Rick Hayes, candidate for Fort Mill Town Council at-large seat (Facebook photo)

Name: Rick Hayes

Age: 42

Family: My family consists of my wonderful and supportive wife, who has the toughest job in the world, Christina Hayes.  My blossoming 14 year old going on 15 early December,  freshman daughter, Madi.  We also have two exuberant littles.  Hannah Grace, who turns 4 on the 29th of December and Richard Greyson who turned 2 June 26th.  They are 18 months apart and the best of friends. 

Occupation: For the past 20 years I have been the event production field.  I have filled numerous roles, from the basic delivery guy, to customer service manager, to technical design and sales.  I have helped grow three different organizations before I owned my own production company for several years, but dissolved it in 2015 when I moved from Minneapolis to South Carolina, and didn’t have the contacts to support it.  I have now worked for a company based in New Jersey for the past 3 years, where my role is to ensure our clients exceptions are not only met, but exceeded.

Years in Fort Mill: We moved to the Town of Fort Mill in July of 2017.

Top five concerns:  I would say to me the five top concerns in no order is the rapid overdevelopment of the residential side of Fort Mill, without drawing enough of the right type of businesses into those areas.  School Sustainability, I am concerned with all of the rapid growth, the school system is not going to be able to develop fast enough.  At this pace, how can we possibly keep building schools to keep up.  Not to mention being able to hire and retain enough top quality teachers to keep us near the top of the list of best school districts.  Road Infrastructure.  I talk more about that below.  Communication and Transparency of the town leaders to its people.  And for number 5, I would say the overall infrastructure of the town and its ability to handle all that is going to be coming, as we continue to grow.

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: That is correct.  Fort Mill has more than doubled it’s population in the last 10 years and is continuing to overdevelop without transparently addressing it’s infrastructure.  At the rate we are going, we are going to have way more houses and traffic than the roads and infrastructure can handle.  That’s not to say the current leaders aren’t working on the concern, but it’s not outwardly known.  What I would like to do is to hire a master planning and consulting company to help us get our infrastructure and planning moving in the right direction.  To me it feels like we are currently developing at a reckless pace.

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

A: Our road infrastructure.

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

A: I would give them a 50%.  The reason I do is solely based on my interaction with the council since April.  I am sure that they care for the town and people in the community, but they did a terrible job of showing it.  I was recently told by the mayor that it was due to the fact that my “group” had hired a lawyer.  However, there was not any talk of hiring an attorney until we were met with blatant disregard for a month.  Silence is deafening, when there are several hundred people grasping at straws for the town leaders who we rely on, to give us some sort of response.  When they did finally put out a formal response to the town,  they blatantly lied to us.  I only say that, because I have had communication with the same entities that the town said the gas station would pose no harm, and they in fact stated that no one from their organizations could go on record of saying that.  The town council should not EVER lie to it’s people.

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 utilize those funds to hire said consulting firm to get to work on helping us figure out how we can alleviate the stress our infrastructure is currently feeling.  Obviously, there will be a lot of money left after the consulting, I hope….With those funds, I would hope to leverage it to obtain more capital to resolve the issue.

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

A: I am a very passionate person and I care a great deal for not only my family, but also the community I have decided to call home and raise my family.  I am here to ensure that your voices are heard and you feel that you are being listened to.    

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

A: I really enjoyed seeing the We Are Family by The Town of Fort Mill Admin.  I really shows that it does take a lot of groups and people to make the town run and that we are one big family built from a diverse group of people.

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...