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I know a lot of people that share the majority of my viewpoints for a balanced Folly community support Chris Bizzell. So recently, it came time to do the research of each candidate on my own. As I read through his information, I did agree with his perspectives and opinions on what is important and needs attention to making Folly an even better place to live. I also got that feeling, that gut instinct that just tells you that he’s sincere and that he’s just simply a nice guy. That’s also important to me. That often comes into play when council must be open minded and fair and lean on a good conscience to make good decisions.

What really stood out to me is that Chris doesn’t just have a sentence or two, but bold type and a very long paragraph concerning LTRs (long term rentals). I am a long-term renter and have been for quite a long time. Sadly, there are so many of us who found themselves displaced from their homes as they became ISTRs. A lot of our citizens don’t really consider us residents and some don’t even think we should vote, preferring owners and tourists only. We are residents. We call Folly home and Chris respects that. He, obviously, has put thought into how to keep the ones we have and try to gain more, making it possible for owners to earn incentives to long-term rent. He and I have gone back-and-forth since my initial read and, again, his sincerity to really brainstorm and actually put forth ideas is telling. He does care about this issue. It’s not just BS or some kooky plan to see what those poor long term renters are up to.

It’s fantastic that LTR’s have increased since the cap was voted in and we need to keep that going. Folly is Folly when it’s diverse and a wide cast of characters with all levels of income! We are not Kiawah, IOP and definitely not Sullivans island! This is the reason our tourists are so happy and fun and keep coming back year after year. Folly is unique because of its variety of residents and make up the precious quirkiness we all love. With no quirk, it’s just a normal, ok beach town. I feel like the long term renters add a lot to that face of Folly and always have!

I also believe that our island’s employees don’t deserve to sit in bumper to bumper traffic in their commute to and from work the majority of the year. The rentals are growing but so are rent prices. Luckily, some 3 and 4 bedrooms have opened up and people are able to share the rent. I’d like to explore tax incentives to owners and other ideas that can make it possible for one person or a young couple to be able to rent as well.

As former Mayor Beck stated a while ago at a meeting, the heavy lifting is done on the backs of the residents, not the tourists. We need a balanced community of both. A very high percentage of our island is ISTRs. I just don’t understand why the residents want more or unlimited short term rentals when a lot of them don’t own one or run a business. Communities are dealing with this all over the world. Changes have to be made to keep the character of different cities and communities. We won’t want to live in nor visit places that are all traps overrun with tourists!

All of that said, of course I care about environmental concerns, septic and flooding issues, walkways and bike paths and a host of other issues. I do feel Chris Bizzell cares about this community. I do think he’s open minded and a patient guy that will listen and vote fairly. I’ve told him I think it’s fair that the heirs should be included in str licenses and we agree that the issue needs to be put forth and then we can try to heal this divisiveness and bitterness. It’s just not been the laid back vibe that it was. Oh what I’d give to get back to the biggest problem I have is “oh damn, I can’t remember that dog’s name!”

Tara L Wear
Folly Beach

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