Oxygen - of all the things we put in our bodies, it is by far the most important. If it weren't for oxygen, we'd cease to exist. It's definitely a good thing, then, that we can find oxygen all around us. Oxygen fuels our cells and gives our bodies the basic building blocks we need to survive. It helps us heal, and when we're stressed, taking a few deep breaths can help us calm down. But did you know the oxygen you're breathing right now is only about 21% pure?
That begs the question: What if we could breathe air that has 100% pure oxygen? As it turns out, Better Life Carolinas provides exactly that with our hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). And while the name sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, the technology and benefits are real.
A wise person once said that oxygen under pressure equates to pure health. In some ways, that explains hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a nutshell. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) or hyperbaric chamber therapy is a revolutionary treatment where a patient relaxes in a comfortable chamber filled with 100% pure oxygen.
HBOT was initially used early in the 1900s and was later used in the U.S. to treat decompression sickness, which affects scuba divers. Today, hyperbaric chamber therapy is used by people from all walks of life, from businesspeople and athletes to blue-collar workers and stay-at-home moms.
During HBOT, the air pressure in the hyperbaric chamber is ramped up two or three times higher than typical air pressure. This increased pressure allows your body and lungs to absorb and gather higher amounts of pure oxygen - much more than you would be able to inhale, even if you were breathing pure oxygen.
If you're looking for an effective, efficient alternative to invasive procedures or heavy pharmaceutical medications, using a hyperbaric chamber in Isle of Palms, SC is worth considering. Over the last few years, HBOT has exploded in popularity. More and more people are choosing to use hyperbaric chambers for certain conditions and ailments because they don't require surgery and have no serious side effects.
During hyperbaric therapy treatment, air pressure in the chamber is ramped up so that it is many times higher than ambient air. This increased pressure compresses the breathable oxygen inside the hyperbaric chamber, which you breathe into your body by way of your lungs and skin. The air is then circulated throughout your body via your own bloodstream.
When this pure oxygen is distributed in your body, it saturates your organs, tissues, blood, and spinal cord fluid. It even settles into areas of your body where circulation may be poor or blocked. Like powerful jumper cables, this potent oxygen jump-starts your body's cellular regeneration processes, significantly decreasing harmful inflammation.
This increase in pure oxygen and decrease in inflammation is used to treat many different types of conditions and illnesses, including:
When it comes to common uses for hyperbaric chambers, treatment for sports-related injuries is near the top of the list. Trusted by athletes of all persuasions across multiple sports, hyperbaric chamber therapy has helped countless men and women recover from common issues like fractures, sprains, and compartment syndrome. In fact, studies show that hyperbaric therapy for athletes may work just as effectively as traditional therapy when used as part of a recovery program to achieve the highest healing potential.
That's because competition, training, and recovery go hand in hand. To help with the rigors of high-level sports, HBOT oxygenates muscles, boosts immune systems, and speeds up recovery time for injuries. HBOT cuts down on recovery time by boosting your body's self-healing processes. That, in turn, promotes cell regeneration, which helps encourage tissues and muscles to mend organically, lessening scarring.
When a person has a stroke, blood flow to their brain is disrupted, most often by a major artery blockage. This causes a lack of blood flow, which manifests very quickly, and results in dead brain tissue or hypoxia. When untreated, the blocked artery causes a litany of damage which usually gets worse over time.
While it's impossible to say how much salvageable tissue is lost in the time after a stroke, hyperbaric chamber therapy may help boost cell reproduction and provide oxygen to tissue that died due to lack of blood flow. The non-functioning cells around the damaged tissue area cause much of a person's post-stroke issues. If HBOT can help bring life back to dead cells, the stroke victim could regain lost functionality.
Over the years, many studies have shown promising results when patients use hyperbaric chambers for stroke recovery. In fact, a study conducted in 2013 by Tel Aviv University's Dr. Shai Efrati showed without a doubt that high oxygen levels can awaken dormant neurons. After a two-month period of HBOT for two hours a day, five times a week, brain imaging showed a significant increase in neuronal activity in patients compared to periods of non-treatment.
