Voters in the town of James Island will elect a mayor and four council members today. Also, there are two non-binding referendum questions on the ballot.

The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

For mayor:

Jonathan Brown

Mary Clark (i)

Brett Skibo Johnson

J. Warren Sloane

Bill Woolsey

For Town Council:

James Balliet

Leonard Blank (i)

David Engelman

Denny McKeever

Carter McMillan

Darren Troy Mullinax

Robin Welch

Bill Cubby Wilder (i)

Karen Wilder-Smalls

Parris Williams (i)

In addition to mayoral and council candidates, there are two non-binding referendum questions on the ballot for the James Island election.

Question 1: Increasing the Number of Members of Town Council

'Shall the Town of James Island Council consist of six (6) members, by adding two positions on Council in addition to the four in existence, subject to favorable vote in this Referendum and approval by the Justice Department, commencing with the election subsequent to this Referendum, as authorized pursuant [to] SC Code ยง5-9-20 (1976)?'

What it means: This question seeks voter approval for expanding the size of council from four to six members.

Question 2: Extend Future Term of Office of Mayor and Council and Stagger the Election of Two Council persons

'Commencing with the election of the first Tuesday of August 2010, there shall be instituted, at that election only, a process by which the two council persons

receiving fewest votes of the four will serve for two years, and those two receiving the greatest number of votes shall serve four years, with the Mayor serving also for four years; thereafter, commencing with the election of 2012, all council persons and the Mayor's terms of office shall there and therefore resume as four year terms. In the event of a tie, those persons receiving the lowest number of votes assigned to them, as follows; shortest straw to denote the fewest, second shortest the next lowest, etc., until all tied votes are determined.'

What it means: The second question would instruct council to establish a system under which elections are staggered so that the entire council does not come up for election in the same year. To begin the process, two council members elected Tuesday would serve two-year terms, while the other two, and the mayor, would serve four-year terms.

In 2012, the two council members who got the two-year terms would be up for re-election, while the mayor and other two council members would not face the voters until 2014.