JAMES ISLAND -- Voter approval of referendum questions Tuesday means that Mayor-elect Bill Woolsey and two of the four Town Council members elected can serve four-year terms, the town's attorney said Wednesday.

Woolsey and the top two vote-getters in the council race, unofficially Robin Welch and Carter McMillan, will serve four-year terms.

The winners with the lowest vote totals, unofficially Karen Wilder-Smalls and Leonard Blank, have won two-year terms, Wilson said.

Wilson said the two-year terms are a temporary situation, and after those two seats are filled again in 2012, all terms will be for four years.

The reason for mixing two- and four-year terms now is to create a system under which elections for council seats are staggered, he said.

Until now, terms for all the town's elected officials have been two years.

Wilson said the U.S. Justice Department pre-approved provisions in the referendum question about extending terms and setting up a system in which all council seats will not be decided in the same election.

The Justice Department has not yet ruled on provisions in a referendum question about expanding the number of council seats from four to six, he said.

Voters on Tuesday approved the question concerning expanding council to six members by a 62-38 percent ratio.

They approved setting terms at four years and staggering elections by a 54-46 percent ratio.