Over the past four years, Charleston City Council has become a proving ground for embarrassing personal squabbles among its own members — a place where macho finger-wagging and self-important apologia have become fine arts. Gone are the days of former Mayor Joe Riley setting out a course of action and council falling in line, for better or worse.
The picture is not dire in every corner of the city. There has been efficient representation where elected members have effectively and responsibly fulfilled their duties to serve their constituents rather than trying to prove they can do the mayor's job better.
These are different times, for sure. For residents and members of council to find the path forward, the city's leaders need to find a basic level of consensus, collegiality, and willingness to work together. To that end, if you're in doubt when you go to the poll on Nov. 5, vote for members who will help realize that unified vision for our city together.
- Marie Delcioppo
Thankfully, Charleston City Council will gain a female member in District 1 after Tuesday's election to join Carol Jackson as the only other woman on council. The open seat has drawn two qualified candidates, each of whom could capably dispatch the duty.
Daniel Island resident Marie Delcioppo brings experience from her time as a neighborhood leader and bring an eye on undeveloped areas in Cainhoy that would be an asset to City Council.
- Jason Sakran
- Karl Brady
Karl Brady may be a relative newcomer to Charleston, but has demonstrated a comprehensive grasp on the issues affecting District 5. Brady and the incumbent list transportation as a priority (both support the extension of I-526), but more highways will mean even more people, only exacerbating development-related issues in District 5.
Brady's multi-modal perspective on transportation planning is needed in all parts of town, but it could especially help forestall sprawl in suburban areas.
- Rev. Christian King
Although unseasoned, the Rev. Christian King is a refreshing voice who remembers that fighting for her community and the common good is job number one. She's a better choice this year.
- Peter Shahid Jr.
District 9 Councilman Peter Shahid has consistently impressed on council since being elected in 2015, lending no-nonsense leadership to West Ashley revitalization efforts despite being surrounded by detractors on council. Even if challengers didn't include a man who advocates for Confederate monuments, we would urge West Ashley voters to give Shahid another term.
- Ross Appel
In 2011, long before Andy Brack was publisher of this newspaper, he ran for city council against incumbent District 11 Councilman Bill Moody, and editor Sam Spence worked on Brack's campaign — before he was hired at the City Paper. Normally, those facts would complicate an endorsement in District 11, so consider them as you wish. But since that time, the incumbent has cast votes and staked out positions on issues that run counter to the values of many District 11 residents and City Paper readers. Moody, for example, opposed adding a safe passage across the Ashley River for cyclists and pedestrians. He also voted against the city's slavery apology, which he called a "feel good" resolution. Ross Appel is the lone challenger and says he wants to break with "old-time political drama." That would be a welcome change for this city council.
Whomever you pick Nov. 5, this election will have a tremendous impact on Charleston's livability and future. Get to the polls and exercise your duty by voting.