Established in 1897, Dorchester County was formed from land previously located in Colleton County. The name “Dorchester” was indirectly derived from Dorchester, England by way of Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Minutes from Charleston and the beaches, Dorchester County is home to world-class sports venues, award winning school districts and one of the longest free flowing black water rivers in North America. Dorchester County’s natural beauty and unwavering sense of community is what makes it the best county in South Carolina to build a business and raise a family.
Dorchester County is home to the incorporated cities/towns of North Charleston, Summerville, Ridgeville, St. George, Harleyville, Reevesville and Lincolnville as well as the unincorporated communities of Dorchester and Ladson.
Since the County’s incorporation in 1897, the Town of St. George has been the County seat.
Form of Government
Dorchester County operates under a Council-Administrator form of government and has over 800 full-time employees. A seven-member County Council is elected by district and provides policy direction to the County.
The County Administrator serves the County Council as its agent in administrative matters. This position is appointed directly by the Council, and has administrative oversight over all operations of the County government with the exceptions of departments governed by elected officials and special districts.
Mr. Jason L. Ward has served as the County Administrator since 2004. He is assisted by Charles H. Potts, Deputy County Administrator and Daniel T. Prentice, Chief Financial Officer.
Members of County Council
District 1: Mr. Willie Davis
District 2: Mr. David Chinnis
District 3: Mr. George Bailey (Vice Chairman)
District 4: Mr. Larry Hargett
District 5: Mr. Con Chellis
District 6: William (Bill) Hearn Jr.
District 7: Jay Byars (Chairman)