The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

The Watch


James Island

There was a time when most of James Island was part of the unincorporated area of County. But the City of Charleston has been aggressively annexing. Residents of James Island who remain in the unincorporated area attemped to create a Town of James Island but the City took legal action and the town was disallowed. Changes were initiated in Columbia and with the legal impediments removed, residents again voted to form a town. And the City of Charleston has again vowed to stop it. And it did. An effort is again being made to legally incorporate. The town, if formed will have less than 20,000 residents.

March 13, 2013

City Council, March 12
James Island residents criticize development projects
Rezoning likely prelude to major development near Ashley River bridge
Marc Knapp

Last evening’s meeting was held at the Bishop Gadsden retirement village on James Island. Perhaps more than a coincidence, there were a number of the Island’s residents who rose in Citizens Participation. Some were members of the Town of James Island’s Planning Commission (PC), and all the speakers were critical of the City of Charleston’s zoning and planning.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2011

City Council, September 27
A warning for those aspiring to resurrect the Town of James Island
A statue of MLK at Liberty Square

Marc Knapp

The City fired a warning shot across the bow of those who might be thinking of resurrecting the Town of James Island. City Council agreed to send a resolution to the County asking that if a new town were formed, it provide and pay for a police force that is appropriate for a town of its size. The final paragraph does not quite say that but the many “whereas” paragraphs certainly do.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2011

City Council, January 25
Council ignores plea for peace by Town of James Island
New Bed and Breakfast area created
Marc Knapp

It was a great speech. Not the State of the City address which as usual, was scripted, long on substance and short on fire, No, it was the Mayor’s speech closing the debate on the merits of opposing the incorporation of the Town of James Island (T of JI). It was unscripted, and long on substance, fire and passion. To give up now, the Mayor said would be “beyond ridiculous“.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:13 PM

October 15, 2010

County Council, October 14.
Yet another plan for Mark Clark expressway
DOT’s proposal looks dead!

Warwick Jones

And so it goes on. The issue of the extension of the Mark Clark expressway remains unresolved. It does seem that the proposal of the State Department of Transport (DOT) is dead. But what will be built in its stead, or indeed if anything will be built, remains unresolved.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2010

County Council, September 30
Another tough year ahead for the State and probably for the County
Tough for CARTA too

Warwick Jones

Those looking for a report on the Finance Committee meeting earlier this month would have been disappointed. There was none. It was a featureless meeting with only “bread and butter” items on the agenda. We thought that yesterday’s meeting would be similar. Most of it was but the presentation by a representative of the SC Association of Counties got our attention, and that of most others.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2008

James Islander takes issue with Post & Courier
Errors, distortion and misinformation

If there was a Pulitzer Prize for disinformation Brian Hicks would be on the short list. His recent piece on James Island displayed, in only a few hundred words, an amazing facility for factual error, distortion and misinformation.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:37 PM

March 26, 2007

Shrimp 'n Grits
Harbor View Road “PUD” – Peculiar, Ugly and Dangerous

Lee Walton

For those who travel Harbor View Road on a regular basis, many have noticed with a mixture of trepidation, wonder and amazement the queer collection of eclectic, postmodern residential structures being erected on what once was better known as the location of the historic, albeit recently demolished, Harbor View “Summer House”. This little collection of postage-stamp sized lots located on what was once a tiny, isolated marsh island has floundered for almost a decade as the ill-suited location of the poster-child of deal-estate developments by none other than one of Joe Riley’s most loyal political cronies and former administrative assistants.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2007

County Council, March 20
CHATS presentation does little to resolve issue of I-526 extension
Council agrees to seek change in sales tax ordinance

Warwick Jones

If the presentation by the staff of CHATS was expected to settle the issue of extending the Mark Clark then it failed. The presentation highlighted some of the gains and losses in terms of traffic flow along the roads on and servicing Johns Island. But the spokesmen refused to be drawn into any conclusion as to whether the extension should be built. A random check amongst attendees indicated that most were as confused as this writer.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2006

County Council Meeting - September 14
Town of James Island will be billed for law enforcement services
Sheriff Cannon pushes again for consolidation
Warwick Jones

It was one of the shortest agendas that we have seen for a meeting of the Finance Committee. The only matter of importance was the issue as to what should be charged by the County for providing law-enforcement services to municipalities, and in particular, for the new Town of James island. The issue had been discussed at the previous meeting of the Committee. But because of its importance, a decision had been deferred to allow more time for consideration. Council, meeting as the Finance Committee, voted to continue providing the present level of servicing until the end of this fiscal year, i.e. to June 2007. Thereafter, the new town would be asked to pay for all law-enforcement services. At least that was our understanding. But like others we were confused.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2006

County Council Meeting September 5, 2006
Issue over law enforcement charge to Town of James Island
A higher diversity Goal? Some welcome road repairs
Warwick Jones

