By David Meade
Jimmy Jeanes is presently serving his second term as a councilman in West Pelzer and would like to serve as the town’s mayor. He cites his experience on council and as a businessman as qualifications he has to help prepare the town for growth in the future.
A balanced budget and continuing infrastructure improvements are two of his primary goals, along with bringing business and industry to the area.
“I certainly want to continue with sewer and water upgrades,” Jeanes said in an interview with The Journal. “And get up to date. We need both to bring business and industry to the area.” The town is currently in the second phase of a water and sewer upgrade project. “I like to see things started and finished properly,” he said. “It is very vital to the growth of West Pelzer. The longer we wait, the more it costs.”
“We will have one of the best water and sewer systems of most any small town in the state, with the new lines. But it is costing us.”
Jeanes said that the town’s finances have been a primary concern for him and he wants West Pelzer to have a balanced budget. “I want to get the town where it should be for a small town,” he said.
During the recent budget process, Jeanes pushed for reductions in expenditures and the town did make some cuts in the budget that was eventually passed.
“We have already cut it to the degree that we don’t need to cut anymore,” Jeanes said. “We should be in better shape. I am a spendthrift with money. You don’t buy something if you don’t need it. We need to build the finances back up to where it needs to be.”
Jeanes said that even though the town had to use a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) to borrow money once during the last year, the town’s finances are improving.
He also said he eventually wants to have a fully staffed police department. “That can’t come until the money’s there,” he said.
Jeanes also said he wants to see community pride and cooperation. “We have had a split town,” he said.
He said he plans to work together “to bring harmony.”
Jeanes said he welcomes the opportunity to work with mayor and council from surrounding towns.
One issue which has recently come up which he says he is opposed to is the merging of West Pelzer with Pelzer.
“My opponent recently brought up before a meeting of town council candidates in Pelzer about merging Pelzer and West Pelzer. I disagree,” he said. “West Pelzer, Pelzer and Williamston are rich in their uniqueness and history. I feel that the towns should work together to bring in industry and business, but remain separate towns.”
“Pelzer is making great strides with annexation, preservation work with the Heritage Commission and the success of the Milltown Players,” he said. “Each town’s success is beneficial for the surrounding towns.”
“There are a lot of things I will get done,” he said. “I will do everything I can to help West Pelzer anyway I can,” he said. “I will work to stabalize the town to the degree that we can have services and to be a progressive town.”
Jeanes said he wants to see growth for West Pelzer.
“I want to see growth in West Pelzer, both in the areas of population and business,” he said. “Before we can bring growth, the infrastructure, the water,sewer etc, must be in place.”
“I would like to work toward having a fully staffed police department as the funds become available.”
“Unfortunately our most recent budget required several painful cuts that were necessary to keep the town operating.”
“As mayor, I want to be a careful steward of the town’s finances. I would like to see us return to a fully staffed police department. I would also like to see us work on an economic plan to guard us from shortfalls and having to borrow money like we have the last two budget years.”
Jeanes said, “I want to bring back a sense of community pride and cooperation. I would like to see the community crime watch revived.”
Why are you running for mayor?
Jeanes said, “I have served as a councilman for six and a half years. During that time I feel that we have made progress toward water and sewer improvements. I want to continue with that progress. I also see areas with our town that we can work on.”
“As a small business owner and operator in West Pelzer for over 40 years, I feel that I have the experience necessary dealing with the business owners, as well as potential new businesses. I feel that my experience as a town councilman, mayor pro tem and business man make me qualified for the office of mayor.”
“I am semi-retired, so I am readily available if I am needed. I am also available to oversee day to day operations in the town.”