Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Folly Beach Council

Folly Beach Council
  • Candidate picture

    Keith Bolus (NP) Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    William Farley (NP) Law Enforcement, retired

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    Amy Ray (NP) SAHM (Stay At Home Mom)

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    D J Rich (NP) Co-owner of Planet Follywood

  • Roger Rutledge (NP) Emcee and Fundraiser for those in need.

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    Joe Vandiver (NP) Retired / Business Owner

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    Roger F VanDyke (NP) Retired Registered Nurse

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What experiences qualify you to represent the citizens of Folly Beach as a member of City Council?

Other than beach preservation, what should be the top three priorities for Council during the next four years?

What should the City do to improve pedestrian and bike safety?

Should the City require beautification of commercial parking lots?

If the City provides funds or services to support a special event, should the organizers be required to reimburse the City out of any profits?

Would you vote to abolish the Folly Gras Festival?

Because cigarette butts are a primary source of litter on the beach, would you vote to ban smoking on the beach?

What do you think should happen to the Folly Boat?

Campaign Phone (843) 693-7189
Age 59
Facebook Keith Bolus
Education B.A. in Political Science College of Charleston 1981, Masters in Public Administration C of C 1984, USC School of Law 1986
Experience 5 years as an assistant solicitor for Charleston County. 11 years as Hanahan municipal prosecutor. 25 years as a trial lawyer. 3 years on James Island Charter High School Board of Directors. 20 years as a youth and high school volunteer sports coach. 15 years member of James Island Presbyterian church
Candidate Email
I was born and raised on James Island and Folly Beach. My parents built a summer home near the Washout in 1968. I became a full time resident in 1986, over 30 years ago. I have been a practicing lawyer for over 30 years. I believe that my legal expertise would be an asset to City Council in determining the legality and appropriateness of the City’s actions. Most of all, I’ve been a resident for many years and I want to work for the residents of Folly Beach. The resident's quality of life will be my top priority. I have a Masters in Public Administration and I served on the James Island Charter High School Board of Directors. During my 30 years in the legal profession, I have dealt with a wide range of issues including those with municipal governments.
Beach renourishment will always be one of the priorities for Council, not only during the four years, but in perpetuity. We will have to obtain other sources of revenue including additional State and Federal aid, and the use of tourism dollars to pay for it. The second priority would be to improve our infrastructure, to include our water supply system, and finding funds to pay for it, including using tourism dollars. If need be, we need to lobby our State government to allow us to use these funds to help improve the beach, which not only benefits the residents, but also the visitors. The third priority, which is the most important, is the quality of life of our residents. We need to insure that our residents are always the City’s top priority.

It is quite simple. The City has not put in the necessary effort required to build pedestrian and bike ways on all of the major thoroughfares. The City should also consider asking to State in lowering the speed limit to 25 mph.
It should be considered if it can be done in a cost effective way, without undue financial hardship to the owners.
The City should be reasonably compensated for its expenses regardless of whether the special event is profitable. The City currently spends about $100,000 per year for special events but is not compensated even though some of them are highly profitable. Maybe if the City was paid for its services it could use these funds to help pay for infrastructure. Under special circumstances the City can either reduce or waive its cost.
I believe that that welfare and public safety of our residents is our highest concern. While the City has made improvements in the operation of Folly Gras, work still needs to be done. I do believe that the City’s resources can be better utilized in protecting the quality of life of its residents, which would include putting the work and effort in to insure that it’s residents have a safe and adequate water supply. I believe the City has positively responded to the concerns of its residents to improve the festivals and limit the negative consequences that affect the quality of our life. I do not believe that there has been an open discussion about how much Folly Gras costs the City. While the event is profitable for some, it is the residents who have to endure the public safety hazard and inconvenience.
I believe that the City should enforce existing regulations to discourage littering and, only as a last resort, consider banning smoking on the beach.

