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Office of the Mayor

Mayor R. Keith Summey was elected as Mayor of the City of North Charleston in 1994, serving as the the chief elected and administrative executive of the city government.  North Charleston operates under the Mayor/Council form of government.

Executive Department

Mayor Summey's Biography

The Mayor's elective duties

  • Serves as ceremonial head of the City
  • Represents the City in a formal capacity at all meetings, gatherings, and functions
  • Provides leadership and takes issues to the people
  • Marshals public interest and support for municipal activities
  • Recommends legislation to City Council
  • Encourages programs for the physical, economic, social and cultural development of the City
  • Directs the supervision of all municipal agencies
  • Prepares and submits the annual budget and capital outlay program to City Council
  • Submits any necessary financial reports and statistical data to City Council
  • Liaison with federal agencies and elected officials
  • Appoints, suspends, and removes city employees and appoints administrative officers
  • Negotiates and makes settlements of all legal claims ($2500 or less) upon the City's legal counsel recommendation

Contact the Mayor's Office at (843) 740-2504 or via email at mayor@northcharleston.org.

Meet the mayor

R. Keith Summey
October 1994 - Present

Mayor R. Keith Summey has become widely known as a consensus builder among local leaders. He was elected as the 3rd Mayor of North Charleston in October of 1994 to fill an unexpired term of office and has been reelected in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011.  During his tenure he has led North Charleston to achieve a new sense of pride never seen in his City. Becoming the retail sales leader in the State, improving municipal services and defining a vision for the City have hallmarked his tenure.  Upgrading the quality of life of the citizens of North Charleston continues to be the top goal of Mayor Summey.

Under Mayor Summey’s leadership, North Charleston continues to drive the State’s economy as the epicenter of business development, offering a business friendly community, rich with incentives to allow companies to compete on a global scale.  He has promoted a young, highly skilled workforce and has attracted diverse industries, such as aerospace, automotive, aviation, bioscience, defense, renewable energy, financial services, and information technology.
 
Highlighting the successes of Mayor Summey’s vision, North Charleston continues to receive validation on a national level.  North Charleston was recently awarded the National League of Cities Award for Municipal Excellence, Home Depot Foundation’s Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development, was recognized by Businessweek as one of America’s Most Fun, Affordable Cities, Cottage Living Magazine as being home to one of the nation’s Top 10 Neighborhoods, by Men’s Journal for one of the nation’s Top 30 ‘Coolest Neighborhoods,’ by Green Builder Magazine as being home to one of the nation’s Top Green Developments, by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA community, and This Old House Magazine named North Charleston’s Park Circle as one of its 2012 Best Old-House Neighborhoods.

First working in community service, Mayor Summey was selected to serve on the Charleston County Election Commission eventually becoming its Chairman. Both political parties gave him glowing remarks for his fairness in handling the elections.

In 1986, Mayor Summey continued his community service by winning election to the North Charleston City Council and then elected to Charleston County Council in 1988. He served as Chairman of Charleston County Council for three years and during his term, led the expansion of County Library System and oversaw the way solid waste was handled by the County.  A new Tri-County Economic Development Authority was formed under the desire of Chairman Summey and the Chairmen of County Council in Dorchester and Berkeley Counties.  The successes of the Authority have been many since the mid-1990's.

With the Mayor's roots in his local community, he offered himself for election to the Office of Mayor of North Charleston in 1994. Growing up in Cottageville, South Carolina and eventually Atlanta, Georgia gave Mayor Summey his perspective of community. His family moved to North Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1960's where he graduated from Chicora High School and Baptist College.

Mayor Summey received recognition from Charleston Southern University with the reception of an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service on Saturday, December 16, 2006 during the University's fall graduation ceremony. 

Mayor Summey was born in Cottageville, South Carolina in 1947.  He graduated from Chicora High School and the Baptist College at Charleston, now Charleston Southern University.  He and his wife, Deborah, have two children, Elliott and Annie and daughter-in-law Allison, and four grandchildren.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE

  • Charleston County Aviation Authority, Board Member
  • Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, Past-Chairman
  • Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments CHATS Policy Committee, Member
  • CARTA, Board Member
  • Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Liaison
  • Charleston Area Convention and Visitor Bureau, Board of Governors, Member
  • Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Board Member
  • Greater Charleston Promise Neighborhood, Board Member
  • Youth Endowment for the Arts, Founding Board Member
  • Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities Mitigation Oversight Committee, Member
  • U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, SC Advisory Committee, Member
  • Past First Baptist Church of North Charleston, Board Member
  • 1993 and 1994 Chairman/CEO, Trident’s BEST Committee
  • 1992, 1993, and 1994 Elected Chairman of Charleston County Council
  • 1990 Chairman, County Council Public Safety Health Committee
  • 1988 Elected to Charleston County Council
  • Former Member of North Charleston Weed and Seed Program Steering Committee
  • Former Member & Chairman of Charleston County Election Commission
  • Former Member of North Charleston City Council
  • Former North Charleston High School Booster Club, Treasurer
  • Former Cameron Terrace-Oak Park Civic Club, President
  • Former North Charleston Jaycees, President
  • Former North Charleston Exchange Club, Member

 HONORS

  • Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Charleston Southern University
  • US Green Building Council – Outstanding Leadership in the Public Sector
  • Barrett Larrimore Leadership Award for Outstanding Tourism Leadership in Local Government
  • Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Honorary Member
  • Supreme Council Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Certificate of Outstanding Service
  • 1994 Charleston Southern University Alumni of the Year
  • 1996 Historic Charleston Foundation Robert N.S. and Patti Foos Whitelaw Founders Award
  • 2004 John Ancrum SPCA Humanitarian of the Year
  • 2006 Adjunct General of the State of South Carolina Palmetto Patriot Award
  • 2010 Greater Macedonia AME Church Black History Month Humanitarian Award
  • 2011 Breaking the Silence, Liza’s Lifeline Person of the Year
  • 2011 American Institute of Architects Government Affairs Award

Related Pages


 

Veterans Day

Join us for our annual Veterans Day tribute on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Park Circle. One of two Department of Defense recognized events in the State of South Carolina.

           

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