Patients in this study reported better sensation, less paralysis, and more ability to speak.
Hyperbaric chamber therapy has been used for years by skincare clinicians to supplement common procedures. The results are often stunning and have been shown to help patients with the following:
But how does a hyperbaric chamber in Isle of Palms, SC kick-start skin rejuvenation? When oxygen levels in your body drop as you age, your body's healing ability slowly declines, resulting in less tissue function, damaged tissue, cracked skin, slow-healing wounds, and wrinkles.
The pressurized oxygen used in HBOT sessions can reach tissue at the cellular level to improve stem-cell growth, immune system defenses, and circulation while reducing inflammation. This process can have a powerful detoxification effect on your body. When toxins are removed, skin blemishes and discolorations are often removed, too, leaving your skin healthy and rejuvenated.
They say that without pain, there is no gain, and that's typically true with plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures. However, studies show that HBOT can help alleviate pain and boost recovery after plastic surgeries.
With normal levels of oxygen in the body, plastic surgery healing times can be lengthy and painful. Because hyperbaric chamber treatments expose your body to pure oxygen, recovery time is often reduced, and the healing process is accelerated - by as much as 75% in some instances.
The benefits of hyperbaric chamber therapy, when used for plastic surgery recovery, are numerous and include:
A few plastic surgery procedures that HBOT can help with include facelifts, liposuction, mommy makeovers, breast augmentations, and even rhinoplasties.
It's hard to fathom how much pain and PTSD a person goes through when they suffer from a traumatic brain injury. Serious head injuries don't just affect the recipient of the injury - they impact the patient's family, friends, and co-workers. Being able to treat people with serious concussions, TBIs, and other life-changing conditions like strokes is one of the main reasons we do what we do at Better Life Carolinas.
Mild TBIs usually require emergency care, medication, and extensive rest. But severe brain injuries require comprehensive medical interventions and post-care initiatives like speech therapy and physical therapy. The good news is that using a hyperbaric chamber in Isle of Palms, SC as part of a comprehensive medical strategy may provide natural brain healing in TBI patients.
Hyperbaric chamber treatment's primary use in these cases is to hyper-oxygenate tissues, which helps dissolve oxygen in the plasma. This action triggers several healing processes without overwhelming the patient's antioxidant system. The working mechanism of oxygen under pressure can help improve cerebral blood flow through micro-vessels and target injured areas in order to decrease inflammation.
This promising anti-inflammatory effect is the primary advantage of HBOT for traumatic brain injury patients and clears the way for natural, non-invasive healing.
Hyperbaric chamber therapy has also been documented to help TBI sufferers in many other ways, including:
As it turns out, using a hyperbaric chamber in Isle of Palms, SC may have benefits in the bedroom, too. Studies show that men suffering from ED may now have an additional treatment option to reclaim their sex lives. The International Journal of Impotence Research published a study in 2018 to determine if HBOT was a viable, non-surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The results were very positive and showed that erectile function improved by as much as 88% in patients. Subsequent MRI scans analyzing blood flow of the penis also showed dramatic improvement. The study concluded that, even after years of ED, men could experience benefits from using hyperbaric chambers in lieu of risky surgeries and ineffective ED meds.
The documented improvements were due to more angiogenesis or growth of blood vessels in the penis. When new blood vessels grow in the penis, they can carry more blood to the organ, which helps achieve more frequent, stronger erections.
Though hyperbaric chambers are getting more popular with everyone from athletes to office workers, some folks are still out of the loop. If you're interested in learning more about this exciting, non-invasive, natural treatment, we encourage you to contact Better Life Carolinas today. Until we hear from you, here are answers to some of the most common questions we get regarding hyperbaric chamber therapy.
AWhen your session begins, oxygen will immediately circulate throughout the chamber, and pressure will gradually increase. At this point, most patients start feeling a fullness sensation in their ears, like they're ascending or descending in a plane. This feeling only lasts for 10-15 minutes. An experienced Better Life Carolinas hyperbaric technician will guide you on how to relieve any ear pressure, if necessary. Once the optimal pressure is reached, all you have to do is relax and breathe normally. As the session ends, your hyperbaric technician will gradually lower chamber pressure, which lasts about 10 minutes. During this stage, you may experience a light popping sensation in your ears. Once pressure is back to normal, you can exit the chamber and go about your day.
