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Darby to lead beach until special election is held

Longtime Edisto Beach Mayor Burley Lyons has died.

Lyons died on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at Roper Hospital in Charleston from complications related to surgery. The 80-year-old Lyons had served as Edisto’s mayor since 1996 A Colleton County native, Lyons had also been an active council member at Edisto Beach since first being elected 27 years ago.

In the sudden wake of his absence, Edisto Beach town officials were meeting on Friday to develop an interim plan. “It’s been a hard day so far,” Iris Hill said on Friday. Hill is the town’s administrator. “To list all of Mayor Lyons’ accomplishments would be nearly impossible,” she said. “He was loved dearly, and will be missed dearly.”

Mayor Pro-Tem and longtime Edisto Beach Councilwoman and activist Jane Darby is now serving as the town’s mayor. She will hold this title until the town can hold a special election for the mayor’s seat: the seat is officially up for re-election in November.

Darby, who has been a friend of Lyons throughout the years, gave the eulogy at his Saturday funeral. Darby says she will continue forward with the town’s immediate needs: this includes beach renourishment, addressing ongoing infrastructure challenges, and preparing to go into budget season, she said. “There is also the day-to-day business of running the town,” said Darby.

Darby has served on Edisto’s Town Council since 1999. In her tenure, she has served as mayor pro-tem at various times. In this latest term, Darby has been mayor pro-tem for approximately 1.5 years. “About a week before his surgery, Burley and I sat down and discussed his goals for the town,” she said.

“His goals are our goals, as a council and as a town – to keep the town pristine with a small, family environment,” she said.


Heather Walters (426 Posts)