What should the County charge if it provides services to the newly formed town of James island? Council, meeting as the Finance Committee, had few issues with the new policy for Services to Municipalities drawn up by Staff until it came to Law Enforcement. After some heated exchanges between Chairman Stavrinakis and Sheriff Cannon, Council decided to mull over the proposal for law enforcement but voted to accept the other proposals.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2006

Shrimp 'n Grits
The Town of James Island - Democracy on Trial
Lee Walton

Once again Mayor J. Pericles Riley and his stable of handpicked poltroons and sycophants regard themselves as the elite group of Charleston's political society that knows what is good for other people better than those people do for themselves. The recent under-handed, covert campaign tactics unleashed by Pericles during the run-up to the latest James Island incorporation referendum clearly demonstrated the raw political power and shameless tactics for which Pericles is best remembered by James Islanders. For him, there were apparently no means unjustified to keep the town from successfully incorporating or now from defending its recent incorporation.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2006

Shrimp 'n Grits
James Island's third incorporation --- a referendum on credibility!
Lee Walton

For the third time, and in the most resounding defeat to date for J. Pericles Riley, his sycophants, cronies and "lap-dog" Palter & Chatter editors, the residents of unincorporated James Island voted in overwhelming numbers to form a new independent town. How and why did this happen and why in such a lop-sided exhibit of defiance in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds? The short answer has its roots in the profound lack of credibility and trust that James Islanders now have for Pericles, his council of emasculated, handpicked poltroons and the local print media. The long answer has its roots in three decades of condescending platitudes, ill treatment, public service neglect, misrepresentations, and deal-estate developments that have raped the serenity and natural beauty of an irreplaceable sea island treasure of the Lowcountry - James Island.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:54 AM

June 16, 2006

County Council June 15
Council uneasily decides on interim administrator
A glance at needs of James Island township
Warwick Jones

Clearly, there were divisions amongst Council members at last night's meeting of the Finance Committee. At issue was the appointment of an interim Administrator. Some members thought that Staff, under the guidance of Deputy Chief Administrator Keith Bustraan, was capable of managing the County, but others thought that Mr. Mack Canterbury, who retired from the County three years or so ago, should be appointed. Ultimately, the committee voted to begin negotiations with Mr. Canterbury.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2006

Let James Islanders decide

Carol Jacobsen
James Island

Recently, much has been said by the two factions, pro and con, about the proposed Town of James Island. The City of Charleston wants to annex James Island and proponents of the new Town of James Island rely on the anti-Joe faction, rather than stating simplly what the costs would be. Now there is a third group who say leave it at the status quo, a naive and silly proposal. It's all about economics, folks.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:13 PM | Comments (1)

May 08, 2006

Shrimp 'n Grits
The Town of Sea Islands - an Intriguing possibility
Lee Walton

Much to the chagrin of both the Palter & Chatter and J. Pericles Riley, the supporters of a third incorporation effort on James Island have received authorization from the Secretary of State to hold a referendum this summer. Predictably, the negative tone and structure of recent Palter & Chatter articles leaves little of their position to ponder, driven no doubt by blind allegiance to Pericles and his relentless thirty year lust to annex all of James Island.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:38 PM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2006

City Council April 11
Differences on annexations
Smoking ban back on agenda
Marc Knapp

It was a lean meeting for news. It seems the Post & Courier shared our view. Its commentary on last night's City Council meeting was confined to a report on annexations. Annexations have been a common feature of just about every meeting for the last 12 months also. What happened last night would normally pass with little or no comment.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

City Council Meeting June 21
Annexations on James Island questioned. More information sought on CARTA budget
Marc Knapp

It promised to be a long meeting with an agenda accumulated over the 4 weeks since the last meeting of City Council. It was a long meeting. But it could have been longer if some the items had been discussed at the length they deserved. Annexations on James Island were the most prominent of issues. As reported in the daily press, the City is planning on annexing 55 properties on James Island. It has been active in canvassing residents to join the City and clearly has enjoyed a measure of success. There were 55 aspirants for annexation this session of Council, and 20 whose applications were up for the second reading in this session. Not surprisingly considering the Mayor's desire to expand the boundaries of the City and to thwart the creation of a new town on James Island, Council approved the annexations. But there were some dissidents among Council members.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

McLeod Plantation - An open letter to the Mayor, City Council, and the Board of the Historic Charleston Foundation

Carol S. Jacobsen
607 Wampler Drive


"Located across Charleston Harbor just southwest of the city, McLeod Plantation encompasses acres of fields and woods. McLeod offers the Foundation an opportunity to interpret the contributions and influences of the rural and agrarian South." The Historic Charleston Foundation website.

