Bluffton Town Council candidate profile: Oliver S. Brown

dburley@islandpacket.comOctober 25, 2013 

Oliver Brown in a 2010 photo


Age: 60

Office: Bluffton Town Council

Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: 47 years

Family: Wife, Carolyn; four grown children

Education: Bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology

Current occupation/employer: Assistant resident maintenance engineer, S.C. Department of Transportation

Employment, military and volunteer history: U.S. Army, 1972-1976; surveyors' assistant, Sea Island Engineering, 1981-1991; engineering technician, Beaufort County Engineering Department, 1991-2002; assistant resident maintenance engineer, S.C. Department of Transportation, 2002-present

Public offices held: Bluffton Town Council

Public offices held: None

Unsuccessful attempts at public office: None

Other prior political and government experience: None.

Key endorsements you've received: None listed.

Contributions: Not available as of 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25.

Expenditures: Not available as of 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25.

Highest contributor: Not available as of 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25.

Why should people vote for you?

I'm hoping that people vote for me because they feel they can trust me as their citizen representative in their local town government. Yes, I'm just a citizen representative with no other personal agenda but to serve.

For more than five years I have served in the capacity of town councilman, and during my tenure I feel that some positive things have happened. To name a few: The development of the Buck Island-Simmonsville Neighborhood Plan; started the installation of sewer and sidewalk in the plan; the building of the Bluffton Police Department station; the Wharf Street affordable housing development; the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. More than anything, the town of Bluffton remains financially stable.

What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?

  1. We must remain vigilant in protecting the environment. We must continue to support the action items that are already in place and make sure that as we move forward with development that the best engineering practices are being used to mitigate damage.
  2. I believe that a stable economy is critical for the life of our town. So is being a place that is inviting to small business and job creation.
  3. Quality of life is something every citizen deserves. To be peaceful and feel safe is a right for every citizen. To be able to move about your neighborhood as pedestrian or a cyclist is much needed. It serves our town to turn more open space into parks.
What other issues to do you see as important?

None listed.

What specific steps would you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

I think the town is very accessible.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or had an ethics violation filed against you?

The first campaign for public office that I ran was for Town Council. I was fortunate to have acquired campaign contributions which exceeded the amount that I actually spent. I did maintain a separate account for the campaign funds. After the election I filed what I thought was the last campaign disclosure and checked the box marked "final," thinking that I was finished. After a month of not filing and ignoring a few letters from the ethics commission, I was cited for failure to file and fined with a delinquency fee which accumulated daily. I made an appointment to meet with the Ethics Commission and they examined my records. From the examination, all monies were properly accounted for and the account was rendered inactive by the bank for lack of activity. The commission then reduced my fine to a minimal fine. I reactivated the account, and then gave the money to a local nonprofit.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?

Did not answer.

Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?

Did not answer.

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