water flow. But Adams said he doesn’t think that could get regulatory approval.

“They don’t want to see us come back for a dredging permit,” he said.

Otis said he’s heard reports of better flounder and crab catches in the year since the project was finished.

“It’s been a great year because it’s been so uneventful,” Adams said.

Born in California, Adams came east after his father died when Adams was a boy. He grew up in North Carolina and Atlanta.

He and Eleanor first came to Pawleys Island for a family vacation in 1970. They bought a house in 1994 and moved here full-time in 1997.

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