Mt. Pleasant Mayor says he's too young for coffee

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- He's a man who says he's too young for coffee and takes his breakfast with a Diet Coke.

Mayor of Mount Pleasant Billy Swails is a regular at Page's Okra Grill on Coleman Boulevard. He's the first to tell you, he's the number one fan of his town.

"It is the greatest place in the world to live," Mayor Billy Swails said.

Swails would know. Born and raised East of the Cooper, the Mayor said he's seen his town grow from 3,800 people to 70,000.

"I have not met any person who has moved here that does not love this place they all love it like everyone else does," Swails said.

Not all residents are thrilled with the heavy traffic and constant construction -- most recently with the revamp of Highway 17 and current makeover of Coleman Boulevard.

"We are not orange cone city anymore but we choose to do the widening of Johnnie Dodds and 17 North for a reason," Swails said. "We wanted to feel the pain all at one time."

"People say you need to make it stop growing and I say, 'Well when do you want me to put up the fence? You want me to set a date 10 years ago and say ok you need to leave.' People are coming."

Mayor Swails said he is not running for reelection after serving 4 years as Mayor and 11 on Mount Pleasant Town Council. The mayor said it was a family decision and he wanted to spend more time with his family to travel and enjoy life.

Of all the noticeable improvements to the Town of Mount Pleasant under his watch, Mayor said his proudest achievement is bringing higher education to the town with the opening of the Trident Tech Campus.