Thursday, June 5, 2014
Incumbent Bob Anderson and challenger Steve Goggans are both running as Republicans for the Georgetown County Council District 6.
That district includes Pawleys Island, Litchfield and parts of Murrells Inlet.
South Strand News asked the following questions to each of the candidates.
They responded with the following answers.
What are the biggest issues facing the Waccamaw Neck right now?
Anderson – Traffic, Development, and Redevelopment are the main issues.
Like Mt. Pleasant, we are caught between an ocean and a river.
These geographic constraints create interesting problems for local government.
We are in a constant struggle between the folks who already live here and developers wanting to use the available land in the most profitable manner.
We can use our local rule of law, our ordinances, to manage development and redevelopment, but that is not an option when it comes to traffic.
We cannot control the volume of local or transitory traffic.
We can only manage it with the help of state expertise and state/federal funds.
Goggans – The biggest issues facing the Waccamaw Neck include the fact that the Waccamaw Neck is becoming more urban.
It is becoming a “town” or collection of towns, even though it isn’t incorporated. As an increasingly dense community, it is needing better planning, vision, and leadership.
What are the biggest issues facing Georgetown County right now?
Anderson – The county has largely a one dimensional economy – tourism. The Waccamaw Neck supplies 71 percent of the revenue needed to support the school system and the county government.
The imbalance in the tax burden needs to be addressed.
The corrective action is to first get our natural port back in operation by dredging the channel.
We believe the port is the key to drawing industry and manufacturing to Georgetown County.
Economic development equates to new employment opportunities, and new jobs mean folks moving to our county to fill them.
This will help the western part of the county develop, which will in turn generate tax revenues and balance the tax burden across the county.
Goggans – The biggest issues facing the County include economic development for the western part of the County, which is helped by development of infrastructure, and preservation and enhancement of the Waccamaw Neck.
The Waccamaw Neck is the economic engine for Georgetown County. Also, improved education across all grade levels is essential to increase literacy, graduation rates, and workforce skills.
Do you think that it is important to be accessible to your constituents?
Anderson – Absolutely! I probably spend a third of my time working with individuals and county staff solving problems for folks in my district and other parts of the county.
If I am asked to do something by a constituent, it makes sense, and is within my authority to be accomplished, it will happen.
Goggans – One the primary reasons for my candidacy is my frustration with the accessibility and meaningful response by our representatives.
The unwillingness to listen is the way I would characterize it.
I think accessibility is enormously important.
What is your opinion about the center lane along Highway 17 in Pawleys Island and the median project?
Anderson – I agree with the county’s position that was established in 2001 by far-sighted council members, county staff, and the public.
They understood that traffic congestion and flow would be reaching critical mass by the time the median project could be funded.
The county lobbied GSATS (Grand Strand Area Transportation Study) until funds became available in 2009.
SCDOT then began work on the project in 2011 and held the first public comment meeting in February 2012. The median is not the solution to our problem, but it will help to ease the congestion and help the flow. What really needs to happen is for everyone to lobby our state government and federal officials to bring the SELL (Southern Evacuation Life Line) highway project to fruition.
It will reduce traffic congestion and speed hurricane evacuations.
I believe that a bridge across the Waccamaw in our area would eliminate through traffic as well as give us a faster way to evacuate our area if need be.
I have petitioned GSATS to give the SELL a higher funding priority on the Long Term Transportation Plan.
Goggans – My views on the center lane are hopefully well known.
I am for road improvements which truly improve highway safety, interconnectivity, and enhance the beauty of our community.
I believe that the proposed SCDOT design accomplishes neither, and greatly transforms our community in the most negative way.
What is your opinion about a referendum that would add a penny to sales tax for core capital projects in our county?
Anderson – The sales tax is a mechanism to acquire the revenue, $5M, we need to share the total cost, $33M, of dredging the Port of Georgetown with the state and federal governments.
As I stated earlier, the port is the key to our economic development into areas other than tourism.
If the Sales Tax Committee, which is required by state law, comes up with a short list of projects which includes dredging the port, I will be supporting the ballot question. Keep in mind; we must redistribute our tax burden throughout the entire county.
Goggans – I am generally opposed to increasing taxes, so I first want to know that we are providing essential services in the most efficient fashion possible.
Assuming that was the case, I would only consider a penny sales tax for capital projects which were an investment in our community, and those which provided a measurable return to our community.
What is your opinion about restricting certain types of signs along the Waccamaw Neck corridor?
Anderson – We are a resort area and I believe that over time, using our sign ordinance, which is specific to the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor Overlay Zone, we can achieve our goal of having signs that reflect an image of what we perceive our community to be.
Goggans – I think that we are way behind in controlling signage.
Every business needs signage, but the unseemly, cumulative proliferation of signage, lack of adequate controls relating to size, height, lighting, etc, diminishes the quality of our community. This ultimately lowers property values, causes the quality of tourism to decline, and affects the overall quality of our community.
Why should people vote for you on June 10?
Anderson – I’ve stood firm against big-box stores like Walmart and worked to strengthen our zoning to protect our quality of life.
I’ve made improving public safety a priority by ensuring our law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics are well equipped, well trained and have much better pay.
At budget time, I have been a strong advocate for cutting wasteful spending and delivering county services as cost effectively as possible.
I have worked hard for road improvements, like the Southern Evacuation Lifeline, to reduce congestion and speed hurricane evacuations. I have 35 years of experience in the corporate manufacturing world managing large budgets and large numbers of employees, so I’m well qualified to provide policy direction and oversight as a county councilman.
I have also been humbled by the number of my fellow citizens who have stepped forward to endorse me as being their choice to continue representing them on council.
Goggans – The theme of my campaign is quality of life.
I hope to bring my skills as an architect, planner, and businessman to office to help guide more proactive planning, and growth management policies.
I believe we need community friendly roads, sidewalks and bike paths, and we need to better fund our first responders – we have lost 55 fire fighters in the past four years.
I will work to bring leadership to all of these issues if elected.