Name: Myra Jones
Party: Nonpartisan
Office: Mount Pleasant Town Council at-large

Jones
  1. Why are you running?

Last year, when the local beach towns restricted access to state roads and public beaches, I was a founder of the Charleston Beach Foundation, spent countless hours calling, writing and emailing elected officials, and testified before the State Senate and House of Representatives. That work culminated with the enactment of a law ensuring that these restrictions won’t happen again unless approved by SCDOT. I learned that, unless you are in an elected position, you can’t make the important decisions and changes. I want to be elected to make the important decisions to make my town better.

2. What do you expect to accomplish if elected? 

I expect to help our town grow “smartly” to manage and control the growth, which includes developing multi-use hubs where you can work/live/play and providing affordable homes for our workforce, millennials, the elderly, and smaller families; address issues such as traffic, infrastructure and rising crime; take action to preserve ecologically important lands, established neighborhoods, the Cultural Core, and Settlement Communities; provide additional recreational opportunities Town-wide; promote business and a Cultural Arts Center; and address inconsistencies in decisions of Council and our municipal code to avoid litigation, and revise the code where necessary.

3. What distinguishes your candidacy?

I have worked as a legal professional for 46 years; have a broad base of legal knowledge/experience (including working in a City Attorney’s office, and handling complex litigation and a SC Supreme Court case); am skilled in working as part of a team, handling difficult situations and respectfully addressing differences of opinion; am a 30 year resident of Mt. Pleasant; have been a volunteer leader of various nonprofits, charities and school organizations for over 20 years; and have proven that I am able to work with government officials to make life better for all  (see Response #1).

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

With rising temperatures and sea levels, many of our neighbors’ homes will be under water in 50 years, unless we take action now. I would participate in discussions with the City of Charleston, NOAA, and other government agencies to develop short-term and long-range plans to counter these effects.  We must work with nature, and not against it.  Sea walls could be built and land fill may help in some areas.  Protecting our ecologically important lands, like wetlands, flood plains, maritime forests, green spaces, and beaches/dunes, are vitally important measures. By protecting trees and greenery, we also reduce temperatures. 

5. Pick an issue you believe has not been adequately addressed by local government. Describe solutions you will pursue if elected.

Traffic! We can do the following:

a) Add more bike lanes so workers can bike to work;
b) Build more live/work/play multi-use hubs to lessen the need to travel;
c) Synchronize lights so traffic flows more quickly;
d) Increase and enlarge roadways so that there are more travel options than only Hwy 17 & Coleman Blvd;
f) Promote mass transit options;
g) Encourage businesses to locate in Mount Pleasant, so that our residents do not have to travel for work; and
h) Develop more affordable homes so that our workforce is able to live and work here.

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.

Rising housing costs must be addressed immediately.  We must avoid moratoriums which only serve to increase housing costs.  We should encourage multi-use developments (work/play/live hubs), which have smaller homes/condos/town houses at a more affordable.  Next, we should encourage redevelopment of areas being underutilized, and new developments which include a percentage of smaller footprint homes (900 to 1400 sq. ft. homes) for our workforce, service personnel, smaller families, millennials and the elderly. Another plus:  all these options require less infrastructure than standard developments. 

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

Yes.  My experience in the legal field has taught me how to be respectful even when disagreeing.  Further, I do not associate with one political party or another, and have no allegiances to any special interests.  I have proven my ability to work toward goals without being disrespectful through my efforts to counter the actions of the beach communities when they placed restrictions on access to the state roads and beaches to nonresidents. Respect is paramount in my book.

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

I was born in Sumter, SC, and moved to Charleston at age 13.  (My family has lived here since the 1700’s.)  After graduating from St. Andrews High School, I married a Citadel Grad and spent four years as a military wife.  We moved to Stockton, California, where my two oldest children were born. I returned home 6 years later as a single mother of two children, worked full time at a local law office, went back to school at night, and obtained my Paralegal Degree from Trident Technical College. I remarried soon thereafter to husband, David Jones, and we added one more child to the family.  I have raised my family here since 1990, and have been a volunteer to our church, charities, schools and nonprofits for over 20 years.  In have been a legal professional for 46 years. And, I have four grandsons!