I note with concern that we seem to be entering a war of words regarding the opposition by the Friends of McLeod, Inc. to the sale of McLeod Plantation to the School of the Building Arts. The Friends of McLeod, Inc. are dedicated to preserving and protecting all aspects of McLeod Plantation including its house, slave cabins, outbuildings, cemetery, oak allees, woods, and character-defining fields. We want to inform and educate the public on the plantation's historical importance, its military history, its importance in the Civil War, and particularly its importance in African-American history, from slavery to the Civil War to freedom.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2004

McLeod Plantation- "Fight is not over"

Carol S. Jacobsen
607 Wampler Drive


Partial interest in the McLeod Plantation was left to the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) in 1990. It, in turn, purchased full title to the property in 1993, "thus saving the plantation, the complex of antebellum outbuildings and archeological resources from future development." The preceding sentence is a direct quote from the HCF website, which goes on to wax poetic about the history and the house, the unique kitchen and dairy structures, the barn and the rarity of the still existing slave cabins. By accepting the Willie McLeod gift, the Historic Charleston Foundation accepted responsibility and stewardship of this magical historic site as "an opportunity to interpret the contributions and influences of the rural and agrarian South."

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

"Friends" gather to save McLeod from SOBA

Warwick Jones, Editor

The City of Charleston has begun the process allowing the School of Building Arts to acquire the McLeod Plantation. The issue comes before the Board of Zoning Appeals -Zoning, Tuesday, September 7 at 5:15 pm, 75 Calhoun St., and the opponents of the sale are gathering. The opponents, and there are many, want to see the Plantation preserved and open to the public. They have formed a group called Friends of McLeod, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Plantation. They have also been joined by the Cities of Folly Beach and James Island.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

Green space - Can we take Mayor Riley seriously?

Warwick Jones, Editor

"In the blink of an eye, we could destroy an irreplaceable natural area or allow a use which irresponsibly changes a special place. Therefore we must be more prepared than ever. We must have a community vision and sound proactive initiatives in place. All developments and physical changes in our community must pass two fundamental tests. First, is what is planned excellent? Is it the best it can be? If the answer is no, it shouldn't be done. Second, will what is being proposed be useful and celebrated from 50 to 100 years from now? if the answer is no, it must not be allowed. We don't have to make compromises in quality now, if ever we did." Mayor Riley. 2000 Inaugural Address

Mayor Riley has made a lot of noise in the past about Charleston's need for green space. Actually we have press clippings that go back to 1975 where he is quoted about the need. There also was a charette the City organized on parks and green space a month or so after the charette on Ansonborough Field. I suppose that this was some sort of palliative for us who resented the loss of Ansonborough Field, or a large part of it, to the developer's hoe.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:57 PM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2004

The vultures gather

Alfred F. Croucher III
469 Riverland Dr
James Island


The town of James Island has $3 million in the bank. I see the vultures landing to rip out their share. While our officials figure out how to approach the State Supreme court on reversing its decision, they gather. On the edge of the Town limits the bulldozers and constrution workers line up for the whistle to blow so their machinery can begin, again, the destruction of our rural peace. The line at the bank is growing longer as the committees and government agencies begin fighting over their share of the funds we've put away for the good of our island.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2004

A James Islander despairs

Alfred F. Croucher III
469 Riverland Dr
James Island

James Island. Those words bring fond memories to those of us who grew up on this island. The rural setting has long past and those of us here wished to preserve that which was left. It was for this reason we, the actual residents, were asked to decide our future through the ballot box. Majority rule! At least that is what we were taught in the schools we attended on James Island. We went to the ballot box twice and the inhabitants of this little island produced the majority vote both times to form our own town and determine our own future. Did I mention we did this twice?

However the ballot box was not the deciding vote. The will of the people, being the inhabitants of this plot of land, was overthrown by the will of judges who are not elected by the people but appointed by officials in office. A handful of people who know nothing about the area and the people who live here have the right to decide the living conditions of those who do?

Something is not quite right here. I was taught that the government was of the people, for the people and by the people. We just weren't told by what people.

Has our right to determine our future been taken away? When did this happen? Perhaps Margaret Mitchell coined the most apt phrase for is "Gone with the Wind."

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:02 PM

July 21, 2004

City Council Meeting June 20 -
McLeod Plantation development and Neck Area project approved
A questionable rezoning, CARTA budget approved without comment
Marc Knapp who covers City Council

McLeod Plantation to be developed
Well, maybe the Mc Leod Plantation will not be developed in the strict sense of the word, but many in the community feel that the acquisition by the American School of Building Arts will represent the equivalent. After a very long and emotional session, the Council approved the inclusion of the 31.5 acres that represents the major part of the Plantation in the School Overlay Zone classification. This clears the way for the School to purchase the Plantation from the Historic Foundation, and for the School to add those buildings that will be necessary to provide facilities for the 144 students that are expected to be enrolled.

Continue reading "City Council Meeting June 20 -"

Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:34 PM

July 13, 2004

Planning Commission Meeting, July 12

Is the Building Arts College good for McLeod Plantation?

Pat Jones who covers Planning

It is possibly the only intact plantation in all of America. Plantation house, slave houses, oak allee, magnificent vistas from the front piazza plus fields, where once, rice was cultivated. But, no, that wasn't enough to convince the Planning Commission that McLeod was worth preserving. Misty-eyed students and McLeod board members (of which there were so-o-o many) positively swooned whenever the proposed school was mentioned.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 09:40 PM