ELECTION GUIDE 2019

Despite what you hear, we at Save Shem Creek do not endorse candidates for local election. We simply try to increase public awareness about issues that impact residents of Mt. Pleasant, and we trust that you, the residents, are smart enough to know what it is that you want for your community and will make the voting decisions that are best for you. We encourage everyone to get as informed as you can and to please go exercise your American right to vote on Tuesday, November 5th in your local Mt. Pleasant election. To that end, we have tried to assemble as much publicly available information as possible here in one place to help you know where to go vote and make your decisions of whom to vote for. As you scroll down, you'll find endorsements made by others, voting records, campaign donations, etc. Please feel free to share this with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to get out and vote, too! Please let us know if you have any questions about what you see (or don't see) here!

WHAT ELECTION?
Town of Mount Pleasant municipal election for four of the eight seats on Town Council and two Waterworks Commissioner seats. The discussion at candidate forums leading up to the election has largely revolved around growth issues for Town Council candidates, while the usually quiet Waterworks Commission race has been dominated by the recent decision by South Carolina DHEC to cut Mount Pleasant's share of ground water it is allowed to pull for our drinking water while granting approval to Google to pull water from the same aquifer to cool its computers.

SAMPLE BALLOT (Click to enlarge!)

WHEN DO WE VOTE?
Tuesday, November 5th from 7AM to 7PM. As long as you are in line by 7PM, you can vote.

WHERE DO I VOTE?
At your local precinct’s voting site based on your home address. Your voter’s registration card tells you which precinct you should vote in. You will need to bring one of the following photo ID’s: SC Driver’s License, SC Dept of Motor Vehicles ID Card, SC Voter Registration Card with Photo, Federal Military ID, or a US Passport. You can click on the precinct address pages below if you're on your desktop OR go to this link and type in your voter info to get your polling location: https://info.scvotes.sc.gov/eng/voterinquiry/VoterInformationRequest.aspx?PageMode=VoterInfohttps%3A%2F%2Finfo.scvotes.sc.gov%2Feng%2Fvoterinquiry%2FVoterInformationRequest.aspx%3FPageMode%3DVoterInfo

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PRECINCT LOCATIONS (Click to enlarge!)

If you can’t vote Tuesday, you can vote absentee in-person on Monday, November 4th from 8:30AM to 5PM at 4367 Headquarters Rd. North Charleston, SC 29405. Further voting information can be found at: https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/bevr/absentee-voting.php

WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES?

TOWN COUNCIL (8 candidates): Nine names are on the ballot for four seats, but one of the candidates (Jim Owens) dropped out of the race after filing and votes cast for him will not be counted. Joe Bustos is the only incumbent running as the three other incumbents all decided to not seek re-election. The candidates (in alphabetical order) are:

(1) Stephen Becker:

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/stephen-becker-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_97abfcdc-eb98-11e9-81ee-0b256b92c14d.html


(2) Joe Bustos (incumbent):

Town bio: http://tompsc.com/711/Joe-Bustos

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/joe-bustos-files-for-re-election-for-mount-pleasant-town/article_902e3548-e39a-11e9-b15a-9f4add1d5fb2.html


(3) Howard Chapman:

website: https://www.chapmanfortowncouncil.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VoteHowardChapman/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/howard-chapman-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_499e982e-e39b-11e9-9d7b-9bacef5ca6ca.html


(4) Brenda Corley:

website: https://www.votecorley4council.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Corley4Council

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/brenda-corley-runs-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_c40e2a6a-ec3e-11e9-ab0d-436efdcf245e.html


(5) Gary Davis:

website: https://garydavisformpcouncil.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GaryDavisMPCouncil/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/gary-davis-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_3a554b28-ec39-11e9-9a83-73afe134fe0f.html


(6) Laura Hyatt:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hyatt4mtp/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/laura-hyatt-files-to-run-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_4d270f6e-ec40-11e9-a267-63462dda3504.html


(7) Mike Lawrie:

website: https://www.lawriefortowncouncil.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.lawrie.3154

