I understand the frustration behind the proposed Harmony Project. When I campaigned to represent West Ashley, it was one of the most controversial projects forthcoming. As you know, it was approved in 2015, but stalled by the moratorium.
As a council, we kept the moratorium in place for two years, and in the meantime, passed the strictest building regulations this city has ever seen. I know that many members of District 10 would have liked to see the moratorium stay in place for years to come. However, we have a lot of potentially helpful projects that need to take place, including diverting water away from Church Creek, establishing proper tidal surge protection, and fixing the overflow problems in Hickory Farms. My motto has never been to stop growth all together, but to have healthy growth that does not negatively impact our current residents.
I plan to work with the City of Charleston to find a solution to the proposed Harmony Project that does not negatively impact our residents. I know people are angry and hurt. What I need now from you is some trust and faith. Since day one, I have voted against hasty development and championed for funding to fix Church Creek. The media will cover events in certain ways, but when you want legitimate answers, talk to me.
Recently, we voted to put together a plan to have a Church Creek TIF District. I have voiced my displeasure with this several times because the language would state that we can only use created funds for flooding. While flooding will continue to be out top priority, we still need to focus on infrastructure. It is irresponsible for us to continue to build with inappropriate infrastructure.
In closing, thank you for everyone who has written a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers. I can honestly say that I have never seen so many Charlestonians active in what is going on locally. Your pride motivates me to represent you well. Do not get discouraged because of what you read. Also, remember that your elected official may feel differently from how a Department Head or Communications Director feel. Oftentimes, we do not know what they will say before it is said, we are just left to try to defend it. However, they will never be the ones voting for or against a particular project. In these circumstances there are only 13, the mayor and council, where the buck should stop.
I have many, many more opinions on this matter and more. I am always available via email at email@example.com or via call/text at 843-509-1591.