Release Date: April 1, 2010
Stephen G.Riley, ICMA-CM , Town Manager, (843)341-4700, Fax: (843)842-7728
Town Manager Steve Riley announced today that Mayor Thomas D. Peeples will not seek re-election in November and will serve out his term until a new Mayor is sworn in this December. Mayor Peeples was first elected to Town Council in 1989 representing Ward 3. He was elected Mayor in 1995 and became the only Mayor in the Town's history to be re-elected, ultimately serving 15 years as Mayor.
Mayor Peeples presided over the most prolific period in the Town's history. During his tenure, Mayor Peeples and Town Councils have acquired 134 parcels representing over 1,100 strategically located acres on the Island. As it acquired land, the Town immediately began an aggressive capital improvement projects plan that led to development of the Crossings Park, Chaplin Community Park, Shelter Cove Community Park, the Veterans Memorial Park, Jarvis Creek Park, Islanders Beach Park, Driessen Beach Park, Fish Haul and Mitchelville Beach Park, and a remodeled Coligny Beach Park to name a few. The strategic combination of land acquisition and Capital Improvement Project plans caused the Town to evolve itself into a more family-oriented, land protected, controlled growth community. The development of these parks added opportunities for Festivals, events, fundraisers, and patriotic ceremonies. The Town experienced an explosion in roadway improvements, much-needed drainage improvements, and added miles of pedestrian pathways. These accomplishments were accompanied with nearly no tax increases during the Mayor's tenure. Finally, while not a Town project, the state's construction of the Cross Island Parkway required Council approval and but for leadership from the Mayor, it is doubtful the Parkway would exist today.
During Mayor Peeples's tenure on Council, he was instrumental in the effort to encourage 10 Public Service Districts to consolidate into the current number of 3. Additionally, as a council member, Mayor Peeples supported the consolidation of 2 Fire Districts and Rescue Squad into what is now the Town's Fire and Rescue Division. A Town Municipal Court was also created in 1992. A renewed franchise agreement with Palmetto Electric included a centerpiece provision that requires power lines to be buried that will allow the Island to recover more quickly from a disaster and improved aesthetics.
The relationship with the General Assembly also became a priority of Mayor Peeples and Town Council approximately 15 years ago. The Town began to actively participate in legislative matters affecting the Town and contact with local House and Senate representatives became regular. Council operations became more efficient with the development of the Town Council Committee system providing Council members and residents more opportunity to weigh in on matters. Town Council elections became staggered and terms were extended from 2 years to 4 years to allow for greater continuity of government.
"Tom has been on the Island since the 1950's, is a local homebuilder and remodeler, a volunteer, with Mary Ann, his wife, raised their son on the Island and, as a result, knows and cares for the community as much as anyone I know," Riley said. "He has been a bold leader and has been the right person at the right time in the right place for the benefit of our Town," said Riley.