By Stan Welch
The Anderson County Council swore in two new members Tuesday night. Both are from districts that impact the Journal’s readership. District Six has a new representative; Jimmy Davis, a businessman and a Wren and Clemson graduate.
Davis referred to several planks of his campaign platform as he reiterated the issues he thinks need to be addressed. He clearly favors the growth which is obviously occurring in the county, especially the northern end where he has spent all his life. He worries that employment opportunities are outstripping the number of qualified employees. “Finding workers is going to be a challenge going forward, and it is harder on small businesses than it is on the larger corporations. I am in favor of using the fee in lieu of taxes (FILOT) approach to entice or retain companies and the jobs and investment they bring. But I would like to see smaller businesses offered comparable advantages as well. They remain the backbone of our economy.”
He touted the importance of the Tri County Technical College in helping to prepare and provide those employees. “I am a big supporter of TCTC and will be as a member of Council. Their presence has played a large role in attracting some of these recent additions to the county, and that role is certain to continue.”
Davis is also aware that such explosive growth as that being experienced in the northern part of the county will require significant improvements in the area’s infrastructure. ”The challenge is to use our limited resources as wisely as possible. As the state retains more and more of the tax revenues, the counties feel the pinch more and more.”
Davis recognizes the need to address the issue of the overcrowding of the detention center, and supports Sheriff Chad McBride’s efforts to do so, as well as to provide a greater law enforcement presence in the county. “I am a strong supporter of law enforcement, as well as fire and emergency services. I believe that the public safety is paramount, and I will work hard to get those first responders whatever they need to do their jobs better.”
He would also like to see zoning resolved at least to some degree. “Zoning is needed to provide a little more structure to our infrastructure and to help us plan better how to allocate our resources.”
Brett Sanders, who won the District Four seat vacated by incumbent Tom Allen’s decision not to run again, is also a supporter of small businesses and would do more to help them access the resources available. One aspect of that would be a streamlining of the procurement and bid processes to make it more advantageous and friendly to smaller companies.
“The council in recent years has worked very hard and very well with county staff to attract and land manufacturing jobs, as well as retaining jobs that might have been lured elsewhere. I certainly approve of those efforts and will work to continue to bring good jobs to our people. Of course, with those jobs come other challenges, such as housing and schools and other infrastructure. I hope to play my part in identifying and resolving those demands.”