John Thomas, the Georgetown County Council District 1 representative since 2015, announced today that he will resign from the council effective May 23.
Per state law, a special election will not be required, as his resignation date is within 180 days of the general election. Thomas was not scheduled to be on the ballot, as he had announced last year that he would not seek re-election. His term would have expired Dec. 31, 2022.
In a letter to County Council Chairman Louis Morant, Thomas said it had been an honor and a privilege to serve the county and its residents, “but now is the time to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere… I am very grateful to the citizens of District 1 for allowing me to have served as their Councilman for more than the last seven years. During that time, I would like to think that I have had a part in making Georgetown County a better place to live, work and play.”
In his acceptance of Thomas’ resignation, Chairman Morant thanked Thomas for his service to the county’s residents. “During your tenure, Georgetown County has seen a tremendous level of positive change and growth in numerous areas, despite unprecedented challenges faced by the county in recent years,” he wrote.
During his time on council, Thomas served as chairman from 2019-2021 and led the council through the search for a new administrator upon the retirement of Sel Hemingway in 2020. They offered a contract to current Administrator Angela Christian in March of 2020. Just six days later, the county had to close its facility doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Thomas also guided the county through as the head of council.
Additionally, he also served on the Policy Committee of the Grand Strand Area Transportation Committee (GSATS), and for many years volunteered with Amazing Journey, Inc., a nonprofit that supports the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Re-entry Program.
Some of his many accomplishments during his tenure include enhancing tree protections in the county; helping the Emergency Services Department install the Opticom system, thus reducing response times for emergency responders; getting new sections of the Waccamaw Bikeway constructed; helping constituents keep helicopter tour companies from operating in the county; and limiting further growth on the Waccamaw Neck to the extent he was able.
“I would have liked to have gotten another Capital Projects Sales Tax passed. I think the county would have benefitted from that,” Thomas said. “And I would have like to see more development on the western part of the county to increase the tax base.”
Thomas’ successor will be selected in the Nov. 8 general election. One candidate, Clint Elliott, will appear on the ballot.