By Stan Welch
All three candidates in the West Pelzer Town Council race have experienced the loss of campaign signs, as have several Pelzer candidates. But the losses seem spread fairly evenly among the various candidates, and no one the Journal spoke to is alleging any sort of political shenanigans.
“I’ve had a few missing, but I haven’t really ridden around checking. I don’t think it’s too bad, and I know Mr. Jeanes and Mr. Rogers have lost a few too,” said Vicki Farmer. Farmer is running for one of the two seats held by those incumbents. Of the three candidates, the two receiving the most votes will assume the seats.
Councilmen Donnie Jeanes, Jim Riddle, and Mayor Blake Sanders do not face reelection. The election, next Tuesday, will be conducted electronically by voting machine, but paper ballots will be available for absentee, fail safe and write-in votes.
Farmer said she decided to run because she wanted to get involved in the town more. “I’ve had several customers (at her hair salon) encourage me to run, and this year I decided that I want to help the mayor and other council members continue in the direction we are headed. “She said two problems that concern her are the lack of parking on Main Street and the frequent presence of tractor trailers along Main Street.
She also approves of recent efforts by both towns to cooperate, and says that she would support consolidation of the two towns if the people of both towns benefitted from it.
Councilman Jimmy Jeanes, a veteran of several terms on the Council, also mentioned the loss of campaign signs, but agreed that bad intentions were unlikely. “If you were doing it to mess with a candidate, you would probably take them all. It may just be kids getting up to some mischief.”
Jeanes said he considered not running this time, but said that the lack of interest from other candidates made him reconsider. “Miss Farmer didn’t sign up until late and I just felt like I want to see this water and sewer situation through to the end,” said Jeanes, who was on the council during the water and sewer upgrades over the last several years.
Both towns are currently exploring the possibility of selling their sewer systems to ReWa. Jeanes has served on the joint sewer committee composed of both mayors and mayor pro tems since February.
Jeanes said that West Pelzer has come a long way in terms of the water and sewer infrastructure. “A few years ago, we had pipes in the ground that were almost a hundred years old. It was a struggle and a lot of hard work, but the system improvements have made West Pelzer a better place to live. I would like to see that continue.”