Median opponent seeking County Council seat for Pawleys Island area

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clayton Stairs/Inlet Outlook Steve Goggans announces his campaign for the County Council District 6 seat on Tuesday morning in Pawleys Island.

Steve Goggans, the main organizer of the “Don’t Strip the Neck” group, is running as a Republican for Georgetown County Council District 6.

He officially filed as a candidate for the seat at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Donna Mahn, the Georgetown County director of elections and voter registration.

Bob Anderson, also a Republican, has held that seat for the last four years and is running for another term.

He said he filed on Monday morning, as soon as he could.

The Republican primary election will be held June 10.

Goggans’ platform is titled, “Quality of Life in 29585.”

He announced his candidacy on Tuesday at the Lachicotte Company Real Estate office in Pawleys Island.

“I am compelled to do everything I can to make sure the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown County remains a vibrant measuring stick for excellence,” Goggans said Tuesday.

“As your County Councilman, I will do everything in my power to make sure the citizens are informed.”

Goggans is a licensed architect since 1982 and founder and owner of SGA Architecture, headquartered in Pawleys Island.

When asked Tuesday if he will have to recuse himself from many votes by County Council because of his projects in Georgetown County, he said he will certainly recuse himself when necessary.

But he doesn’t think it will be a major conflict.

Russ Campbell, a long-time resident of the Pawleys Island area, has known Goggans for about 30 years.

“I think with his experience working with the local government on many projects, Steve is uniquely qualified to represent the people of the Waccamaw Neck,” Campbell said.

He agreed that Goggans would probably have to recuse himself on some of the County Council votes that involve projects in which he is involved, but those would be “few and far between,” he said.

Goggans has been the main spokesman for the Citizens Coalition for Ocean Highway, speaking out against the U.S. Highway 17 median project.

He has presented council with an alternative to the median project developed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Goggans said the project was not designed for safety, although that was originally the main reason for developing the SCDOT plan.

Phase 1 of that plan will close the median along the 1.9-mile stretch of Highway 17 in Pawleys Island, from the North Causeway north to Martin Luther King Jr. Road, with 17 U-turn areas, Goggans said.

County Council, including Anderson, voted unanimously for the median project.

“All of us on Council looked at it and unanimously decided that our first obligation to public is safety,” Anderson said Thursday.

“We are aware of fact that it might impact businesses along the corridor, but how much or how little we have no idea. I understand the fear of the unknown, but there are 37,000 cars a day going through Pawleys Island at peak times and SC Department of Transportation projections are that it will go to

50,000 a day in the near future.”

Anderson said he wants his constituents to know that after the public hearings were over and once SCDOT started planning for the project, the only action County Council could take was making a recommendation to the SCDOT project manager.

“After that, he could do whatever he wanted to do,” Anderson said. “But we were in total agreement with what SCDOT was doing.”

When asked Tuesday about the median project, Goggans said there are still “legal avenues to be pursued with respect to Phase 1 of the median project.” He said since he is running for County Council, he will hand over the lead on the median fight to David Gundling, a local attorney.

The group will try to head off plans for Phase 2 of the median project on Highway 17, from the North Causeway to Pawleys Island south to the South Causeway.

Anderson said he hopes his opponent realizes that there are a lot of other issues on the Waccamaw Neck and throughout the county.

“I spend a lot of time representing my folks in District 6 and the entire county,” Anderson said.

“I have spent my life in the corporate world and I bring all those years of experience to County Council. I feel like I’ve been an asset as an advocate of economic development.”

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