NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, who has held the position for three decades, announced that he will not seek reelection after this term.

The 76-year old said that the 2022 death of his longtime assistant Ray Anderson was a wakeup call for him, putting in perspective that tomorrow is never promised.

“Change is always a little scary, but a time comes when you need a change,” Summey said.

Change was a cornerstone of his administration. He undertook major redevelopment projects that altered the future of the city, like revitalizing the former Navy base and transforming the Park Circle area.

“In my own heart, I know it’s a better city than it was when I took over, so that to me is a success. I can live with that.”

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

By the time he leaves office in about nine months, Summey said he hopes to check the completion of the Danny Jones swimming pool and renovations at Park Circle off his list of accomplishments.

But Summey acknowledged there is always room for improvement and progress. Some of the main challenges for his successor will be completing the Navy base project, welcoming a new Roper Hospital, and improving education and housing throughout the city.

When it comes to who the successor will be, Summey said that he has someone in mind, but he isn’t endorsing anyone quite yet. He said that North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess, who has already hinted at plans to run, “is a very qualified individual.”

Whoever takes over, Summey hopes they share the same goal for the city: “to be a great place to live, work, and play.”