Washington vows to preserve Charleston’s suburbs

Washington vows to preserve Charleston’s suburbs
July 30 10:26 2019 Print This Article

Speaking at a neighborhood town hall Monday, Charleston Mayoral candidate Maurice Washington vowed to preserve Charleston’s suburbs in West Ashley, James Island and John’s Island. He said, “We’re not going to bring the Charleston peninsula to our suburbs.” He added that overdevelopment reduces the quality of life in suburban communities. The West Ashley Master Plan, adopted by Charleston City Council in 2017, depicts a West Ashley with high-rise apartment buildings going right up to the road.

Washington cited that some of the desirable features of Charleston’s suburbs are nice neighborhoods with single-family homes and locally owned shops with an abundance of free parking. He wants to enhance the suburban communities with beautification and the preservation of the wetlands, while improving the drainage infrastructure. He said, “I’m going to listen to the people and make sure they get what THEY want.”

As a two-term Charleston City Councilman, Washington served as the Ways and Means Chair, responsible for preparing the city budget. He said, “I was responsible for the money, so I needed to know how it was spent.” He frequently visited city departments to understand their jobs and needs. As Mayor, he plans to ride along with sanitation crews, police, and firefighters and observe the work being performed by all city departments. He will make sound fiscal management a key theme in his campaign.

Workforce development and economic opportunity are two elements Washington plans to prioritize. He wants to partner with the schools and colleges and make sure students have apprenticeship opportunities for the jobs in demand. He said, “If folks don’t have the right skills, they won’t earn the higher wages.” Washington said boosting average incomes would reduce Charleston’s problem with housing affordability. He has produced a campaign video with the themes of inclusion and economic opportunity for the people of Charleston.

Charleston’s municipal elections for Mayor and six city council districts will be held Tuesday, November 5. Filing for the seats extends from Monday, August 5 to Monday, August 19. To date, seven candidates have expressed interest in running for Mayor, including Washington, incumbent Mayor John Tecklenburg, City Councilmen Harry Griffin, Mike Seekings and Gary White, and West Ashley residents Will Freeman and Sheri Irwin.