Hurricane Hugo brought the boat in and Hurricane Irma took it away. It is the stuff of legends which cannot be recreated.
Campaign Phone (843) 633-3083
Age 57
Facebook William Farley
Education Bachelor of Arts, Belmont Abbey College / Master of Public Administration, UNC at Charlotte / Graduate F.B.I. National Academy, Quantico Virginia / Licensed Real Estate Broker NC (inactive) / Trained Civil Court Mediator
Experience 30 years Law Enforcement, Gaston County (NC) Police / Folly Beach Public Safety (Beach Patrol) 2016 - present / Folly Beach Accommodations Tax Advisory Board member 2017 - present
Candidate Email
I began a 30 year career in law enforcement with the Gaston County Police, the last ten of which I served as Chief of Police. This accredited agency had 240 employees, a budget of 18 million, and divisions that included Police, 911 Communications, and Animal Control. I earned a Bachelors Degree (Belmont Abbey College), a Masters Degree in Public Administration (UNC at Charlotte), and I am a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy (Quantico, VA). I am a licensed real estate broker (inactive N.C.), and a trained civil court mediator. I have successfully worked with elected officials at local, state and federal levels. I have served on many boards and committees throughout my career, including those of government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. I am a good team member. I give careful thought to my decisions. I will work very hard to serve its citizens and keep it a wonderful place to live.
I have reviewed the 2017 Five Year Strategic Plan for Folly Beach. I believe the document is a well thought out plan for our future goals. I agree with its findings and the prioritized ranking for future projects.

Beach preservation is indeed the top priority. The following three priorities are: * Infrastructure and Capital Planning - improving our network of 60 year old water pipes * Drainage system maintenance and improvements * Pedestrian and bike safety
The City has currently pursuing a design to create a pedestrian path along 2nd Street East (E. Indian to E. Arctic) and a second path along E. Hudson Ave. (Center Street to 5th Street East). This effort represents the start of the City’s’ next investment to improve pedestrian safety. Future projects should be identified and these investments should continue year over year, resulting in a fiscally sound plan for continued improvement. There is also a need to better maintain existing right of ways, and roadside walkways. Flexible mats or mulch would help many pedestrian access areas where erosion and exposed roots present a walking hazard. Similarly, trimming back trees and brush would also improve some of the already existing access areas.
I do not believe the city should adopt an ordinance to require the beautification of commercial parking lots. I believe we should to a better job of recognizing those that make an effort to improve their parking lots. We could look more into providing motivation and guidance rather than legislation. It has been my experience that when minimum standards are set – it often minimum standards that are met. I believe we can encourage more and help others to achieve more.
For those events that make a profit the city should plan to limit the amount of its contributions. I do not believe that the city should always demand a zero sum, but rather give careful consideration to any contribution of funds or services - so that it would be commensurate to the overall value of the event for the city. In some cases the reimbursement to the city may be indirect – for example, an increase in tax revenue that otherwise would not be realized. I currently serve on the Special events in all cases should be encouraged to reduce their dependence on City contributions year after year.
I would not vote to abolish Folly Gras, but rather continue the work to make this a more successful and improved community festival each year.
Beginning my third year on Beach Patrol I am always disappointed by the trash irresponsible people leave on our beautiful beach. It would be impossible to eliminate litter by regulating items that could be brought onto the beach. Enforcement also has its challenges and would have only limited success in cleaning up the beach. In considering a ban on smoking, I believe the decision to ban smoking (or not) is an opportunity for voters to decide for themselves. I would support a process that would allow for a public referendum on the matter.

We have all enjoyed the boat and most of its colorful messages. It is unfortunate that it was washed away, in much the same way that it arrived. If the boat were to be returned, I believe it should be done at private expense to private property. I would not be in favor of spending tax dollars on the boats reclamation, relocation, continuing maintenance, insurance liability or other costs.
Age 44
Facebook voteamyray
Education Bachelors, Business Administration, College of Charleston
Experience Public Relations, Marketing, Meeting and Event Planning, Retail Management
Candidate Email
The most important qualification is the willingness to be a public servant. My past career experiences in marketing, public relations and meeting and event planning required strong people skills, organizational skills and ability to see the greater picture. All of which are a pre-requisite to being a productive, fair and positive public servant. On a local level, my experience organizing the Slow Down Campaign only amplified what I felt about Folly - My neighbors and fellow residents are enthusiastic about our community and making it a wonderful place to live, work and vacation.
1) Island wide pedestrian and bike safety 2) Infrastructure 3) Public Communication

