2015 News for Pawleys Island, Litchfield and Murrells Inlet
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Pawleys Island: Two vacant seats, one new candidate for Town Council

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Pawleys Island has an opening when filing begins next week for mayor and four council seats. Council Member Glennie Tarbox said this week he won’t run for another term.

“We need to get some of these young sprouts,” he said.

The last time there was a contested election in the town was 2003, when Tarbox won his first two-year term. Under state law, towns don’t have to hold an election unless there is a contested race. Pawleys Island held an election in 2005, just to be safe. That was its last municipal election.

Council Member Howard Ward won’t run for another term, either. He has battled cancer for the last year, but still attends meetings or listens in by phone. “It’s a strange situation,” he said.

Ashley Carter, an agent at Pawleys Island Realty, plans to file for a council seat. It will be his first run for political office. Carter said Mayor Bill Otis told him that Ward’s seat would be vacant, otherwise he wouldn’t run.

“I’ve thought about it off and on, but never really seriously,” he said.

His father and brother both served as Georgetown County sheriff. “I’ve had people encourage me to get involved in politics,” Carter said. Otis’s talk tipped the balance. “I think a lot of mayor and the job he’s done,” he said.

Otis said he plans to run for another term. He was elected to the council in 1995 and elected mayor in 1997. Under the town’s form of government, the mayor functioned as administrator with approval of the council. This year, it named Ryan Fabbri as the town’s first paid administrator.

Council Member Sarah Zimmerman, first elected in 1997, also plans to run for another term. Council Member Mike Adams hasn’t decided.

“I only realized last week that it was coming up,” he said. “If I had to say, I’d say I’m more likely to run than not.”

Council elections are non-partisan and the positions are unpaid.

Filing opens at noon Monday at the Georgetown County Voter Registration and Elections office. The books close at noon on Aug. 14.

If an election is needed, it will be Nov. 3 with polling at Pawleys Island Community Church. In 2003, there were 169 registered voters. The island’s permanent population has since dropped to under 100.

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