Name: Kathy Landing
Party: Nonpartisan
Office: Mount Pleasant mayor

Landing

1. Why are you running?

I am running because we need a proactive, positive Mayor who knows how to collaborate to get things done. We need a Mayor for all of Mount Pleasant, not just a special interest group or a certain part of town; someone who understands that everyone from natives to newcomers want to feel that this is truly their hometown. We need a Mayor who understands that providing for the common defense, those things that people cannot do for themselves such as police, firefighters, and public service teams is our primary role. We must focus on solving problems, not settling political scores.

2. What do you expect to accomplish if elected?

I will bring a positive, results oriented change to our local government where civility, respect, collaboration and transparency are the standard. We must communicate more openly with our citizens, asking for their input (not just in a 2 minute Public Comment period, but on a regular basis through social media and other forums) and letting them know what is going on throughout the Town. Our biggest current challenge is traffic congestion, a multi-faceted problem to solve. We must embrace the concept of “Live, Work, Play” to shorten or eliminate car trips, and other solutions for a higher quality of life.

3. What distinguishes your candidacy?

My extensive background of achievement throughout life, often times against all odds has allowed me to quickly learn how to apply strong leadership principles to the Council form of government. I will lead by example and project a proactive, positive attitude at all times, never disrespecting my fellow Council members, and encouraging our citizens and Council members alike to work together to solve our toughest problems. My vision for Mount Pleasant is helping our Town be the very best hometown where everyone can reach their potential and achieve the highest possible quality of life. 

4. Describe how the impact of climate change in the Charleston area would affect your work if elected.

Orrin Pilkey was a professor at the Duke Marine Lab when I studied there, and his book, Sea Level Rise lists Charleston as #11 of the most at-risk communities in the country for serious flooding, which is disturbing but no surprise to those of us who have lived here a long time. We must act quickly on the obvious solutions such as planting substantially more trees, stop filling in and building on wetlands, and limit any new building close to the shoreline. New buildings should be incentivized to use solar and other environmentally impactful solutions to minimize negative outcomes. 

5. Pick an issue you believe has not been adequately addressed by local government.

Describe solutions you will pursue if elected. We need to diversify our local economy so residents can work close by. Our primary industries are hospitality and healthcare, and hospitality is fragile in a recession. As Economic Development Chair I have worked to bring industries like content production, technology, and shipping-related companies. We have major barriers to new businesses including high impact fees and expensive land costs. Content production in the form of a 3 way studio for film, television and commercials would be a catalyst to bring post-production here. This will create greater long term revenue streams for the town, and shorten car trips to reduce traffic congestion.

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.

The #1 concern is traffic congestion. Limited permit allocations to slow residential growth are not enough. We need to increase efforts for workforce housing through private developers such as the Gregorie Ferry Road townhomes for which I was a big early supporter. We need more jobs and services on our side of the bridge. We need to encourage a collaborative living arrangement for hotel and restaurant workers to live onsite in vacant rooms. We need to continue to move forward with road improvements like the completion of Billy Swails Blvd as a third artery north used primarily by locals. 

7. Do you pledge to work with other council members to move forward collaboratively and to reduce partisanized bickering?

How will you accomplish this? This is the primary reason I am running for Mayor, to change the negative environment and have our members work together to solve problems. I absolutely pledge to do this as I have my whole life. My business was built from the ground up. I was able to build a highly successful financial planning practice where my clients are very diverse in their religion, political leanings and lifestyle. I have always treated every person I meet with great respect and care. My work on Council has been the same, even when someone had a completely different viewpoint and vote. 

8. Please give a 150-word summary of your background. 

Originally from New Orleans, my parents passed away when I was 13 years of age, and I lived with my older half-brother, a chaplain/captain in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg. At 16, I attended Duke University, earning a B.S.in biology. My husband Joe, a naval ROTC student and I met there, married after graduating, and came to Charleston with the Navy in 1984. I attended MUSC for a master’s degree in hospital administration where classes in economics and management led to my career path. I built a highly successful financial planning practice, and earned both the CFP certification, and an M.S. in financial planning. 

Our two children went to Pinckney, Cario and Wando High Schools. Having volunteered for numerous non-profits, I ran for Town Council. Chair of the Economic Development Committee, I have served on 8 Council Committees and look forward to continuing to work hard for our residents.