AIn general, you don't have to worry about serious side effects from HBOT. That's because it's an all-natural treatment - there are no incisions or addictive medications involved. However, some patients experience mild ear drum irritation. During your session, a Better Life Carolinas hyperbaric chamber expert will be by your side to help prevent this from happening.
AWithout a proper evaluation of your unique needs, it's hard to say with certainty. At Better Life Carolinas, we know that every patient is different. As such, every recommended therapy will be different, including the number of hyperbaric therapy sessions you need. Generally speaking, patients usually require 30 to 40 sessions. HBOT has a cumulative effect on your body and, as such, provides the best results with regularly occurring sessions.
AIf you have a form of air-trapping emphysema like COPD or have an untreated pneumothorax, HBOT isn't for you. At Better Life Carolinas, every one of our patients undergoes a full evaluation to ensure that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is safe for you and your body.
If you're looking for a hyperbaric chamber in Isle of Palms, SC look no further than Better Life Carolinas. Whether you're a professional athlete looking to maximize recovery time or need a natural way to look and feel younger, our experts are here to help. Unlike some clinics that rely on major invasive procedures and addictive medications, our team focuses on natural, holistic ways to heal your body. If you're ready to optimize your health and reclaim your youth, contact us today to learn more about HBOT and our other natural therapies.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation is asking residents to weigh in on a preferred concept for the Isle of Palms Connector restriping project. At the transportation committee meeting on Feb. 6, Mount Pleasant council members discussed a new alternative concept presented by town staff that includes a larger multiuse path compared to SCDOT’s concepts.The Town’s concept includes a 14-foot multiuse path on the south side of the bridge (left shoulder when facing Mount Pleasant) with designated bike and pedestrian la...
The South Carolina Department of Transportation is asking residents to weigh in on a preferred concept for the Isle of Palms Connector restriping project. At the transportation committee meeting on Feb. 6, Mount Pleasant council members discussed a new alternative concept presented by town staff that includes a larger multiuse path compared to SCDOT’s concepts.
The Town’s concept includes a 14-foot multiuse path on the south side of the bridge (left shoulder when facing Mount Pleasant) with designated bike and pedestrian lanes, a four-foot buffer between the path and traffic and two 11-foot vehicle lanes with an 11-foot median in the middle. The median provides space for emergency vehicles to pass through, and it could be used as an additional westbound lane off of the island for planned special events or evacuations.
“The main change that was proposed as part of that concept was actually to provide a wider pedestrian lane and a wider bicycle lane, separating those uses,” said James Aton, the deputy director for capital projects and transportation for the Town.
At the base of the connector on the Mount Pleasant side, there’s an option to restripe the road to include two westbound lanes leaving the island.
The Town’s concept is similar to SCDOT’s Concept 3, except SCDOT proposes a 10-foot multiuse path with a six-foot buffer and the median between the two travel lanes is 10 feet. SCDOT’s Concept 4 is a mirror of Concept 3 with the bike and pedestrian lane on the other side of the roadway. However, both municipalities favor the bike and pedestrian lane on the south side of the bridge – in Mount Pleasant it allows cyclists and pedestrians to easily access shopping, restaurants and nearby apartments and the Isle of Palms has infrastructure in place to gather pedestrians on that side.
SCDOT presented five concepts in front of the Isle of Palms city council on Dec. 13 and the Mount Pleasant transportation committee on Jan. 3.
SCDOT’s Concept 1 includes a 10-foot bike and pedestrian lane on the south side of the connector, a six-foot buffer, two 11-foot travel lanes with a four-foot paved median in the center and a 10-foot shoulder on the north side of the bridge. Concept 2 is a mirror of Concept 1.
