081017 Pawleys Island: Mayor pro tem will follow mayor into retirement
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Pawleys Island: Mayor pro tem will follow mayor into retirement

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

The town of Pawleys Island will lose its mayor and its mayor pro tem. Council Member Mike Adams said this week he will not seek another term.

“I was going to run. Subsequently, things have changed a little bit,” he said. He plans to spend more time with his family.

Mayor Bill Otis announced in January that he would step down after 20 years in office. Jimmy Braswell, a member of the Planning Commission, filed last week for mayor. He was the only candidate as of Wednesday.

The other newcomer to the council election is Guerry Green, who filed last week for one of the four council seats. He chaired the committee that developed the project to move the island’s electric and cable television lines underground. He has also served as chairman of Santee Cooper, the state owned electric utility.

Green owns Screen Tight, which manufactures a porch screening system he developed. He grew up at DeBordieu, where his family were the first residents. He started work bagging groceries at Marlow’s Store, now Frank’s restaurant.

Green was travelling this week, but said by email “Pawleys is a unique treasure and it would be a privilege and honor to serve on Town Council.”

Adams, who was first elected to the council in 1999, said he didn’t know Green was going to file when he made his decision. But he was glad to hear about it. “That’s a good thing,” Adams said.

Council Members Sarah Zimmerman and Ashley Carter have also filed. Council Member Rocky Holiday is uncertain if he will seek a second term.

“I’m still wrestling with it,” Holliday said. “I would like to, but my work commitments have increased significantly.”

Holliday chairs the town’s beach committee that oversaw the creation of a $13.3 million beach nourishment project. The town is now awaiting word from the state on its application for a $6.2 million grant to help fund the pumping of 1.1 million cubic yards of sand to the island’s beach.

Looking back over his tenure, Adams said he is proud of his efforts to get permits for a 2008 project that pumped 38,000 cubic yards from shoals in Pawleys Creek to the beach on each end of the island. It cost $450,000. The permits involved seven different agencies. Adams said he remains frustrated that the dredging was limited by those agencies because shoaling remains a problem in the creek.

“The council in general has pulled together to do the job that the voters asked us to do in terms of keeping Pawleys as true to its heritage and traditions as possible,” Adams said. “You can’t stop change, but you can manage change. For the most part we have managed change that has been thrust upon us”

Filing for the nonpartisan election for mayor and council seats continues through noon on Tuesday. If there are no contested seats, the town won’t have to hold an election. The last contested election was in 2003.

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