Name: Guynn Hozey Savage
Family: Russell (husband), 3 children, 3 grandchildren – Jennifer (Seth) Quackenbush – Eliza and Lucille; Matthew (Courtney) Savage – Jackson; Sarah (Paul) Shaw
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Education: Graduate of Fort Mill Schools, attended Winthrop and Queens College
Years in Fort Mill: 63
Top five professional and community activities: 1. Mayor of Fort Mill; 2. York County YMCA Board; 3. Fort Mill Rotary; 4. Member of Unity Presbyterian; 5. Iris Garden Club
Top five concerns: Every issue deserves attention and we have many items that we hope to address. These are the top 5 of those: 1. Safety: ensure that we have the employees, training and equipment needed to continue to protect our community; 2. Fiscal responsibility: continue to achieve excellent ratings for our financial management; 3. Employee growth and retention: good work environment, good benefits, competitive pay, needed training, better processes and systems; 4. Growth management: Strengthen our vision, mission and strategic direction, continue changes to restrictions that reduce density, search for alternatives, options and funding to address traffic congestion; 5. Enhanced customer service: Improve and expand communications, survey and research trends and needs.
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: The small town I grew up in has transformed rapidly, much like the other communities surrounding Charlotte. Growth and prosperity come with benefits and challenges. Our council has worked hard to address this growth and embrace the prosperity.
In the last 4 years we have eliminated the R5 zoning – reducing density and expanding buffers. We have also required traffic analysis studies be presented to the Town prior to Council voting on new developments. We have strengthened our development agreements and have collected impact fees to grow our funding for needed infrastructure enhancements. Examples are the upgrades and expansion of the water treatment facility, new water tower, new systems, new Town Hall, new staff.
On the positive side – the growth has resulted in a vibrancy in our downtown that I haven’t seen since I was a child, excellent restaurants, new shopping, and good jobs for our residents.
Q: What’s the one major issue you plan to address as mayor?
A: It is impossible to limit the planning for the Town to one single issue. I hope to continue the development of partnerships that maximize at the benefits to our community, to improve communications to and from Town Hall, to support and grow our employees, to better maintain our assets and provide new opportunities for our community to connect.
Q: What do you see as the role of mayor?
A: A leader, relationship manager and facilitator. The Mayor only has one vote – just like each council member.
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: Given the extreme and expansive costs of traffic management, $1 million would not result in changes that would be noticeable, nor would it buy a large tract of land for workforce housing, nor build a new Town Hall or Public Works facility – so, research would be needed to see where we would get the greatest benefit. A search to see how to get a match for that $1 million might bring a new partnership to build a parking deck downtown, add new sidewalks, purchase equipment for a new inclusive playground, a new gym, or resurfaced tennis courts,
Q: What else should voters know about you before entering the voting booth?
A: I am very proud of the work that has been completed in the last 4 years. We have graciously been given the Walter Elisha Park, the Complex, land for the new water tower, land for the new Fire Department, a great deal on a new Town Hall, money and planning for new restrooms at Walter Elisha and a new amphitheater, land and design for a new park to replace the ballfields that are closing at the Complex. We have a new Town Manager, a new Assistant Town Manager, a new Planner, a new Procurement Officer. The list of achievements is long. I have been surrounded by dedicated council members, the best staff anywhere, great guidance from peers, the blessings and support of my community, and a history of servant leadership from those that built our Town. I am part of a team and proud of it.
Fun question: Which was your favorite scarecrow in the Scarecrow Crawl?
A: This event is Town sponsored therefore I cannot express any preference. I love each and every one of them!