The first four concepts presented by SCDOT do not add capacity to the connector. On a typical travel day, the center median lane or shoulder lane would be used in emergency situations, whether its drivers pulling over for an emergency vehicle or first responders moving an accident out of the way. It would not be used for travel except for planned special events.
Concept 5 presented by SCDOT creates two westbound travel lanes leaving the island to help reduce travel time on the bridge, especially during the busy summer months. This concept includes the 10-foot multiuse path with a five-foot buffer area on the south side of the bridge.
Another option is to leave the current configuration as is. The Isle of Palms Connector was restriped early 2021 to provide more safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The existing configuration includes bike and pedestrian paths on each side of the bridge in a single direction with a 3.5-foot buffer on each side. There are two 11-foot travel lanes with a 4-foot paved median in the center. Additionally, the speed limit went from 55 to 45 mph.
“The benefits of that [configuration] is you’re separating direction of travel for bikes and pedestrians, sort of improving the overall safety of the interaction of those users,” said Aton.
The main goal for revisiting the restriping, initiated by the City of the Isle of Palms, was to assess emergency vehicle response times and find a solution for traffic leaving the island. Police and fire chiefs for both Mount Pleasant and the Isle of Palms said there have not been any issues getting emergency vehicles through the connector and there have not been any delays in response times.
“It’s not something we’ve seen as an issue,” said Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Mike Mixon, “but [a median lane] would keep the cars from having to move to the side.”
The SCDOT survey opened Jan. 17 and closes after 30 days. To provide input on SCDOT’s five concepts, visit http://bit.ly/3YJMtOZ.
Seven Lucy Beckham High School student athletes signed letters of intent to play their sport at the collegiate level.
“I have the privilege to be around these student athletes who have worked hard at all those practices,” said Athletic Director Scott McInnes at the signing ceremony on Feb. 9. He acknowledged the sacrifices the parents of student athletes make throughout the four years.
Each coach shared a few words about the athletes, plus the athletes had an opportunity to thank family and friends for helping them reach this goal.
Lane Lockhart — University of South Carolina Union
Malachi Coakley — Union County
Tierell Milligan — St. Andrews University
AJ Kut — The Citadel
Jack Weil — The Citadel
Track & Field
Allison Kammer — University of South Carolina Upstate
Sam Seifert — The Citadel
Bishop England High School hosted a signing day ceremony on Feb. 1 to celebrate nine athletes who committed to playing sports in college. The student athletes took the stage individually with their parents and coaches as their high school sports accomplishments were recognized.
Lindsay Burbage — University of Massachusetts
Matthew Piccard — Virginia Military Institute
Adelaide Coyle — Erskine College
Tommy DiLiegro — Wofford College
William Poole — Gardner Webb University
Charlie Ranney — Bates College
Track & Field
Maggie Long — Anderson University
Sophia Savage — Fairfield University
Asher Western — University of South Carolina Beaufort
Zach Hagedon — Old Dominion
Timmy Castain — North Greenville
Ben Hutson — Converse College
Gabe Grimm — Lees-McRae College
Beck Dean — Furman University
Turner Orvin — Johns Hopkins University
Maile Merklein — University of South Carolina Lancaster
Three more Mount Pleasant high school athletes committed to play college sports on Dec. 21 by signing their letters of intent.
Wando High School’s Mikey Rosa committed to playing football at the Citadel. The team captain and linebacker was selected to play in the 2022 Shrine Bowl and was named the 2022 Shrine Bowl Defensive MVP.
“Mikey is a remarkable young man. He checks all the boxes when it comes to character, leadership and being a teammate. Mikey is a leader on the field and off always willing to lend a hand to whoever may ask,” said Wando coach Rocco Adrian.
Two Oceanside Collegiate Academy football players also signed their letters of intent. Vaugh Blue signed with Liberty University, and Monroe Freeling committed to the University of Georgia. Freeling is the number one college prospect in the state for the class of 2023.
Flatland Cavalry’s in the studio, which means new tunes are likely coming soon.They shared a teaser straight from the studio in Austin, Texas yesterday, along with a clip of a new song where you can hear them discussing the tempo and tracking of it in the background:“How’s that feel tempo wise?”And it sounds like Flatland frontman Cleto Cordero responds:...
