It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Charleston’s mayoral election. The City is at a crossroads. Traffic congestion has worsened; May is now gridlock. Hundreds of new hotel rooms have just been built, and hundreds more have been permitted or are in the queue, yet no one has studied their impact. A proposed new cruise terminal looms, one that the head of the State Ports Authority admits would be “like an airport,” yet the current mayor has no interest in moving it from the Historic District or mitigating any of the impacts. Most importantly, no one but this blog will report on how lifting the embargo against Cuba, once formalized, will increase cruise passenger traffic in and out of Charleston’s harbor.
Major developments including recent (and potentially proposed) Sergeant Jasper, the West Edge, the new Children’s Hospital and others will lock up traffic on Lockwood Boulevard and make the commute to West Ashley almost impossible. The only proposed solution…bike lanes… The flooding, the aging infrastructure, the crumbling Battery wall…
What we do not need is another mayor who will continue to look the other way. We need a mayor who will hit the pause button on growth and development-at-any-cost and pull out one of the many thoughtful plans and begin to work with the community on real solutions.
The Charleston Mercury believes “one candidate stands out from the group; he is civic leader and businessman John Tecklenburg. Mr. Tecklenburg crossed the Rubicon of Charleston politics when he decided to oppose the Beach Company’s plans to redevelop the Sergeant Jasper Apartments. He stood up to a longstanding ally and took a path of principle that endeared his candidacy to many Charlestonians. This is not the place to re-launch that tug of war, but it boiled down to a candidate showing clearly that he has ears to hear his constituents.”(1)
Endorsing John Tecklenburg, The Post and Courier admits that the next mayor “will have his hands full,” but says “Mr. Tecklenburg recognizes the challenges, and has the ability, experience and temperament to meet them effectively. He is a retired business executive, and he served for eight years as Mayor Joe Riley’s director of economic development. The affable Mr. Tecklenburg will bring a thoughtful approach to a difficult job.”
What will he do? Tecklenburg “calls for a moratorium on new hotel construction until restrictions can be put into place in consultation with residents, historic preservation groups and neighborhood associations. He would similarly invoke a ‘pause’ in approving special events that increasingly cause traffic, parking problems and noise in city neighborhoods,” editorialized the P&C, and quoted Tecklenburg saying that “we need to redirect our focus on the things that affect our livability.” “Those things,” writes the P&C, “include housing affordability, traffic management and improved transportation. He would encourage city incentives for affordable housing, and would urge the Charleston Housing Authority to provide additional units for low-income people through better utilization of the agency’s land holdings.”(2) And Tecklenburg would do a much-needed performance audit on all city departments to ensure we’re getting our money’s worth (long overdue, by the way).
John Tecklenburg promises to work with other jurisdictions to create regional solutions for planning, transportation, and mass transit.
Only one candidate has run a positive campaign, and only one candidate has offered a comprehensive plan for making Charleston livable in the future, Charleston native John Tecklenburg. We join The Mercury, The Post and Courier, Charleston Currents (3), Ginny Deerin, Henry Fishburne, Sen. Robert Ford and many others endorsing JOHN TECKLENBURG for Mayor. Please be sure to VOTE.
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1) Charleston Mercury endorsement:
com/index.php/en/editorial/ 601-john-tecklenburg- charleston-s-next-mayor
2) Post and Courier’s endorsement:
3) Charleston Currents endorsement: