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Mayor's Greeting

Mayor Pat O'Neil

Mayor Pat O'Neil

Dear Island Neighbors,

I hope you have had a happy and healthy summer. Of course, for school families, by the time this appears, summer will have come to a screeching halt mid-August and is now no doubt only a dim memory.

But now we eagerly anticipate the start of college football season, trying to ignore the inevitable fact that hopes for some will begin to be dashed in just the next few days. I hope that’s not the case for YOUR team, which needless to say, as a bona fide politician, I vigorously support!

We have a few varied items, but to entice you to read to the very end, here are two questions you might use for bar bets or family trivia games, admittedly questions you’ve never thought of (and may wish I’d never thought of):

1. How many miles of sewer mains (large pipes in the rights of way for transport of sewage/wastewater) do we have on the Island?

2. How many manholes do we have providing access to those sewer mains?

Answers at the end. But first…

Sullivan’s Island Board and Commission applications still encouraged

As was noted previously, we have a number of Board and Commission seats coming open in September and could use your energy and ideas.  For various reasons, we originally had a deadline that created a truncated application period.  Not only that, but it also occurred during the last of vacation season for many. So Town Council has decided to extend our deadline for applications to 12 Noon, Monday, September 12.

I thank those of you who have already submitted applications, and invite those who missed the word because of our inopportune schedule to use the new deadline to take a shot at this great opportunity for public service.  If interested, please visit our website for more information and to apply:  http://bit.ly/SIBoards.

“Hurricane Season” is way more than a cut by Trombone Shorty

Although that tune does have appropriately ominous tones.

Without stirring up unjustified concern, we should remember that we are now in peak hurricane season. At the risk of being repetitive, everyone should have a plan in place for themselves and their family.

For suggestions, please visit this section of the Town’s website: http://bit.ly/SIEmergencyPrep

And keep in mind the importance, and fragility, of connectivity and communication. Don’t rely solely on cellular phone service. In the recent Baton Rouge area disaster a cellular switching center for a major carrier flooded (even though it was outside a predicted flood zone), leaving all that carrier’s customers without cell service. From personal experience in Louisiana right after Katrina, I can also attest that cell towers can run out of battery backup in just a few days without power, and the networks can quickly get overloaded. 

With your cell phone in an emergency, please use texting rather than calling or video connections. Texting uses far fewer network resources than those other options, so you will have a better chance of getting through and help afford other people the same advantage.

And you might think twice before pulling the plug on that old landline.  

Meet the (Island) artist at next Battery Gadsden event

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, at 6:00PM, the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center folks will offer a presentation by Charleston (And Island-connected) artist, Richard "Duke" Hagerty.  A retired plastic surgeon and former Charleston City Council member, he will talk about his art and his deep roots on Sullivan's Island, and will show a number of examples of his work.  A self-taught artist who began to paint when he entered medical school, Dr. Hagerty was three times selected as Piccolo Spoleto poster artist!

And maybe he'll tell us about the old railroad car that used to on the harbor end of the Island.

PLEASE NOTE :  The location for this September 15, 2016 6:00PM event is to be announced.  The last presentation, on Island "pest houses" was so well attended that the cultural group is exploring larger venues for the September event.  Please check www.BatteryGadsden.com for the locations of the Hagerty event and other dates/venues for subsequent 2016 "pest house" presentations.   The Town will post the Hagerty event venue as soon as it is made available.

Where does it go when we flush? 

Going from the sublime to the…not-so-sublime, here are the answers to our opening questions.

I am continually amazed by the facts that illustrate the extent of infrastructure required on our little Island:

Our sewer collection system has 15 miles of sewer mains in the public rights-of-way that transport our, uhh, wastewater from all parts of the Island to sewage treatment plant.

Since the Island is flat, gravity provides little assistance in moving the collected wastewater to the treatment plant.  For that reason, we have 6 lift (pump) stations (those little brick buildings you may have seen) to move things along.

And all those 15 miles of sewer mains require lots of access points:  325 manholes. Which, as you might surmise, allow our very dedicated and hard-working Water and Sewer Department employees to make sure that the system keeps things flowing in the right direction.  Think of that the next time you complain about YOUR workplace conditions!

See you around the Island

Pat O'Neil


Cell: 843 670 9266




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