Flatland Cavalry’s in the studio, which means new tunes are likely coming soon.
They shared a teaser straight from the studio in Austin, Texas yesterday, along with a clip of a new song where you can hear them discussing the tempo and tracking of it in the background:
“How’s that feel tempo wise?”
And it sounds like Flatland frontman Cleto Cordero responds:
“I think it’s glidin’ along.”
They shared the clip along some of the lyrics in the caption, as well as hinting that their fourth studio album is in the works:
“I can see the new day through the promise in your eyes #FC4.”
Of course, it sounds great, and I can’t wait to find out what’s in the works:
I can see the new day through the promise in your eyes #FC4 pic.twitter.com/jAHO0OxUf3
— Flatland Cavalry (@FlatlandCavalry) March 6, 2023
Stay tuned… I have a feeling there’s much more to come soon rather than later.
The Flatland boys most recently released their Songs to Keep You Warm EP last fall, and put out their third studio album Welcome to Countryland in 2021.
They’re also gearing up to hit the road on their extensive North American Tour 2023 trek, along with a slew of fantastic openers, including Cole Chaney, Colby Acuff, and The Steel Woods, in addition to opening a few shows for Luke Combs on his world tour this year.
“If We Said Goodbye”
FLATLAND CAVALRY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2023 DATES:
2/24 – College Station, TX # 2/25 – San Antonio, TX 3/23 – Austin, TX 3/24 – Houston, TX ” 3/25 – Arlington, TX * 3/30 – Lexington, KY $ 3/31 – Grand Rapids, MI & 4/1 – Indianapolis, IN * 4/7 – Lubbock, TX ” 4/8 – Newcastle, TX 4/13 – Ashville, NC % 4/14 – Athens, GA % 4/15 – Nashville, TN * 4/22 – Detroit, MI * 4/25 – South Burlington, VT % 4/26 – New York, NY % 4/27 – Alexandria, VA % 4/28 – Charlottesville, VA % 4/29 – Pittsburgh, PA * 5/4 – Columbia, MO @ 5/5 – Chicago, IL @ 5/6 – Chicago, IL * 5/11 – Hays, Kansas ! 5/12 – Omaha, NE * 5/13 – Minneapolis, MN * 5/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ 5/20 – Boise, ID * 5/24 – Portland, OR @ 5/25 – Spokane, WA @ 5/26 – Tacoma, WA @ 5/27 – Vancouver, BC * 5/28 – Palmer, AK 6/3 – Edmonton, AB * 6/8 – Fort Smith, AR ** 6/9 – Wichita, KS * ** 6/10 – Kansas City, MO * 6/15 – Columbus, OH ** 6/16 – Cincinnati, OH ** 6/17 – St. Louis, MO * 6/22 – Little Rock, AR $ 6/23 – Oklahoma, City, OK $ 6/24 – Luling, TX $ 7/6 – Isle Of Palms, SC ** 7/7 – Orlando, FL ** 7/8 – Tampa, FL * 7/13 – Montgomery, AL ” 7/14 – Huntsville, AL ^ 7/15 – Charlotte, NC * 7/20 – Buffalo, NY $ 7/21 – Cambridge, MA * 7/27 – Norfolk, VA ** 7/28 – Richmond, VA ** 7/29 – Philadelphia, PA *
# Connor Smith & Megan Patrick % Cole Chaney @ Colby Acuff ! Grady Spencer & The Work << Brent Cobb ** Pony Bradshaw + The Steel Woods $ Emily Nenni * Supporting Luke Combs ^ Supporting parker McCollum ” Support TBA
Members of North Charleston City Council spent the day trying to tour city schools in the Charleston County School District on Monday.NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Members of North Charleston City Council spent the day trying to tour city schools in the Charleston County School District on Monday. But they never made it inside.Mayor Keith Summey made an announcement in February ...
Members of North Charleston City Council spent the day trying to tour city schools in the Charleston County School District on Monday.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Members of North Charleston City Council spent the day trying to tour city schools in the Charleston County School District on Monday. But they never made it inside.
