Mount Pleasant Mayor Swails not seeking re-election

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails

Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails, 67, has announced that he will not run for re-election, citing that he wanted more time to be with his family.

He is a lifelong resident of Mount Pleasant and a businessman who attended school and raised a family in the town.

He has spent 15 years in public service - four as mayor and 11 as a town councilman. He had previously served for eight years between 1976 and 1984. He has been chairman of the finance committee for the past three years and served as the chairman of the water supply committee and a member of the planning and development committee, recreation committee, transportation committee and the public works committee.

Mayor Billy Swails was elected to the position of mayor in 2009. He currently chairs the police, legal and judicial and the transportation committees of council. He also serves as an ex-officio member on the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission.

The Mount Pleasant municipal election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5. Candidates can file to run for the mayor’s office from noon on Aug. 15 through noon on Aug. 26. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 5.

The mayor’s seat and four council spots will be on the ballot.

Mount Pleasant is the fourth largest municipality in South Carolina. The National Civic League designated the town an All-America City in 2010.

Swails has never accepted his $24,000 annual pay, choosing instead to put the money toward town programs.

“The mayor is 67," Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Ken Glasson said. " He has done well financially and served this community multiple times with runs as council (member) and then the mayor. And, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to not yield to the pressure that so many would give him to be a shoe-in for a re-election campaign to spend time with his family. He wants to spend more quality time with his wife, his children and his grandchildren. His priorities are in order, and I am proud to have served under him.”

Joe Bustos, a former councilman who challenged Swails in 2009, has already stated his intentions to again run for the mayor’s office.

Councilmembers John Burn, Elton Carrier, Linda Page and Craig Rhyne are up for re-election. None have made official statements about their intentions.

A note from mayor Swails

Dear residents, dear friends,

It is with a sad heart that I come to you to share the news that I will not seek re-election for a second term as mayor of Mount Pleasant this fall. I have decided to focus on family and spend more quality time with my wife Peggy and our children and grandchildren.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the residents of this beautiful town and I will truly miss the sense of family and community that binds us all together.

I am grateful for the 15 years I have spent serving my community, both as council member and later on as mayor. I am proud of the major milestones we accomplished. None of this would have been possible without the passion and zeal of our town council and the dedication of our municipal employees.

During my tenure as mayor, we have completed important projects that will benefit our community for generations to come including:

• Johnnie Dodds and US 17 road improvements

• Hungryneck overpass completion

• Bowman Road widening

• Revitalization of Coleman Boulevard

• Shem Creek Park opening

• Senior Center Phase 2 completion

• Carolina Park Recreation Center opening

• Recruitment of Trident Technical College

• Joint acquisition of 246 acres of recreation property on Rifle Range Road

• Improved bond rating and increased financial reserves

• No property tax increase

• All-America City Award

The revitalization of Coleman Boulevard is dear to my heart and, I believe, essential to the vitality of our town. I encourage town council to continue to foster and promote this vision.

Finally, I must thank my wife Peggy and my family and friends for their unwavering support and love during my mayoral years. But 15 years of public service is enough for a 66-year-old husband, father and grandfather.

I am excited about the future and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I am extremely grateful to the residents of Mount Pleasant for allowing me the privilege to serve them. Mount Pleasant has always been my home and it will continue to be so as long as I live.

Thank you and God bless you!

Mayor Billy Swails

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