LOWER THE SPEED LIMIT. I understand this is not a municipality decision, however we have to remain vigilant about this lifesaving change. Efforts are underway to achieve a lower speed limit, and we should always be considering additional ideas to lower the speed limit, should there be a "speed bump" with the current progress and plan. The other part of the solution is to clear the way for pedestrian walking/bike paths. As residents on what could be a very pedestrian friendly island we should be able to walk down all streets and walk to the beach safely. Walking paths on the side of our streets, speed bumps surrounding the playgrounds, clearly marked (i.e. reflecting lights, street stencils, changes in pavement texture) at all cross walks and busy cross streets are changes we can make as a municipality.
More foliage is always better and more appealing. As far as a requirement, it might be a bit over-reaching. I think the first step is to offer suggestions on how to beautify commercial parking lots and why it is important to Folly Beach and the business. Beautification can be as simple as having more trash cans and recycle bins available to parking customers, adding plants in strategic areas and keeping your "storefront" area litter free and tidy. Our island is full of savvy plant lovers who I'm sure if asked would be happy to offer indigenous plant suggestions and/or even a little of their time to see a more beautiful Folly.
This is an answer best given once I am elected and included in the budget meetings and the operations of the city. I think as a city that hosts special events, providing funds or services is something we take on for the safety and enjoyment of our residents and visitors. However, resident and city staff input is needed to make the best decision.
The organizers have done a good job to make this festival and others a better atmosphere and safer. Organizers are learning more with each passing festival, and communication and a willingness to make adjustments will be key to the success of all festivals. Thus far, the festival focus as been on improving the festival on Center Street. I think now it is time to focus on how to lessen the burden residents feel on festival days. Having a resident only entrance/line and more patrolling throughout the residential areas will alleviate some of the livability issues often felt by residents. I think residents would also appreciate a "follow-up" / "how did we do" questionnaire at the close of each festival or festival "season". After implementing resident friendly changes and a formal resident feedback program I will be able to use this critical information to make a decision regarding this and all festivals.
It feels a little over-reaching to ban smoking on the beach. Creating public awareness of the harmful effects cigarette butts have on our environment might be better received. It's a personal choice to smoke, and it is the smoker's responsibility (not to mention environmental and civic duty) to dispose of cigarette butts properly. Looking at the success of the anti-plastic bag and reducing plastic straws campaigns I think everyone is in the right frame of mind to listen.
The boat’s arrival and departure were the perfect beginning and end to this much-loved landmark. Losing the boat is a personal loss for all residents (my own wedding date and birth announcement of my first born were painted on the boat). I would support a private group/committee established and organized to fund, place and maintain the boat. I think this group can work with the City and/or private residents to find a suitable location. It will take perseverance, but it’s certainly worth exploring with the right intentions.
Campaign Phone (843) 475-9787
Age 38
Education Irmo High School Clemson University Tri County Technical College Municipal Elected Officials Institute
Experience 6 years Folly Beach City Council
Candidate Email
It's been an honor to serve as your representative for 6 years now & I’m excited for our future. We've been working hard to protect natural resources, increase safety, promote livability & provide top notch city services, all while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the county. We have a healthy beach management plan & relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure proper beach renourishment. We’ve increased communications & transparency by live streaming meetings, creating a new city app, updated website, instant access to meeting agendas & minutes and so much more. We’ve worked to balance the community needs of residents (our most prized asset) with visitors (which our economy depends on) to ensure proper standards for both. We’ve upgraded & enhanced our City, including the Center Street makeover, public access right of ways, fixed flood prone areas & beach accesses. We have been fiscally responsible with your money, & it is evident in all we were able to accomplish.
1- Infrastructure. Our pipes are 60 years old. We finally have complete mapping of where our pipes are, now begins the task of replacement. This will be a time consuming and costly task, but clean water is a necessity. 2- Livability. We are constantly working to make this a great place to live and visit. When problems arise, we have to examine the problem and come up with the best solution 3- Safety. This is another constant issue. We have made strides these last few years with safer crosswalks, pedestrian paths, redesigned Center Street, wider sidewalks, etc. We need to keep improving island wide with similar projects as funding allows.
We have to continue the progress we have made recently. Keep extending pedestrian paths, mid block right of ways, beach accesses, and crosswalks. We should look to create more bike lanes and pedestrian paths where available. We are currently looking into how to make our crosswalks on Center Street more visible, especially at night. This is a continuous project that takes funding and ingenuity.
