James Island voters approve incorporation

Melanie Dean (L to R) throws her arms up in celebration after Bill Woolsey (Right) went through the crowd gathered at the Smoky Oal Taproom, telling them the the referendum for a new Town of James Island passed by a landslide. (Brad Nettles/postandcourier.com) 4/24/12

James Island voters supported the formation of a new town today, with 85 percent of those who voted approving the incorporation.

About 20 percent of the would-be town’s estimated 8,600 registered voters turned out.

The voters agreed to call it a town and not a city, and overwelmingly supported a mayor-counil form of government with members of council, as well as the mayor, elected at large.

The choices made by the voters will establish a town that is structured almost like a copy of the town that was dissolved by the S.C. Supreme Court.

Voters also chose a non-partisan form of government, with offices to be held for four-year terms.

Supporters are backing forming a Town of James Island after three previous tries were overturned through city of Charleston legal challenges.

Town advocates say this smaller, more compact version should be able to sustain legal scrutiny.

Areas including Riverland Terrace, Sol Legare and Grimball Road were cut out in the hopes of forming a more contiguous town.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.