ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The man who hopes to take over operations at the Isle of Palms Marina met with residents to answer questions and share his vision for the space.

“We need new ownership badly. We need to turn the marina back to the island residents,” says Bortie Twiford, who lives near the marina.

The Isle of Palms Marina could soon be under new management after the city council announced that the current operator wanted to transfer two months ago. City leaders are considering Mike Shuler of Coastal Marinas, to take over.

“He is very resident-first focused as far as waiting lists and access to slips. He is coming in as a native Charlestonian,” says Isle of Palms Mayor Phillip Pounds.

Shuler laid out a series of steps he plans to take that he says will help improve accessibility for residents. Things like better parking, cutting upfront costs for boaters and starting a boat club.

“We got a lot of experience in operation, and we got a lot of experience managing parking. We got our work cut out for us to find a better solution for us. It is going to cost some money and take some time,” says Shuler.

Some residents say they are looking forward to a new operator and hope the change will bring resident concerns to the forefront.

“The former owner recently hasn’t been really friendly to the residents and I think we heard all night tonight that the new owner is going to put residents first and that’s what we are all looking for,” says Twiford.

Shuler is optimistic about working with residents for the common good should he be selected as the next operator.

“I think a lot of people left here today with a lot better feeling about who we are and what we want to do because it matters. It’s their treasured island asset. It means something to them and means something to us,” he says.

Isle of Palms City Council will vote on approving a marina operator at a city council meeting on July 26.