Garfield Moss joins race for Bluffton Town Council

December 29, 2007 

  • A special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Thomas Heyward will be Feb. 26.

While one additional candidate has joined the race for Bluffton Town Council, another Blufftonian has dropped out.

The Feb. 26 special election will fill the seat left vacant by the death of Thomas Heyward on Nov. 27.

George Haslam of Pin Oak Street said he dropped out of the race because other commitments would prevent him from "giving 100 percent" if elected.

The latest candidate is Garfield Moss, 64, of Wharf Street, a self-employed builder who has lived in Bluffton for the past 20 years.

He said if elected, one of his top priorities would be to cut the town's budget. In particular, Moss said he'd cut the payroll in town hall, which he says is over-staffed by over-paid employees.

"There are millions of dollars going through the halls," he said. "I see a lot of pork."

Moss said he doesn't know the exact cuts he would propose, but mentioned the planning department might be a place to start since he expects Bluffton's growth to slow.

Moss, who filed his candidacy Wednesday, also said he wants stronger "Old Town" representation on council.

Too many town employees come from out of town, he said.

He said Bluffton is considering moving its town hall to the Buckwalter area -- but added he thinks the new offices should be in Old Town.

Bluffton officials have considered his Lawrence Street property for the new town hall site, Moss said.

In the past, Moss has sparred with Bluffton officials over the right to develop his 4.8-acre property on Wharf and Lawrence streets.

Although he doesn't have specific plans, Moss said he would focus his attention on maintaining the May River's quality; improving sidewalks in Old Town; creating affordable housing; and improving public education.

He has three children who attend Bluffton schools: one at M.C. Riley Elementary, another at McCracken Middle School, and a third at Bluffton High School.

The four other candidates -- Jeff Fulgham of Bluffton Park, Joe Naughton of Pine Ridge, Oliver Brown of May River Road and Normand "Gus" Thomas of Hampton Hall -- have filed papers with the town over the past few weeks.

Wednesday was the last day to file paperwork to run in the special election.

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