As Summerville’s mayor, I presently am preparing for Town Council a balanced budget for the coming year.
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.
1) Paid off the bonds on the existing parking garage that saved taxpayers over $500,000 in interest payments;
2) 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
3) Purchased a new fire engine, built a new fire station, employed eight new firemen and began renovating yet another fire station;
4) 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;
5) Spent $5 million resurfacing roads in Pine Forest, Gahagan, Marlin Estates, Robynwyn, Newington, Corey Woods, Brownsville, old Summerville, Parish Park and Oakbrook;
6) Built new sidewalks on W. 1st North Street, E. Richardson Avenue, South Gum Street, Parkwood Drive, Wassamassaw Road, Woodward Boulevard and North Magnolia;
7) Began movies in the park at Gahagan ball fields;
8) Annexed Colonial Dorchester on the Ashley River;
9) Synchronized traffic signals on Main Street;
10) Expanded the Farmers’ Market;
11) Staged four annual Summerville Cares Days of Service that brought hundreds of volunteers out to work on projects all over town;
12) 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;
13) Established free WiFi in downtown Summerville;
14) Moved Municipal Court from the police station to town hall and hired new judges who are all attorneys;
15) 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