Candidate for mayor
By Stan Welch
To some, the sudden decision by long time West Pelzer Mayor Peggy Paxton not to seek another term evokes uncertainty about the town’s future, while to others it offers opportunity to help shape that future.
Current Town Councilman Blake Sanders, who is running for the job, falls into that second category. “I think there is a positive response throughout the town to the opportunity for new leadership. Just as there seems to be a real resistance to the same old names and ideas at every level of politics right now, I think that the people of West Pelzer are also looking for new solutions,” said Sanders in a telephone interview with The Journal.
Sanders clearly identifies three specific areas where the need for leadership is most glaring.
“There are three areas where I think we do a terrible job as a town government. The first is in planning. In recent years, there has been a tendency among a majority of the council to simply enact budget cuts, in order to achieve a certain goal. But budget cuts and other decisions that impact the town, need to be planned for.”
Sanders says that the business community doesn’t see an undermanned police force as a workable, long term arrangement.” As a result of this lack of planning, the status of our police department is constantly up in the air. This is unsettling to both businesses and citizens who have made it clear that public safety is a major concern for them. I fought very hard in the last two budgets to keep a full time force. One year, we were successful. The latest budget included compromise involving the use of part time officers. I eventually voted for it, because it leaves the way open to eventually return to a full time force.”