Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to learn a little bit about me and what my candidacy offers our town. My hope is that after visiting this page you will trust me with your vote on November 5.
Culture - I understood the word and the concept behind it as soon as I stepped foot in my own classroom, and saw and understood it as it pertained to a whole body or organization as a school leader. Throughout the last 8 years I have understood the responsibility all leaders have in creating and maintaining the culture of the body they are responsible for protecting. Creating and maintaining a culture is purposeful and methodical work and seldom can be feigned. Our town has a clear mission and vision of what we want our culture to look like and feel like. Mount Pleasant residents spoke clearly and loudly during our last council elections that we need infrastructure to get ahead and then keep up with growth. We want more green spaces, we want more recreational facilities, we want better roads, and we want to work with the school district and other entities to increase the opportunities and choices our families have as it pertains to education.
I will work with the rest of the council and town staff in order to make those goals a reality. This will not be easy work nor work without controversy or differences of opinion. Different views and differences of opinion should energize an organization not turn it against itself. My experience and skill set in working to make decisions based on the good of all not the good of a few, will be an asset to our council as we work to support the town staff. I will work to maintain our culture by supporting our agencies, planning ahead and supporting a team collaborative environment within council.
Supporting our agencies - Fire, Police, Public Services, Parks and Rec, Transportation, Administration, Courts, Planning, etc. Servant leadership is based on supporting those you are responsible for. The leader promoting and working to promote the well-being of those around him or her. Leaders in my view should demonstrate the characteristics of empathy, listening, stewardship and commitment to personal growth towards those she is in charge of leading. We have an amazing team of people running our town. I will work with the town manager and council to support and empower those doing the work.
Planning Ahead - Let’s face it, we live where most everybody else would live if they could. If elected, I will work alongside town staff, seek outside counsel/advice and first and foremost listen to the citizens I represent which is the entire town of Mount Pleasant. Actions and votes will be based on our vision of Mount Pleasant staying a residential community/town not a city or metropolis and taking a proactive approach to managing growth. Sometimes compromises will have to be made because of factors outside of our control...times like that require clear, concise and transparent communication between town officials and town residents.
Supporting a Team Environment - My call to civic service was inspired by collaborations with town personnel who I have grown to appreciate, admire and respect as well as a my desire to make things better whenever the possibility is within my reach. My experiences with the town manager, Mayor Haynie, the parks and recreations committee among many other members of the town staff and council members motivated and inspired me to do my part and run for this office. If chosen, I will be a positive and collaborative addition to the team. We are all a part of this town, whether a teacher, a business owner, a doctor, a student or a council member, we are all people first and foremost, I try to never to forget that.
Taxes and Impact Fees - I am a fiscal conservative. I love budgets and collaborating to prioritize needs versus wants based on revenue versus expenses. I don’t disagree with impact fees, however we need to figure out the total cost of the impact, not just the cost of the new impact to the infrastructure but what will it take to correct existing deficiencies. That cost should of course be passed on to the entities profiting from the impact in order to offset the expense, not passed on to tax payers.
Flooding and drainage - According to the Town Administrator, approximately a third of the Mount Pleasant budget is directed toward infrastructure. The town is under significant regulatory burdens from the state and federal government, which slows down the implementation of projects, even when fully funded. I would work to ensure that the impact fees for new developments are sufficient to properly mitigate flooding and drainage issues. For existing problems, I would work within the Council to triage and fund proposals to address flooding and drainage issues.
Housing - Rising costs in Mount Pleasant make it challenging for public servants and young families to afford a home. I would look for ways to encourage and incentivize development that allows people of a broader demographic to live in Mount Pleasant, particularly to keep our public servants and teachers in Mount Pleasant. However, higher density housing does not necessarily reduce traffic. Smart development is contextually specific. It requires careful consideration of local geography, current traffic conditions, and expected changes in demographics.
Growth - Town Council can strategically use zoning and planning to encourage growth that is sustainable (considers impact on traffic and infrastructure) and fits with the character of the town. The composition of several volunteer commissions is key - particularly the Design Review Board and the Planning Commission.
Government - In my humble opinion, government’s number one job is to keep its citizens safe. The safety of our citizens will always be my number one priority. As human beings that is the given that must take place before any other growth or learning can occur. Supporting our agencies to the best of our abilities will ensure that Mount Pleasant will continue on the path to being one of the safest towns in our nation.
Representation - Although our current structure has the advantage of each council member representing the town as a whole and not individual neighborhoods, I also understand that a town of eighty thousand people may need a full time mayor at some point. If we as residents generate a petition with enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot, then it should be on the ballot.
Plastics ban - I support this ordinance. As much as I hate those paper straws, it’s a small price to pay to protect our environment. Even if keeping plastic from landfills is not the only and ultimate solution to our challenges when it comes to protecting our environment, it does bring about an awareness to living our lives with a small a footprint as possible. I don’t want us to go without convenience but do consider us stewards of our environment and its well being.
The Medal of Honor Museum - The new plan is much better, including an exit strategy in case the funds necessary are not raised and fits right in with the town vision. I am excited about its future in Mount Pleasant.
Tree trimming - I love trees!! Not sure where the disconnect between Dominion and the tree "trimming" happened but we as a town need to better support departments in order for that to not happen again.
We Are Mount Pleasant - We have a large and growing population but at the end of the day, whether you live in Darrell Creek, Old Village or Snee Farm we are all Mount Pleasant. That small town mentality and level of care we choose to live by will help cement who we are as a town for generations to come.
I hope that you will go to the polls and choose Corley for town council on November 5.
We Are Mount Pleasant!