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Mayor's Greeting

Mayor Pat O'Neil

As published in the Island Eye News on January 20, 2017

Dear Island Neighbors,

I hope your 2017 is thus far a very happy and healthy one and will continue as such through all its 12 months.  I don’t know about you, but it seems that nearly every year goes by faster than the previous one…time inflation?

Below we have info on several Island events you may enjoy, and a safety message.  Since it’s a good bet that “safety” will not entice you to read to the end, let’s start there, but please read on to learn about some opportunities for fun!


Island resident Nicky Bluestein has conveyed a concern that is especially relevant during the current period of longer nights: pedestrians and cyclists on the streets at night who might not be seen by drivers. 

Our tranquil streets, which often double as sidewalks (except PLEASE not on Middle in or near the commercial district), can easily lull us into viewing them as pedestrian promenades.  This is especially the case since 6.2 miles (10K!) of them recently got some fine new smooth surfaces by SC Department of Transportation contractors.

But the fact is that they are thoroughfares for cars and trucks (hence, DOT’s interest in them).

If someone is walking or biking along these streets at night without reflective clothing or some sort of lighting, they may not be seen by drivers until it’s too late.  Especially if the walker or biker is wearing dark clothing.

You might think: well, their headlights should illuminate me in time unless they are driving too fast.  If you are wearing dark clothes without any reflecting or lighting gear, it is still possible for a driver to come up on you too soon to avoid you, even if the driver is travelling at the speed limit.  Add in driver distractions and the occasional speeder, and your odds get worse.  And if you are crossing an intersection where the driver’s headlights are perpendicular to your route, there is very little time for a driver to react.

When out walking or running or biking at night, please be sure that drivers can see you when they need to!  Use reflecting gear and clothing, and be sure you have lights on your bike.



As noted this time last year, that was how the very down-to-earth New Orleans Mayor Robert Maestri started a conversation with his guest President Franklin Roosevelt, when they tucked into some Oysters Rockefeller at New Orleans’ famed Antoine’s Restaurant in 1937.

We won’t likely have any presidents in attendance, but you can get some great “ersters,” visit with friends and neighbors, and support our great Fire and Rescue Squad at our February Oyster Roast, 5-8 PM, Saturday February 4, 2017.  The location as usual is the Big Tin/Fish Fry Shack at Station 15. Tickets are $35 (advance)and $40 (at door), available to purchase at Harris Teeter (Coleman Boulevard,Mt. Pleasant), Simmons Seafood (Isle of Palms), Sullivan’s Island Fire Station and Town Hall.  Proceeds support the efforts of the Fire and Rescue Squad.  Much of their equipment is bought with proceeds from this wonderful event. Hope to see you there!



Lots, actually.  Turns out there is a big connection between our Island and that often-neglected war.  You can learn about that connection, and the many aspects of it which are now part of the Island environment, by turning out at the next Battery Gadsden Cultural Center event.

Roy Williams, the Island’s wonderfully knowledgeable and eloquent resident historian, will be the featured speaker at the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center on Thursday, February 16, 6:00 PM, 1917 I’on Ave. next to the Poe Library. 

In his talk, titled “How the Spanish American War Revived Sullivan’s Island”, Roy will speak about how this lesser-known war had a large impact on our Island and spurred the development of many prominent military structures including Batteries Capron and Pierce Butler (AKA the “Mound” at Stith Park) and Battery Gadsden itself.

Councilmember Susan Middaugh, Council liaison to the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, wants us to know about this very-2017 addition to this history talk: “Roy is going to include Then-and-Now photos of Island structures built in the Spanish-American war era.  The “Now”photos were taken by drone to duplicate the height and angle of the original photos which were taken from the air when these structures were still in use.”

And I add: We hope to learn how the “Then” aerial photos were taken back then…



The inaugural Island Farmers’ Market was wildly popular, as evidenced by the many hopeful queries we have received about whether it will have another run in 2017.

Short answer: YES!

Councilmember Sarah Church, Chair of the Recreation Committee, assures us: “We are excited to bring back the Farmers Market this year.  The market will run every Thursday, April 6 - June 29, from 2:30 to 7:00 PM in front of the Poe Library at Battery Gadsden.  We are accepting applications from interested vendors through February 17.  Information can be found on the Town’s website (http://bit.ly/sifarmermarket), Facebook (sifarmersmarket) or Twitter (@simarket2016) for updates on the upcoming season!”

See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil

(843) 670 9266



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