Mayor Keith Summey made an announcement in February saying his city would explore breaking away from the county to create its own school district.
The councilmembers said they wanted to look at the “disparities” between schools in their city and other cities like Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island to try to further prove that their schools aren’t receiving enough support from Charleston County School District.
Four members of North Charleston City Council, Rhonda Jerome, Mike Brown, Jerome Heyward and Virginia Jamison, drove around in a city vehicle to district schools across North Charleston, including North Charleston High School and the Charleston County School of the Arts. They were hoping that the school district would let them go inside the schools, but they were denied. Instead, they just looked at the exteriors of the schools and pointed out flaws from the outside.
“Ride around, you’ll see,” Jerome said. “When you ride over to Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms you can see a big difference just from the outside. So, you can imagine what the insides look like, just use your imagination.”
Charleston County School District spokesman Andy Pruitt said the councilmembers were potentially violating district policies by using schools as “political forums” along with being unauthorized visitors on campus.
“Every single child that we serve, we feel dedicated and feel very passionate that we want to make sure we provide them with life-changing opportunities. It doesn’t matter where they live,” Pruitt said. “They’ve been entrusted into our care, and we believe that’s important to make sure they all get what they need.”
Councilmembers say leaving the district is something that’s been talked about for 15 years. But they say the time is now to work to actually achieve their goal of starting a new district.
“Nothing’s getting better, “Jerome said. “It’s time.”
After Summey made the announcement last month, State Rep. Marvin Pendarvis filed a bill that would remove North Charleston schools from the Charleston County School District and create a new district.
The council members say they want Charleston County School District to come to the table with them as soon as possible to talk because they say their kids deserve better. The school district said they have always been open to sitting down with the city.
“The goal here is collaboration,” Pruitt said. “We really want to work with the City of North Charleston to find a path forward so that all of our schools and for them, specifically the schools in the City of North Charleston, can move in the right direction. We believe they are moving in the right direction.”
Pruitt said they are working on that path forward for North Charleston schools that belong to the district by improving academics and upgrading facilities, including a new campus that will be in the works for Morningside Middle School.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
The City of Isle of Palms is holding the first of two public hearings to discuss limiting future development and protecting the golf courses in the Wild Dunes pISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Isle of Palms is holding the first of two public hearings to discuss limiting future development and protecting the golf courses in the Wild Dunes planned development district on Tuesday.The discussion stemmed from a 1975 agreement that would make it possible for there to be over 300 more rooms built in the Wild Dunes between hote...
The City of Isle of Palms is holding the first of two public hearings to discuss limiting future development and protecting the golf courses in the Wild Dunes p
ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Isle of Palms is holding the first of two public hearings to discuss limiting future development and protecting the golf courses in the Wild Dunes planned development district on Tuesday.
The discussion stemmed from a 1975 agreement that would make it possible for there to be over 300 more rooms built in the Wild Dunes between hotels and condos.
According to Mayor Phillip Pounds, it all started back in February when a group of residents asked the council to take a look at the decades-old agreement to see if they could make some changes. Anthony Santiago says he was one of those residents.
“We thought we were developed already after The Sweetgrass Inn,” Santiago said. “We don’t even have parking for that. And then through the due diligence we discovered the capacity to expand this more than double.”
Santiago and others who are against future development in Wild Dunes say that more development would overwhelm public safety and public works resources, cause more drainage and sewage issues, and make traffic and parking on the island more of a nightmare.
“Every city municipality has the right to rezone as you develop,” Santiago said. “This is almost fifty years ago when we did this. Nobody thought we’d be as big as we are.”
The Isle of Palms City Council now has five ordinances up for discussion that would preserve public and private facilities and put a cap on density in the planned development district.
Beverly Miller is the executive director of the Barrier Island Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit formed to address challenges unique to the barrier islands. She said she wanted to show support for the ordinances through a petition. It now has over 750 signatures.
“When that was written, this island was erratically different, and it’s so different now that we need to amend those zoning ordinances so that we are up to today and the demands that are on the island today that were not here in 1975,” Miller said.
