Isle of Palms will lose two top city staff members in the coming months as Police Chief Tom Buckhannon retires and City Administrator Linda Tucker also departs.
Buckhannon, who has been chief since 1995, will leave his post April 13 to enjoy a life of leisure, he said. Tucker, however, will be looking for new opportunities after she leaves Oct. 8, Mayor Jimmy Carroll said.
"I think ... she saw the election and she knows that the city is wanting to go in a different direction," Carroll said, adding there is "no animosity at all" in Tucker's departure.
She could not be reached after multiple phone and email messages.
Carroll said last fall's vote, which saw former Mayor Dick Cronin and multiple City Council members ousted, was a sea change in the town.
Much of the discussion during the campaign hinged on a $5.5 million bond to redevelop the city's marina, he said, which ultimately failed by a two-to-one margin. Carroll said Tucker was a supporter of that redevelopment initiative.
She signaled last week that she planned to leave, Carroll said.
Tucker has spent her career working in many aspects of local government and was the day-to-day leader of Isle of Palm's operations for almost two decades. She previously served as town administrator on Sullivan's Island from 1991 to 2000, according to her LinkedIn page.
City Council has not discussed how to replace her, Carroll said, but he said they would likely hire a headhunter to help fill the position.
Buckhannon has worked for Isle of Palm's police department for a total of 37 years and is a native of the island. He said he has chosen to leave because he had a health crisis three years ago and decided he wanted to enjoy retired life while he was still able.
Buckhannon is proudest of earning an accreditation for the police department in 2002 and retaining it for the next 16 years.
"I set out with goals and I think I've got the department in a good position now," he said. "I think I've got the department to be professional and respected in the community."
City Council will discuss an interim replacement for Buckhannon during its meeting Tuesday. Carroll said it is likely that person would come from inside the department.
"It breaks my heart that he's retiring but at the same time, I'm jealous of him," Carroll said. "He's got an RV and it's gassed up and ready to go."