Mike Short calls himself “one of the old-time Fort Mill natives.”
To long-time residents, he is well known for his service on the Fort Mill Town Council and a decade on the York County Council. It’s been 15 years since he was in elected office, and he’s been enjoying retirement and his hobbies, such as Civil War Re-enactments.
On Wednesday, he decided it was time to throw his hat back in the ring. He’s running for the at-large position on the Fort Mill Town Council, the seat currently held by Lisa Cook.
Cook responded by wishing Short well: “I wish Mike and all those willing to positively serve our community, best wishes.”
Newcomer Rick Hayes is also running for the seat.
“I gave it some real serious thought,” Short said. “I just think it’s time. I have the background and experience. I can see things from a unique perspective even though it has been 15 years.”
The district he once represented on county council has grown from about 25,000 people to 65,000 people, a sign of the explosive growth in the Fort Mill area.
Short is concerned about transportation issues for the growing population, and he feels his background puts him in a unique position to work with other agencies, such as the state Department of Transportation. He was instrumental in getting Pennies for Progress passed and adding road projects, and he wants to work just as hard for current transportation issues, he said.
“We need to get our message out,” he said. “My approach has always been that it’s amazing what you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
Short also mentions housing and water-sewer issues as priorities. “We need to look at it with this approach: Does it actually benefit the people in Fort Mill? How does it benefit them? What is it going to cost? And who is going to pay for it?”
Because the 7-Eleven gas station fight has made headlines and has been raised as an issue from some candidates, The Fort Mill Sun asked Short about his position.
“I felt that was pretty much a settled issue,” he said. “I don’t have a position one way or the other on that.”
As for whether he thinks the incumbent needs to be replaced, Short said, “I have known Lisa for many, many, many years. I am not running against Lisa. I am running for the seat.”
And if you didn’t know it, Short is “the guy who shoots the cannons in the park each year.”
He has a deep interest in re-enactments, which he has been doing for over 25 years because of a deep interest in history. “There is no better way to learn it than to get out and see how things happen … sleep in a tent, cook over a fire, and talk to people who are real students of history. That way, you find out things that may not be in a book.”
Short will turn 68 in three weeks. He is married to wife Deborah and has three children and two grandchildren. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Fort Mill.
Council positions are non-partisan. Fort Mill residents will vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.