Continuing Public Service

CUTLINE

Former James Island Town Councilman Carter McMillan was recently appointed to the James Island Public Service District. He filled the seat vacated by the late Gene Woodall.

Continuing Public Service

Continuing Public Service

 Former Town Councilman Carter McMillan appointed to the JIPSD

By Charlie Morrison

Contributing Writer

As years go, 2011 was a tough one for James Island. Though the September S.C. Supreme Court ruling dissolving the Town of James Island stole headlines, it wasn’t the only blow the island suffered in 2011. A couple of months prior, in June, another governmental body that provides exclusive service to James Island, the James Island Public Service District (PSD), suffered a blow of their own, with the untimely death of Councilman Gene Woodall. But like the Town, which appears on the cusp of re-birth in 2012, the JIPSD soldiers on, and recently welcomed newly appointed Commissioner Carter McMillan to the team.

The 21-member Charleston County Legislative Delegation recommended McMillan for appointment to the commission. The delegation is made up of all of the elected State representatives of Charleston County, and headed up by S.C. House District 110 Rep. Chip Limehouse. The Delegation was put to the unfortunate task of filling the seat vacated by the late Woodall. McMillan emerged as the group’s selection, and on February 22, Gov. Nikki Haley signed off on their recommendation. McMillan’s acceptance made it final.

The appointment came as a surprise to McMillan who, like his colleagues from the dissolved Town of James Island, put his role as an official public servant on hold in September of last year. And while he accepted the appointment, McMillan is quick to address the gravity of the circumstances surrounding his appointment.

“It’s unfortunate I’m there only because of Commissioner Woodall passing away. I feel like I’m there, not to replace him, because I can’t, but just to fill in and try to honor what he’s done,” says McMillan. “I was honored the PSD asked me to consider the position.”

Those unfortunate circumstances aside, the new Commissioner has a job to do. The JIPSD has served James Island for more than a half-century, a legacy McMillan recognizes. As far as his own future contributions, the former James Island Town Councilman is eager to put inter-governmental cooperation back on the PSD’s front burner.

“I never really put two and two together on how we (the Town of James Island and the PSD) could work together, and that’s one of the things I’m working on now, to make sure that there is a relationship. We could be stronger together than by going at things separately,” says McMillan.

McMillan says the relationship between the Town and the PSD seemed to be percolating, but never quite came to a boil during the third incorporation. “There were times I thought about the PSD and wanted to work with them, but since I was new to this I was just trying to make sure I was doing what I could with the Town,” says McMillan. “I’ve also thought a lot recently about the relationship between the City and the Town. Those look like the only two players, but looking at it through a broader lens brings the PSD and the County into the picture.”

As far as the nuts and bolts of McMillan’s vision, his focus is on the duplication of services seen on the island. The patchwork, overlapping coverage areas of the City and PSD translates to taxpayers in the City, the unincorporated County, and a potential fourth Town of James Island all losing money.

“What ways can we seriously talk about finding ways to work together to save money,” says McMillan. “The Town would save. The City taxpayers would save money…. There’s got to be a better way to do this.”

The next meeting of the JIPSD will be Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Commission’s office, located at 1739 Signal Point Road on James Island. For more information on the organization go to their website at http://www.jipsd.org.

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