By Stan Welch
West Pelzer Town Councilman Robert Alexander has officially resigned his seat on the Council, necessitating a special election later this year.
Alexander, who is serving the second year of his first term, is relocating due to an employment opportunity. His resignation will become effective on September 30. Town clerk Paula Payton is currently confirming the details of the special election process, but she informed The Journal that such an election is usually held on the thirteenth Tuesday following the effective date of the resignation.
That would place the special election to fill Alexander’s seat on December 30; but Payton stressed that she has no official notification from the Elections Commission at this time. Once a date is officially established, it will be announced and registration fr potential candidates will be open.
Alexander, in a telephone interview with The Journal, reflected on his brief tenure on Council, adding that one of the most important achievements of the Council during that time was simply getting along and finding ways to work together. “There was a time a few years ago when all the Council seemed to do was fight and try to cut each other’s throats. It was a circus around here, and it hurt the town.”
“ When I got elected, I decided I would do whatever was best for the town, whether I personally agreed with it or not. I think I did that. I tried to go along with what the majority of people wanted, on most things. But I wasn’t anybody’s yes man, and if I thought something was good for the town, I voted for it, no matter what. That made some folks mad sometimes, but that’s the way it goes.”
Alexander also took pride in the fact that the town has a full time police department, something he supported as well. “We have a good department, and they do a good job for the people in town. We are in much better shape about that than other areas that use the county to police them. We have a lot of older people in the town and they need that kind of protection. They deserve it, and it feels good knowing that they have it.”
Alexander also explained that the town’s recent progress in upgrading its water and sewer systems was long overdue. “You know, basically, nothing was done about the water and sewer lines for sixty five years or so. Even twenty five years ago, it just wasn’t something you thought about. People just figured those lines would always be there. Well, we found out differently, and now we are catching up to the problems. We’re having to pay the fiddler, but it’s important to the town’s future.”
Alexander, who grew up in West Pelzer and whose father served several terms as Mayor, said that he will always have roots in the town. “My daughter lives just across the street from where I grew up. I’ll be around, don’t worry. But circumstances just made it necessary to leave the Council. I wish them all the best and hope they continue to work for the town’s benefit.”