When Jeri Finke and her husband Fred started thinking about a retirement home, it was an easy decision to return to a vacation spot that had wowed them years earlier. They purchased a lot in 2006 and moved into their new home in late 2010. Even after making the Washington, DC, area home for more than 30 years, they have never had any regrets about leaving behind that faster paced lifestyle for the calmness and beauty of Seabrook Island.
Before retiring to Seabrook, Jeri spent 30 years on Capitol Hill, working for individual members of the House as a legislative aide/director and as chief of staff. She specialized in parliamentary law and the budget/appropriations process, and her work included several years focusing on transportation and infrastructure legislation.
Jeri has been active in various volunteer roles on Seabrook, including co-chairing SIPOA’s Newcomers Committee and serving on the Environmental Committee. For seven years, she was a member of the Seabrook Island Green Space Conservancy Board, chairing the Green Space Gala each of those years and serving the last four of those seven years as president of the Board. She also volunteers on advisory committees for the SI Club.
During her first term on Town Council, Jeri served as point to make sure the Town’s opposition to offshore oil and gas drilling was on record with the appropriate state and federal agencies, and she is the contact for the pending lawsuit the Town joined opposing seismic testing. She also initiated and shepherded through Council the recently enacted plastics ban.
As to why she first ran for Town Council two years ago, Jeri says she was looking for other ways to get involved in the island’s activities and was inspired after a conversation with Mayor Ciancio about the issues before the Council. She was a
Life Science major at the University of Nebraska and believes that background helps her address issues challenging the town. That includes sea level rise and the many regulatory challenges involving critical habitat on our beaches and the continued threat that looms from possible approval of seismic testing and offshore drilling.
Jeri particularly enjoyed constituent services when she worked in Congress and feels that experience along with her organizational and consensus building skills contribute to giving her Seabrook neighbors an even louder voice on Town Council and in Charleston County.