Former Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry M. Hallman, Jr. passed away this weekend. The longtime East Cooper resident died at his home in Mt. Pleasant in the morning hours of Sat. Jan. 8, reportedly after going into cardiac arrest. He was 76 years old.
Hallman was elected as mayor in 2000. Before becoming mayor, he served as chairman of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Charleston County Legislative Delegation. He also was a state S.C. House legislator from 1988 to 1996.
Town projects during his tenure include the $14 million Memorial Waterfront Park at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge. The South Carolina State Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution naming a portion of Wingo Way (north of Patriots Point) for Hallman.
During his tenure, Hallman spearheaded fundraising for a $1.5 million upgrade of the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown. He also played a key role in organizing projects along Johnnie Dodds Boulevard and revitalize Coleman Boulevard. He resigned in 2008 after announcing he had Alzheimer's Disease. After Kruger Smith served briefly as mayor pro-tem, Billy Swails was elected in 2009 and took office in 2010.
"Harry did a lot of great things for this state and this town," Swails said during a press conference on Saturday. "He was a friend to many and loved Mt. Pleasant as much as he did his Lord, his family, and his country. I am honored to have known him and humbled to have been able to serve with him."
Mt. Pleasant's Town Administrator Eric DeMoura spent several years serving with Hallman as Deputy Town Administrator and as Deputy Director of Administrative Services. "I was very impressed with the work environment in Mt. Pleasant," DeMoura said of his early years with the town administration in a recent interview with City Paper. "This was the third government organization I'd worked with, and one of my previous jobs were as professionally run as in this town. And none had the culture of this town."
DeMoura expressed great admiration for the town's three recent mayors — Hallman, Smith, and Swails. "They have been terrific to work with," DeMoura said. "They all understood service. They have humility. They understand how difficult life can be and they want to help, even at their own expense. They have the will of trying to achieve with energy what they think is right. They would give as much attention to the poorest guy down the street as to the richest guy in town. That's statesmanship right there. That's being a public servant as it's meant to be."
Hallman is survived by his wife, Shirley "Brooke" Hallman, three children, and six grandchildren.