James Island elects mayor, council

Bill Woolsey (left), re-elected as mayor of James Island, and Leonard Blank congratulate each other in Smokey Oak Taproom on Tuesday as the town takes shape again.

Voters in the new town of James Island elected a Town Council and mayor Tuesday, returning former Mayor Bill Woolsey to office after he ran unopposed.

After the results were in, Woolsey said he wanted to reassure the public there will be no interruption of local services as the town government comes on line over the coming months, eventually providing building, planning and zoning oversight.

The only suspense in the final results was for council, where the top four vote-getters for the four council seats were Leonard Blank, 22 percent; Sam Kernodle, 16 percent; Mary Beth Berry 15 percent; and Darren Troy Mullinax, 15 percent, according to unofficial results.

Marilyn Clifford, Linda Womack and Sandi Engelman all finished out of contention.

The margins of the final tallies were not close enough to warrant a recount, election officials said. About 920 ballots were cast, or about 10 percent of those registered.

The council seats were elected at large. The terms for mayor and council are two years.

Tuesday’s election came after local voters approved the town’s fourth bid for incorporation and after three previous tries were overturned by city of Charleston legal challenges.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley opted against fighting the most current version, securing James Island’s municipal future. The results will be certified Thursday, with the swearing-in of the new administration scheduled for 7 p.m. that day at James Island Town Hall, with Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell presiding.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.