Mayor Michael J. Heitzler Ed.D. has served the City of Goose Creek since 1976. He traveled widely, knew what he was looking for in a hometown and found it in Goose Creek.
“There are certainly more beautiful, convenient and exciting places to live - but for the money - no place on earth can match the unique natural, residential and historic blend found in Goose Creek, South Carolina,” said the Mayor.
Goose Creek was a seven-year-old City when the young Mike Heitzler moved to the area for a teaching job at Goose Creek High School. He enjoyed his new home, but talking with concerned parents and neighbors made him aware of the many improvements that still needed to be made.
“Right from the beginning, Goose Creek was very interesting to me,” said the Mayor. “But, I started getting interested in politics when I discovered that the City was growing quickly with almost no infrastructure for water, sewer, roads and regulations.”
With the help of his colleagues and neighbors, Michael Heitzler was elected to City Council in 1976. At the end of his term, he ran for Mayor during an election with a record voter turn out.
“This shows that the people of Goose Creek care about their City and are involved in their politics,” said Mayor Heitzler during his 1978 acceptance speech.
Though the newly-elected Mayor had grand visions for the emerging suburbia, the first order of business was to improve the basic services provided by the City – including developing water and sewer lines capable of providing for the needs of the growing population.
Mayor Heitzler knew that to successfully meet the needs of the City, he would need a strong Council who cared about Goose Creek as much as he did. The new leadership team supported the improvement efforts by hiring professionals to provide day-to-day management and customer service to the growing City.
Continuing the “team work” approach, the Mayor has not only managed the improvements of basic City services, but he is creating a sense of community with a safe and healthy environment.
In 1986, the hiker/biker trail master plan was initiated. The Mayor envisioned a network of trails that would link each area of the City so that residents could safely walk or bike throughout the City.
Recent projects include the Downtown Master Plan and the new recreation center. The Downtown Master Plan is a long-term project that will bring a definable identity to Goose Creek. The intersection of St. James Ave. and Goose Creek Blvd. will be the focal point with attractive landscaping and a Goose Creek landmark. Beginning with “the point,” the plan will grow outward, creating pedestrian-friendly access to shopping, restaurants and businesses. The Mayor believes the new downtown will greatly reduce the number of reasons to travel beyond the City borders for shopping, eating out or for other leisure-time pursuits.
A new community center is located near the Marguerite H. Brown Municipal Center.
“A comprehensive recreation program for Goose Creekers of all ages will not only improve every one’s life style but also provide strong economic stimuli to support a place for people to work, live and play,” said Mayor Heitzler.
The Mayor is the author of three non-fiction books highlighting the historical significance of Goose Creek, South Carolina.
Mayor Heitzler retired from the Berkeley County School District in 2006, after serving as principal of Westview Elementary School for 32 years. He is a Hayes Fullbright Scholar who holds a B.A. degree in Asian History from the University of Hawaii, a Master in Education degree from The Citadel and a Doctorate in Education degree from the University of South Carolina.