Name: John Iacofano
Office: Mount Pleasant Town Council at-large
- Why are you running?
I am running to ensure a high quality of life for future generations. To promote and protect small businesses through revitalization and opportunity. Fight for our First Responders to ensure our children, our workforce, our senior citizens, and our community are safe. Complete the projects that improve our way of life to include more parks, fields, pedestrian/bike thoroughfares, arts, and a senior/community center. Provide the opportunity for our teachers, first responders, and town employees live and work in the community they serve.
2. What do you expect to accomplish if elected?
I want to promote local businesses and provide professional jobs to keep our residents in our community to live, work, and play. Ensure proper compensation package plan is being utilized that compares public and private sectors to retain Mount Pleasants most valuable assets, our employees. Ensure that we have a solution for the employee shortage within and around the town. Create a short-, mid- and long-term vision of 5, 10, and 25 years to ensure that our decision making is consistent and unwavering. We must be diligent and consistent in our decision making.
3. What distinguishes your candidacy?
My ability to be proactive and my understanding that being in a reactive state costs time and money that the town can no longer afford. My experience of creating a business from a one-man chef to over 85 employees in 6 cities across the nation for over 20 years requires adaptability and cooperation. Create a culture of listening, planning, and definitive action. We are one big team and each person on this team is important and their voice and opinion matters. The goal is to be the gold standard of a live, work, and play in the Lowcountry.
4. Describe how the impact of climate change in the Charleston area would affect your work if elected.
We need to find solutions to rising sea levels and pollution. We can start by creating pockets of live, work, and play communities to reduce traffic. Increase our parks, field, and green space around town to reduce the travel time to get to parks and recreation. Increase and repair our pedestrian & bike thoroughfares for safety and mobility. Look to other municipalities for success stories to fast track our improvements. Understand and improve the effect that our town has on the environment both here and abroad with one improvement being our recycling program.
5. Pick an issue you believe has not been adequately addressed by local government. Describe solutions you will pursue if elected.
We must complete the following projects to provide recreation and cultural arts space for our children and future generations. Mount Pleasant Way, Carolina Park, and the new Rifle Range Road Park. We must create a collaborative effort with the successful clubs in our town and the recreation department. Working together we can create opportunities for children to learn and grow on the highest level. By creating a cooperative alliance our parks can be completed quicker and our children will have more opportunity to grow and learn.
6. Pick one urgent issue currently facing the office you are seeking (different from questions 4 and 5) and describe how you would address it.
Mount Pleasant must encourage small business. I don’t want to pave paradise to put up a parking lot but our impact fees are discouraging businesses from opening and setting them up for financial failure. Our high impact fees are suited for large corporations and big box retail, which is necessary, but should not be our only choices. We must promote the long-term business license fees and tax revenue that is created by helping and encouraging small business. We must give the opportunity for our residents to work here which also decreases traffic.
7. Do you pledge to work with other council members to move forward collaboratively and to reduce partisanized bickering? How will you accomplish this?
Absolutely! There will always be differences in opinion, but we are put in office by the residents to do what is best for the town. Although it may feel personal at times it is important to work together as a team to ensure a proper 5-, 10-, and 25-year vision is created. We must constantly move together towards that vision. I ensure that I will give 100% truth all the time and stand for my beliefs. I will inform the residents of upcoming votes and policies so they can be well informed and their voice can be heard.
8. Please give a 150-word summary of your background.
My wife Krissy and I have been residents of Mount Pleasant for over two-decades raising our three children in Mount Pleasant public schools.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales University with honors and a small business owner of 20 years, John has taken a one Chef restaurant into a national catering brand. I understand the hardships of growth and the need to ensure that employees and infrastructure are sound. John knows firsthand the impact of small business on a community, the revenue they create, and the time it takes to run one successfully. Small business is the focal point of a thriving community by employing our citizens and giving back to our schools and charitable causes.
I want to preserve the character of the town for our children, the next generation and the community. We must take care of our children, our small business community, town employees, and area residents.