FOLLY BEACH -- Voters will decide Tuesday who will be mayor and choose three city council members.
Mayor Carl Beckmann Jr., who is seeking a second term, faces challenges from councilmen Eddie Ellis and Tim Goodwin.
Seven candidates are vying in an at-large election for three open council seats. Laura Beck is the only incumbent seeking re-election, so no matter how the vote shakes out, council can expect to seat at least two new members. Competing with Beck in the council race are Susan Breslin, Pennell Clamp, Joel Flores, Robert Hatcher, Paul Hume and D.J. Rich.
Goodwin and Ellis are in the middle of four-year council terms and will retain their seats if they don't win the mayor's post. Councilmen Dave Stormer and Tom Scruggs decided not to seek re-election.
Beckmann said the election hinges on "vision" for Folly Beach, "and whether or not we can keep on track."
Goodwin said the primary issue in the mayor's race is "transparency in government. People feel they are not getting information."
Ellis cited "safeguarding the residents' way of life" as the voters' main concern. "The issues change, but it boils down to this: Everything we (in city government) do affects their quality of life," he said.
The challengers said a plan by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to buy the former Front Beach Inn, and four other small properties at East Arctic Avenue and East 2nd Street, has become an issue in the campaign. The commission would convert the site to a new county park with showers, storage and vehicle parking.
Ellis and Goodwin charge that Beckmann knew about the pending properties' sale well before it became known to residents or council members, and that the city missed a chance to affect the park's potential negative impacts, including traffic, noise and litter.
Beckmann told council he knew a deal was being discussed but said the transaction, which is still not sealed, was between the county and a private landowner and did not involve the city. "I was asked to keep the sale confidential," he said, adding "our leverage comes after the sale is closed."
The town has an estimated 2,200 registered voters, Folly Election Commission Chairman Lavern James said.
Where to vote
Voting will take place from 7 a.m-7 p.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Good Counsel's parish hall, 105 West Hudson Ave.