This is an item in our current strategic plan. It will go through the planning commission for thoughts and ideas, and then back to council for approval. I like the initial idea, but we need to see more specifics. Parking is at a premium on the island, so while I like the idea of making them more aesthetic, I don't want to create a hardship for anyone or reduce the amount of parking available.
Not in our case. We have a community promotion board that distributes City money to community events such as our Halloween Carnival and Farmer's Market. We have an ATAX board that distributes tourism dollars to tourism based community events like Surfers Healing and Take a Kid Fishing Day. We also provide services to some larger community based events, however, it is not unusual for a city to subsidize events that are a proven community favorite. The City of North Charleston subsidizes the Stingrays hockey team because it is supported by the community. Most of these events and organizations donate profits to local charities and community groups so the money is well spent for community spirit.
No. I think the new measures taken by our City and Business Association are working. The security, restrooms and gated festival area have done wonders at keeping crowds contained and under control. This is a favorite of many local residents and businesses, and it would be a great loss if we had to cancel it. That's not to say that if it did get out of control we wouldn't cut it off, I just hope it doesn't get to that point.
While cigarette butts are a source of litter, I don't think we're at the point of banning all cigarette use. At some point, people need to take responsibility and control their own trash. We can not ban everything that we don't like. Water bottles, kid toys and diapers are other big sources of litter, but we can't restrict their use. I am generally not a fan of increased legislation, especially when it is something that is virtually unenforceable, as this would be. We were able to put the plastic bag and Styrofoam container ban into effect, which our businesses got behind and removed them from their counters as well because there are several options that are more environmentally friendly. I do not see cigarettes happening in the same regard.
The mystique of the Folly boat was that it was brought in by a hurricane, and eventually taken by a hurricane. But I also understand the public sentiment to bring it back. It was the most unique message board in the world. Countless birthdays, anniversaries, prom requests, we were here moments, etc have graced the front of the boat in various colors of paint. The positive messages far outweighed negatives. It would be a struggle to bring back, including finding a mutually acceptable location, DOT approval, raising significant funds, etc. But if we could find the right circumstances, I would love to paint it again
Campaign Phone (336) 413-5588
Age 64
Facebook Roger Rutledge
Education Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Experience Over 40 years in the Performing Arts field in lighting, scenery, sets and sound.
Candidate Email
As a volunteer of Surfers Healing, Warrior Surf Foundation, Vice President of the Follypalooza Board of Directors, the Folly Beach Anglers Take a Kid Fishing Day, the Folly Angels, Folly Family Fun Night, National Night Out, the Folly Association of Business, the Civic Club and the Exchange Club for the last five years I have the experience of working with all of the business owners and many of the residents which has given me more of and insight to the growing needs of our community and it's citizens. Improving the relationship between the citizens and the business owners is of the utmost importance in the growth of our community.
Infrastructure, long term versus short term rental and livability on our island.
Bike safety is a tricky one considering there are isn't any room for bike lanes or sidewalks to the east and west of Center Street, but lowering the speed limits throughout the island would help considerably. With the growing popularity of Folly Beach our pedestrian crosswalks are quite scary. Slowing down the speed limit on Center Street is a must and the speed limit needs to be enforced! I am not a big fan of signage but if we could make the crosswalks more visible with unique designs and also paint these designs with a glow in the dark environmentally safe paint that would help. Our busiest area/intersection is Ashley and Center and having a four way stop at the same time for all traffic every so often would help pedestrian crossing confusion.
That would be wonderful..but who would monitor and maintain these areas?
Yes. The City spends around $11,000.00 in overtime on it's employees within Public Works and Public Safety for these events. If I'm not mistaken Council member Dale Stucky brought this to the attention of the festival organizers back in the summer of 2017. I'm fairly certain that a check was issued to the City from both Follypalooza and Folly Gras.
With every organized street festival on Folly donations are given to local charities and without these donations some charities might not survive or exist. I think that if voting was available that it should be a vote from the residents of Folly not just a vote from Council. Whereas I would support the decision of the residents of the Island.
Cigarette butts are the primary source of litter throughout Folly Beach, not just the beach. Voting for such a ban should be the choice of the citizens, not just the members of Council.
The boat was placed there by Mother Nature and taken away by her...maybe we'll get the boat back....
Campaign Phone (803) 968-1835
Age 58
Education BS Mechanical Engineering
Experience Experienced Business Builder, Leader and Father
Candidate Email