Pounds said the Wild Dunes agreement was one of the first of its type in the country.
“Unusual maybe, but as areas get built out there’s certainly an opportunity for cities to revisit the zoning and the density and the future development,” Pounds said.
Pounds said the city has received many phone calls and emails from concerned residents worried how much the island could take. He says there’s confusion about the slow process, but he says with the public hearing, that will stop development even though they aren’t completely through the process.
“When you’re on an island where you have such little landmass to develop anything, the ability to put 300 plus units in Wild Dunes today, I don’t even know where they would put them because there’s not that kind of landmass,” Pounds said. “But some of the concern was, could they do something on the golf courses, could they do something on the tennis courts. That’s some of the ordinance that we’re looking at during this process is protecting those areas.”
Tuesday’s public hearing will take place at Isle of Palms city hall at 5 p.m. Another public hearing will take place Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. at the city’s recreation center. The city’s planning commission will take a look at the ordinances and give feedback to city council. Then, it will be up to city council to schedule a second reading which would solidify the ordinances.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Ever since the Isle of Palms incorporated in the 1950s, voters have elected eight at-large council members and a mayor. In the coming month, these city voters will decide if that’s two council members too many.We don’t think it is. More specifically, we don’t see any big advantage that shrinking City Council would provide to residents, and we see a few disadvantages.The idea of reducing council’s size has been batted around quietly for several years, Mayor Phillip Pounds tells us, partly because the city...
Ever since the Isle of Palms incorporated in the 1950s, voters have elected eight at-large council members and a mayor. In the coming month, these city voters will decide if that’s two council members too many.
We don’t think it is. More specifically, we don’t see any big advantage that shrinking City Council would provide to residents, and we see a few disadvantages.
The idea of reducing council’s size has been batted around quietly for several years, Mayor Phillip Pounds tells us, partly because the city does seem to have a rather large council for its size, about 4,400 residents. Only about 4% of South Carolina municipalities have more than seven council seats, and most of them are much larger. For instance, Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant have 12, 10 and 8 council seats, respectively.
The debate has remained fairly quiet, even as the council added it to the Nov. 8 ballot, and with less than three weeks remaining before early voting starts, no one has offered a compelling reason to vote “yes.” The conservative approach to any referendum question is to maintain the status quo unless there’s a compelling reason to make a change.
The primary upside of shrinking the Isle of Palms council apparently is saving a little time for council members and staff. Not to knock efforts to improve efficiency, but that strikes us as pretty thin gruel. It’s true that voters still would have six council members representing them (all seats are at-large), but who’s to say that the seventh or eighth council member wouldn’t be the one who listens to particular voters’ concerns most closely — and does the best job representing them?
Because of the way the reduction is planned, if voters approve it in the referendum, the City Council would be a mess for two years. The slim-down would be phased in with voters electing just three rather than four seats in the 2023 city election and then doing the same thing in the 2025 election. That would leave the council with an even number of votes (including the mayor’s) for two years. That might make a big difference, delaying important action on an important issue. Or not. But why take the risk?
This issue seems to be important mainly inside City Hall. While Mayor Pounds tells us he supports the idea, he acknowledges that the average Isle of Palms resident seems to have little skin in this game: “I can’t imagine they would notice a blip if we have five council members or seven or nine.”
If City Council members believe the current city governance is inefficient, then perhaps they should come up with changes that don’t affect the voters’ ability to elect council members. And if council members believe the job requires too much work — about 10 hours of work a week, on average — for too little pay (council members make $1,500 a year, but do qualify for health insurance benefits), perhaps they should either reexamine their work schedule or step aside for someone else to serve.
The council’s relative size might make the job of its members more time-consuming, but that also might work to ensure that their consensus, once they arrive at one, will better stand the test of time.
The city is grappling with big decisions, from the future of its marina to possible adjustments in its short-term rental rules to the logistical headaches involved in managing summertime crowds. We’re unconvinced City Council would make better decisions with fewer council members.
Copyright 2023 by Dr. Mickey Barber's Better Life