Below is information about Jeri Finke who is running for one of the 4 Town Council seats.
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 volunteering 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 has also volunteered on advisory committees for the SI Club.
During her first term on Town Council, Jeri was tasked to serve point for the Town in opposing offshore oil and gas drilling and ensuring the Town’s position was on record with the appropriate state and federal agencies. She was the liaison for the lawsuit against seismic testing — a lawsuit SC coastal communities won last year. She also initiated and shepherded through the Town’s plastic ban, initiated Council’s consideration of occupancy and other safety requirements that are now in place for short-term rentals, and she took the lead on implementing the Town’s Community Development Grants program. She is currently chairing a committee appointed by Mayor Gregg to explore how the Town might use its share of Charleston County’s Greenbelt Program funds.
As to why she first ran for Town Council four 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 then-Mayor Ron Ciancio about issues facing 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 how it will impact infrastructure on the island, preserving green space for wildlife habitat and protection, and the many regulatory challenges involving our coastal waters and critical habitat on our beaches.
-Provided by Jeri Finke to Tidelines