A continual thread in my forty year business career has been change management. Ten years ago, I started a small business with two people and grew it to 500 people which required having the right level of processes and controls in place to achieve our goals all along the way – not too much – not too little – just the right amount at the right time. With Charleston and tourism growing as they are, Folly will be faced with many decisions to make as to how to adapt while preserving its charming beach town community culture in the face of overwhelming demand for which I have direct, very pertinent experience. Many a funky place has died under the weight of its own popularity - we need to move for changes to protect this paradise while enabling more people to enjoy it.
Livability, public safety and infrastructure.
A comprehensive integrated transportation/parking plan to minimize the level of risk in using the right of ways by pedestrians as well provide corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists while promoting the use of less intrusive motor vehicles such as light electric vehicles / carts.
There are numerous things that could provide better esthetics that might include beautification of these however, there are many codes on the books to that end that are not enforced today such as garbage receptacle management that can have great impact with little/no cost.
Reimbursement might lead to some sticky accounting contests and perhaps another approach to make sure the taxpayers are not subsidizing profits is to ramp down funding and charge for services as the activities mature over some specified period of time thus keeping the organizers eye on profit of their own making.
No, I would not abolish Folly Gras. I would continue to tweak it toward a more widely varied parade and music event appealing to a wider audience of adults as well as families and continue to steer away from the historical college beer bust style event. The most recent Folly Gras was much, much improved with more work to do.
While I would like to never ever see another cigarette butt on the beach I don’t think this would be enforceable. I am not in favor of unenforceable or unenforced rules. I would however support a very public campaign to use peer pressure to stop anyone from littering our beaches in any way. One picture on Facebook of someone littering might work wonders........
I would like to see private funding relocate and situate the boat with donations and usage fees generating the needed revenue to offset the cost of management and liabilities. If every Folly business just asked if each guest would like to donate a dollar (or more) to save the boat, I think we get there quickly. These might also be used to keep the operational costs down - "A dollar for the boat?".
Campaign Phone (770) 337-0012
Age 60
Facebook Noted above
Education Niagara University Niagara University, New York 1986-1989 BS Nursing College for Professional Studies Boca Raton, Florida Diploma in Paralegal Studies/Legal Nurse Consulting July 2001
Experience Noted below.
Candidate Email
I have years of management experience in both the Military and civilian settings. I have spent most of my working life in service to the people of the communities where I have lived. My time working in the Indian Health Service offered the opportunity live within another’s culture and understand and accept much about working with structure and government that was not my own. Prior to becoming a resident, I had the good fortune to vacation on Folly for many years, bringing me insight to needs and thoughts of community members and guests. Most of all I know you can not bring back the past, but you can guide the future.
Limit development. This is not to say that the city should interfere with land use rights, but, the city should require that all development and re-development show the lowest impact possible. People need to stay out of development of marsh areas. We must maintain green and trees, and, ground level surfaces need to be water permeable. Determine the condition of our water delivery and sewer infrastructure. Our one water line has been in place without major catastrophe for years; there have been several minor breaks. Our one sewer line serves mostly the west side of the island, including the hotel. The city should move forward with a complete inspection and follow up recommendations. Short term rentals: the city has taken some steps to help residents and guests live and visit, and, the popularity of our island home continues to attract more people every year. Without completely interfering with rental use rights the city should provide opportunities for owner occupied properties.
Unfortunately, when the city had the Center Street improvement done, bike lanes were not included, bike lanes help. The city should work with the county and state to maintain the bike lanes on Folly Road. I routinely bike this area and ended up in the hospital following a crash caused by a poorly maintained storm drain. Additionally, the bike lanes that end on Folly Road must be continued at least to Camp Road. Without sidewalks pedestrian safety if difficult. I would like to see the city work toward using the non-parking side of Ashley Ave as walkable space, at least for eight blocks in either direction.
No. That would be too much demand for little citywide benefit. The city could offer incentive for the owners, keeping ‘low impact’ in mind.
Only for any additional services that would not already be available; police and fire overtime, public works needs, and damages.
No. I think Folly Gras needs additional rethinking on how it is advertised and run. We should consider mechanisms to limit the size of the event. Parking difficulties must be reconsidered. The length should be shortened.
The city banned alcohol on the beach and yet it would be naive to think that there is no alcohol on the beach. Banning smoking would, I am certain, follow that same course while being even more difficult to enforce. There are always going to be less than responsible people that leave their trash behind. Pending the city turning the beach into a police state with a citation writing authority every block, we will do well with education and community led clean-up drives.
The boat came in with a storm and left with a storm. The circle has been completed.