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/resident-mike-lawrie-runs-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_299b74f0-eb9a-11e9-9045-cb380773c437.html


(8) Jake Rambo:

website: http://jakerambo.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rambo4Council/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/jake-rambo-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-town-council/article_246ddd98-e90a-11e9-9a2c-47cd4b8ebcad.html

WATERWORKS COMMISSIONER: Four names are on the ballot for two seats. Rick Crosby is the only incumbent running. The candidates (in alphabetical order) are:

(1) Rick Crosby:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crosbyforcleanwater/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/rick-crosby-announces-candidacy-for-mount-pleasant-waterworks-commission/article_c0a52e84-e903-11e9-91a8-d3cf8968f59d.html

(2) Julian "Hoppy" Hopkins:

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/julian-hopkins-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-waterworks-commission/article_a8ffec32-e6ac-11e9-82d4-c7e230a2afec.html

(3) John Matthews:

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/john-matthews-runs-for-mount-pleasant-waterworks-commission/article_26a9c436-e6b8-11e9-a08f-c393641bd395.html

(4) Linda Page:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Linda-Page-for-Mount-Pleasant-Water-Commission-100293428028810/

Moultrie News: https://www.moultrienews.com/news/politics/linda-page-announces-bid-for-mount-pleasant-waterworks-commission/article_3480a65a-e907-11e9-a473-9b2d74d75fe5.html

ENDORSEMENTS
We’ll try to keep a running list of known endorsements here, so please feel free to let us know if you see we’re missing some. This list includes published endorsements as well as statements of support made on social media.

(1) Charleston Metro Chamber Of Commerce PAC, whose largest contributor in recent years is local developer The Beach Company. (Link: https://www.charlestonchamber.org/news/business/2019-chamber-political-action-committee-candidate-endorsements/)


Council: Howard Chapman

(2) Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (Link: http://www.charlestonrealtors.com/2019-general-voter-guides-are-here/)


Council: Howard Chapman

(3) The Post And Courier (Link: https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-endorsements-in-tuesday-s-mount-pleasant-town-council-elections/article_128a8e8c-fb3e-11e9-bdf8-9be9537a3a15.html)

Council: Howard Chapman, Brenda Corley, Gary Davis, Mike Lawrie

 

(4) Current Mayor Will Haynie

Council: Joe Bustos, Brenda Corley, Laura Hyatt, Jake Rambo

Waterworks: Rick Crosby, Julian "Hoppy" Hopkins

(5) Former Mayor Linda Page

 

Council: Stephen Becker, Howard Chapman, Gary Davis, Mike Lawrie

CAMPAIGN DONATIONS & SPENDING
We’ve gathered the campaign finance filings for the Town Council and Waterworks Commission candidates from the SC Ethics Commission’s website. Compared to the 2015 and 2017 Council and Mayor's races, significantly less money has been donated to the campaigns this time around, although a few candidate's totals do stand out. These totals do not include dollars donated to the campaigns by the candidates themselves.

TOWN COUNCIL DONATIONS

(1) Stephen Becker - none

(2) Joe Bustos - $250 from two individuals

(3) Howard Chapman - $10,640 from 37 individuals including developer and Beach Company President John Darby, former Mayor Billy Swails, and former Town Councilman Elton Carrier, who voted for the Shem Creek parking garage

(4) Brenda Corley - $1,650 from five individuals

(5) Gary Davis - self-financed

(6) Laura Hyatt - none

(7) Mike Lawrie - none

(8) Jake Rambo - $11,200 from 19 individuals and buisnesses, most of which comes from family members and family businesses.

WATERWORKS DONATIONS

(1) Rick Crosby - none

(2) Julian "Hoppy" Hopkins - $2,400 from eight individuals

(3) John Matthews - none

(4) Linda Page - $9,750 from 11 individuals and businesses including former Mayor Billy Swails and developer Mark Jordan.

