While still working on the numbers for the 2016 budget, I looked back at what we (my council and I working together) have done over the past four years with our citizens’ tax dollars with no increase in taxes.
- Paid off the bonds on the existing parking garage that saved taxpayers over $500,000 in interest payments;
- Purchased 53 new police cars, hired five new officers, put in an $800,000 communications system and replaced the air-conditioning system in the police headquarters
- Purchased a new fire engine, built a new fire station, employed eight new firemen and began renovating yet another fire station;
- Built a new office and maintenance facility for the Parks and Playgrounds Department, renovated the interior of the Cuthbert Community Center, opened two new parks — the skate park and Oakbrook Nature Trail, started a cricket team (the Summerville Sandlappers), refurbished the boardwalk at Jessen Boat Landing, resurfaced tennis courts in Azalea Park and on Laurel Street, beautified two quadrants at I-26 and Exit 199, and developed a new plan for renovation of Hutchinson Square and renovation of the old armory on Hickory Street;
- Spent $5 million resurfacing roads in Pine Forest, Gahagan, Marlin Estates, Robynwyn, Newington, Corey Woods, Brownsville, old Summerville, Parish Park and Oakbrook;
- Built new sidewalks on W. 1st North Street, E. Richardson Avenue, South Gum Street, Parkwood Drive, Wassamassaw Road, Woodward Boulevard and North Magnolia;
- Began movies in the park at Gahagan ball fields;
- Annexed Colonial Dorchester on the Ashley River;
- Synchronized traffic signals on Main Street;
- Expanded the Farmers’ Market;
- Staged four annual Summerville Cares Days of Service that brought hundreds of volunteers out to work on projects all over town;
- Worked with 500 of our citizens who came out to give us their ideas for Summerville’s next 25 years as council developed a vision plan for our future;
- Established free WiFi in downtown Summerville;
- Moved Municipal Court from the police station to town hall and hired new judges who are all attorneys;
- Created permits to allow sidewalk dining and citizens to bring coolers to events in our parks.
- From some of the letters to the editor, one might think Summerville is in chaos.
As its mayor, I assure your readers we are on the move.
Mayor, Town of Summerville