Marc DeJesus & Family (from Facebook)

Name: Marc DeJesus

Age: 51

Family: Married,  5 children: 3 girls,  14, 10, 3;  2 boys, 11, 6

Occupation: Full-time Father, Direct Sales team leader

Education: 3 years of college, emphasis in accounting.  Left for a service mission in Central America.  Fluent in Spanish

Years in Fort Mill: 2½ years in Fort Mill

Top five professional and community activities: Professional/Community: Conference Speaker (Work); Parks and Recreation Assistant Soccer Coach; DBES Volunteer; Candidate for Town Council

Top five concerns: Lack of representation for Fort Mill residents in the 4th Ward; Poor planning on residential and commercial development; Overcrowded and dangerous roads and intersections; Overhauling Fort Mills Parks and Recreation Department; Lack of town support for local businesses; A reactive not proactive town government

Q: Fort Mill is experiencing a population and development explosion. What does this mean for the town and how would your actions on the council help the needs of this growing community?

A: Growth brings with it new individuals and families who can enhance and serve our community.  It can also bring new business opportunities (boutique shops, restaurants, grocery stores) which would be welcomed, however, poor planning, both residential and commercial, create congestion, can stress an infrastructure, put a strain on utility services, and contribute to dangerous road conditions.

As a member of the town council, I would vote for and support controlled growth measures trying to insure infrastructure, security services and utility services kept pace. I would also take a proactive approach and support current businesses while making efforts to solicit businesses desired by residents.

Q: What’s the one major issue you plan to address?

A: Areas of responsibility for town management are divided up among the town council.  A council person may not have the primary responsibility for an area in which they want to make changes.  A “major issue” would more than likely be a town council not individual decision.  With that said, one of my primary goals would be to overhaul Fort Mills Parks and Recreation Department.   I have spoken with dozens of parents who feel this should be a top priority and is years overdue.

Q: What grade do you give the current town council and why?

 A: Apart from making smart, safe choices for the town, the town council’s primary obligation is to represent the residents of the town.  This is not happening.  Fort Mill’s current town government rates an “F”.  Lack of transparency, Lack of communication with residents, unresponsive to questions and concerns, lacking foresight in planning and development, lack of concern for safety, reactive not proactive, unethical and deceptive (Guynn Savage and Chris Moody)

Q: If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

A: I would overhaul Fort Mills Parks and Recreation Department.  We need to do something about Fort Mills Parks and Recreation Department, was one of the first comments I heard from a parent at a soccer practice, shortly after moving to Fort Mill.  Since that time almost three years ago, dozens of parents and coaches have echoed the same sentiment.  Having two children in Fort Mill soccer and being an assistant coach, I have seen firsthand what they meant.

Why? What is one of the ways a family can adjust to a new area and meet people?  Through sports.   It is a way for kids and parents to make new and /or additional friends.  Friendships help create unity and strengthen communities.  Strong communities have less crime.  Kids who play sports are typically healthier, happier, do better in school and are less likely to engage in underage drinking and smoking.

This is not a project that would take years of planning and committee meetings.  It could be done quickly and the benefits would be almost immediate.

Q: What else should voters know about you before entering the voting booth?

A: Fort Mill is my home.  This is where my family lives.  This is where my children will grow up.  I want the best for them and for Fort Mill. I’m not a history hater and I’m not a hostile liberal.  I am a concerned resident who wants to see Fort Mill flourish and not be looked at as an example of poor planning and development by our neighboring cities.  Unlike those who plot and conspire to divide our town, our community, and our ward, I will actively work to fairly represent all of Fort Mill’s 4th Ward residents.  

Fun question: Which was your favorite scarecrow in the Scarecrow Crawl?

A: Stormtrooper and Yoda. I thought the garden club had a very original terracotta pot scarecrow.

Greg Rickabaugh

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...