POSITION ON TOWN ATTORNEYS

The Town's contracted attorneys, who are paid $39,000/month by taxpayers, have been in the news quite a bit recently and played key roles in such projects as the Shem Creek parking garage and the soon-to-be-built Atlantic apartments project on Ben Sawyer Blvd. The candidates for Town Council have been asked how they would handle the Town's legal representation at recent candidate forums, including a question at a forum in September if they would fire the Town's attorneys if elected. Here's how they answered (Candidates Gary Davis and Laura Hyatt were not present at the forum, but both indicated at another event that they would seek to change the structure of the legal representation for the Town.):

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WHO GETS TO DRINK THE WATER - YOU OR GOOGLE'S COMPUTERS?

State regulators made a decision in August (https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-regulators-tell-google-yes-on-groundwater-plan-but-mount/article_3677a2f6-c4f4-11e9-87b9-1f85d28b917f.html) regarding Mount Pleasant's drinking water that was so noteworthy it was written about by the New York Times and other national media outlets. Basically, as the Post & Courier put it, Google gets to pull the groundwater it wants. Mount Pleasant Waterworks doesn’t. All four candidates for Waterworks Commission have stated at forums that they will help Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) fight this decision if elected, but one of the candidates actually played a role in the Town finding itself in this situation. In May of 2017 at a Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments meeting, then-Mayor Linda Page made the motion for and voted to approve an area groundwater plan that paved the way for Google's water withdrawal permit approval - despite having been briefed on May 1st at a Water Supply Committee meeting that it was MPW's position to seek a delay on the vote for the area water plan. At that same committee meeting on May 1st, Mayor Page stated she would draft a letter to be signed by Town Council members supporting MPW's position for a delay. It was then noted at the June Water Supply Committee meeting that Mayor Page never drafted the letter, either. After Mayor Page's vote for the area water plan at the BCD-COG meeting, MPW failed in its attempt to get an injunction to halt Google's water permit approval. Google went on to get their permit to withdraw 1.5 MILLION gallons/day from the aquifer we use for our drinking water.

VOTING RECORDS
We’re glad to provide records of past votes from the Town’s website for specific projects so you can know how candidates have voted in the past. For this election, however, there are only two Town Council candidates with a significant voting record (Joe Bustos as a member of Town Council and Howard Chapman as a member of the Planning Commission) and one Waterworks candidate (Linda Page as a former Mayor). Listed below are some of the more high-profile examples of votes that have been made by these candidates.

Indigo Square across from Town Centre:

In late 2014, a developer request was made to Town Coucil to rezone the property to allow what you now see. Here's how the candidates voted:

FOR REZONING TO INCREASE DENSITY

Howard Chapman (seeking election to Town Council)
Mayor Linda Page (seeking election to Waterworks Commission)

 

Venning Rd Overlay hotel:

In late 2016, there was a vote to change zoning rules in order to allow a new hotel in a historically African-American neighborhood off Venning Rd. A developer request was made to remove the property from the Venning Rd Overlay district created to protect the historic community and increase the height limit to 55'. The request was narrowly approved.

VOTED AGAINST REZONING FOR HOTEL AND AGAINST HEIGHT INCREASE
Joe Bustos (seeking re-election to Town Council)

VOTED FOR HOTEL REZONING AND FOR HEIGHT INCREASE
Howard Chapman (seeking election to Town Council)
Mayor Linda Page (seeking election to Waterworks Commission)

Link to Council minutes: https://www.tompsc.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4695

Link to Planning Commission minutes: http://sc-mountpleasant2.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4591

 


Shem Creek Parking Garage rezoning:

In late 2013, there was a vote to change the zoning code to allow the Shem Creek Parking Garage as you see it today. The vote allowed the plans to transform from a parking structure with two to three levels to a 55-foot tall building with two floors of office on top of the parking. The zoning change was deadlocked at the Planning Commission but easily passed Town Council - the asterisk after an official's name indicates they accepted campaign contributions from the parking garage developer:

FOR ZONING CHANGE TO ALLOW 55'-TALL PARKING GARAGE

Howard Chapman (seeking election to Town Council)

Mayor Linda Page* (seeking election to Waterworks Commission)

Link to Council minutes: https://www.tompsc.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2996

Link to Planning Commission minutes: http://sc-mountpleasant2.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2965

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