ISLE OF PALMS -- Seven candidates will compete for four City Council seats in the Nov. 8 election.
They include four incumbents and three challengers. The island has 3,507 registered voters.
The incumbents are Michael Loftus, Ryan Buckhannon, Ralph Piening and Brian Duffy. The challengers are Jimmy Carroll, Jimmy Ward and Anne Bauer. The top four vote-getters will be declared the winners.
An important issue for the island, perhaps its biggest problem, is how best to manage the horde of summer visitors looking for a parking space.
"We want to welcome them but we need to find a way to maintain safety and order," Piening said.
Ward decided to run for council when he heard talk of commercial parking lots in residential areas on Ocean Boulevard.
"That's just like the worst thing you can do here," he said.
Ward ran a competitive campaign for mayor two years ago.
"I hear from a lot of residents that they are not really happy with what's going on at City Hall," he said.
Island parking problems have been around for decades, Buckhannon said.
Most daytrippers prefer free parking in neighborhoods, but residents are not keen on streets crowded with cars or the trash left behind.
"We need to look at ways to help control the parking," he said.
Carroll is seeking public office for the first time. If elected, he would encourage the city to think outside the box and consider options such as a parking lot with a shuttle service. He also would encourage hiring an expert to look at the problem.
"There's no solution to the parking right now. Parking is probably the No. 1 issue," he said.
Loftus said the city has made significant progress in dealing with noise complaints. He is proud that he did not vote to raise taxes.
"I love living here, and I want to keep it as a place to live," he said.
Bauer, a retired U.S. Army colonel, said that she decided to run because she felt that her experience and background would complement those of other council members.
Duffy could not be contacted.
Nick Stroud is running unopposed for the water and sewer commission.
The filing deadline for candidates was last Friday.