It has been my pleasure to represent District 3 on County Council since 2010. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I am asking for your vote on November 8.
In the past six years, Edgefield County has made some incredible steps forward. I will highlight a few.
First, the County Council has not raised your taxes in the past six years I’ve been on Council. We have found many cost-saving measures, are smarter about spending your money, and our local economy is growing through our economic development efforts. But while we have taken a conservative stance on the budget, we have been creating a better Edgefield County for every citizen.
For example, in the past six years, we’ve had nearly $25 million in industrial investments, creating more than 75 new jobs. The last three years have been among the best in job creation and investment in more than 15 years. Part of the reason is that we are creating a business environment attractive to job-creators.
Also in economic development the past six years, our building permits have reached an all-time high. We’ve hired a part-time business manager, which is aiding in recruitment of small businesses and ensure we have right land management/development in place.
We’ve done much more in many areas, such as: • Improving Bettis Park with a large picnic shelter and lighting, and creating the new Sweetwater Community Center. • Working on land development issues, from rezoning land for future industrial economic development to creating more comprehensive land planning for future businesses on the 7 miles on Hwy. 25 to prepare for the growth that will follow the four-lane expansion project.• We are about to build the County’s first Animal Shelter.
And don’t overlook transparency in government. Edgefield County has been recognized by State of South Carolina for our work in this area, including: •Putting our check book on line for all to see. Putting all ordinances and resolutions on line before meetings so citizens can analyze them. • Creating citizen-friendly agendas that spell out exactly what we are working on.
Those are just the highlights. We all recognize there’s more to do. I’m ready for the challenge.
For example, I want to focus even more on economic development. We are about to see more growth in our County, thanks to the widening of Hwy. 25 and the influx of residents in Merriwether, which means we need to stay prepared. We also have more to do in our building and planning process to ensure we have created a welcoming business environment for large industries to locally owned small businesses.
Also, County Council recently held a Planning Session so we can build a bridge of ideas into 2017, when we will revise our 2012 Strategic Plan. We accomplished a great deal on that plan, and now we need to update it as the local landscape changes.
We need to continue to find ways to add more shifts and ambulances to our Emergency Medical Services. We need to look for opportunities to expand and improve recreation. We must continue to improve law enforcement, and focus even more on quality of life issues important to all citizens.
I’m ready to work hard on these and other issues.
I want to represent you on County Council, and I ask you to help us move Edgefield County forward by re-electing me.
Your vote matters.