Three newcomers to Fort Mill are running for spots on the town council in Tuesday’s election. Will voters look past their newcomer status and boot long-time residents from the board?
It remains to be seen, but it’s a hot topic on social media.
Scott Stevens, who supports the newcomers, said it’s time for change. “It’s time for Fort Mill to be led by leaders who strive for controlled growth,” he said on Facebook. “We can’t afford more years of leadership by locals with backgrounds in real estate who presumably have their hands in the pockets of business developers who are profiting by continued expansion.”
Mayor Guynn Savage, the town’s first female mayor and a local real estate agent, has competition from Bret McNabb, a corporate attorney and Fort Mill parent who is fighting the town over a gas station being built next to Doby’s Bridge Elementary School.
McNabb has lived in Fort Mill for three and a half years. Mayor Savage has lived here since birth and made the newcomer status of many of McNabb’s supporters an issue.
“My challenger’s group of supporters know very little about our Town’s history, and from their comments, have even less respect for it,” the mayor said on Facebook.
Meanwhile, council members Lisa Cook and Chris Moody are both facing challenges from residents who moved to town less than three years ago: Marc DeJesus and Rick Hayes. Cook, who has lived in Fort Mill the majority of her adulthood, is also fending off a challenge from Mike Short, a political veteran and Fort Mill native.
Heather Lea questions how newcomers have enough knowledge of Fort Mill to make intelligent decisions. “How do you run for a position that you have no experience for or proper knowledge of?” she said.
Joseph Beasley said he is voting for the incumbents. “My personal belief is that I am more confident with a candidate that has been a citizen of great city for some time and has invested their time, talents, and patriotism than a newcomer that wants to offer change and criticism for what makes our city what it is,” he said.
Council positions are non-partisan. Fort Mill residents will vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Here are the candidates and links to the questionnaires they provided to The Fort Mill Sun.
Councilman Chris Moody: Chose not to participate in questionnaire
Challenger Marc DeJesus: Click here for questionnaire