Citing Alzheimer's, Mt. Pleasant mayor steps down (updated)

Update May 14: The Post and Courier has a story from Hallman's farewell ceremony. Read it here.

First reporting:

After word spread two weeks ago that Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman was considering stepping down due to Alzheimer's, Hallman has officially left office. He made the announcement by video.

Read more stories on this subject in our Harry Hallman topic page. The nearly 75 year old made his announcement by video. Here's an excerpt of that announcement.

I have served as your Mayor now for a little more than eight years. My term of office is scheduled to end in November 2009. I had every intention of fulfilling my obligation to you, and to personally hand over the gavel to my successor.

That, I regret, is not to be. When I realized that I was faced with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, I told my wife, family, friends, and my closest staff members that the greatest favor they could do for me was to tell me if I was no longer effective.

Each has been encouraging and supportive. They did everything possible to convince me that I could make it until November. To me, being “effective” means “excellence.” I realize now that I am not meeting my personal definition of “effective.”

Taking over for now will be councilman and mayor pro tem Kruger Smith, he will hold that position until a new mayor can be elected in November.

There's a few write-ups out there about this, but your best be is The Post and Courier's write-up.

Here's a bit about Hallman from his bio over at the town's Web site:


Born in Greenwood on July 30, 1934, retired oil executive and stock market investor, Harry Hallman was elected to the position of Mayor in September 2000 and re-elected in 2004. Mayor Hallman chairs the Police, Legal & Judicial and the Transportation Committees of Council. He also serves on the Water Supply Committee and as ex-officio member for the Mount Pleasant Waterworks Commission, the Patriots Point Development Authority, and is a former chairman of the Charleston Aviation Authority. Mayor Hallman also serves on the BCD-Council of Governments CHATS POLICY Committee.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, with a BS degree in business administration, 1958, Hallman was awarded an honorary doctor of humanity letters degree from the University of Charleston.

And a bit about the Mayor Pro Tem Kruger B. Smith:

Smith A retired Mount Pleasant citizen, Kruger Smith has served 24 years on Council. He is Mayor Pro-Tem and chairs the Public Services and the Personnel Committees. Mr. Smith sits on the Annexation, Transportation and Accommodations Tax Advisory Committees. He is Council representative for CARTA.

Mr. Smith served with the United States Air Force and retired as Lt. Colonel. He graduated from the High School of Charleston and obtained a BGE from the University of Nebraska and an MS degree from the University of Colorado.

He resides in Mount Pleasant with his wife June.