Local Government 101: Meet the Charleston’s Mayor + City Council

Meet the team that serves the City of Charleston and learn how you can get involved in your community.

This is a photo of Charleston City Hall, on a mostly clear day. You can see a bright blue sky and wind in the flags atop the building.

Learn about the team that makes decisions for the City of Charleston.

Charleston City Hall | Photo by @svonmarschall

Table of Contents

Class is in session; it’s time for a lesson on local government. We’re introducing you to your local leaders, breaking down how our mayor and city councilmembers work together, and how to get involved.

How does it work?

The mayor and councilmembers are elected and serve four-year terms. The two groups work together to develop and adopt ordinances, programs, and policies.

Who’s who?

You can get to know your local leaders better by clicking on their names and exploring each member’s bio page on the City of Charleston’s website.


William Cogswell | Mayor Cogswell is serving his first term and was recently sworn in as the 35th mayor in the city’s history at an inauguration ceremony earlier this month. Mayor Cogswell says, “Major projects ahead will define our city for the next century, and now is our chance to get them right by modernizing government services to handle the needs of a growing region.”

Executive branch

  • Chief of Staff: Elizabeth Applegate Dieck
  • Chief Policy Officer: Logan McVey
  • Director of Communications: Deja Knight McMillan
Mayor Cogswell stands in front of of a red, white, and blue half fan bunting flag and addresses the city.

Mayor Cogswell addresses the City of Charleston during his inauguration.

Photo by Katherine Daughtridge


Boyd Gregg, District One | Councilmember Gregg was elected in January 2022. Gregg is a licensed, professional engineer and has worked with municipal governments and utilities to design and build water resource recovery facilities.

Kevin Shealy, District Two | Councilmember Shealy was elected in November of 2017. Shealy is currently the owner and operator of the Kevin Shealy Insurance Agency, which supports West Ashley families and businesses.

Jim McBride, District Three | Councilmember McBride was elected in November 2023. McBride retired honorably from the US Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel after 25 years of active-duty service. He currently works to give veterans more options and better access to healthcare through the Veterans Administration.

Robert M. Mitchell, District Four | Councilmember Mitchell was elected to represent District Four in 2002. He also served as Councilmember for District Two from 1998 to 2002. Mitchell is a US Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor for United Way.

Karl L. Brady Jr., District Five | Councilmember Brady Jr. is currently the Director, Development for Teach For America South Carolina.

William Dudley Gregorie, District Six | Councilman Gregorie was elected in 2009. Gregorie served 32 years with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Perry K. Waring, District Seven | Councilmember Waring was elected in November 2011 and is currently a financial planner.

Michael S. Seekings, District Eight | Councilmember Seekings was first elected to the city council in 2009. He serves on the Charleston Regional Transportation Authority board.

William P. Tinkler, District Nine | Councilmember Tinkler was elected in 2023 and he is a lifelong resident of and small business owner in West Ashley.

Stephen Bowden, District Ten | Councilmember Bowden was elected in November 2021. He works in the Charleston County Public Defender’s Office.

Ross A. Appel, District Elevn| Councilmember Appel was elected in November 2019. Appel practices law with McCullough Khan, LLC.

Caroline Parker, District Twelve | Councilmember Parker was elected in 2021 and serves on several committees and commissions.

Get involved

If there’s a problem, there’s a group dedicated to finding a solution. The City of Charleston has several boards, committees, and commissions that meet regularly. Check out the meeting schedule and what’s on the agenda. Pro tip: If you can’t make a meeting in person, they’re typically streaming on the city’s YouTube.

Fun Facts

  • The City of Charleston Council Chamber is the second-oldest council chamber in continuous use in the US.
  • The Council Chamber is not only a business place. It also serves as an art gallery. There is a full-length portrait of George Washington from his week-long visit to Charleston during his presidential tour that dates back to 1791.
  • Charleston is a Sister City to Spoleto, Italy, and Panama City, Panama.