Name: Cynthia Bensch
Political party: Republican
Office you are seeking: County Council District 7
Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: 33
Family: Gary Bensch; five grown children, 15 grandchildren, all live in South Carolina, four at Clemson
Education: Attended Central Piedmont College
Current occupation/employer: Retired, Bensch-Mark Builders & Developers
Employment, military and volunteer history: I have been involved in nearly every aspect of doing business in Beaufort County through real estate, construction and development, which is the pathway to increasing tourism. My background enables me to determine areas that need comprehensive change to make Beaufort County more business-friendly. My experience obtaining licenses, drafting contracts, payroll, insurance, complying with state and local ordinances, taxes, inventory, MLS, construction of a shopping center, and buying and selling private and commercial property has given me first hand knowledge of the stumbling blocks that can be removed to attract jobs to Beaufort County. Time is money and enabling business owners to expedite their plans and achieve their goals is a critical factor in attracting any business. Providing the best base from education, brings the best jobs.
Please list all public offices to which you've been elected, when and where: S.C. State Election Commission, three-time Beaufort County Republican Party delegate to the state convention.
Other prior political and government experience: Vice chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party; two-time chairman of the fundraising committee; member of the Beaufort County Republican Party Issues and Platform Committee; certified poll manager; Beaufort County Republican Party Executive committee member for 10 years
Key endorsements you've received: No answer provided.
Contributions: No campaign contributions reported as of Oct. 12.
Expenditures: No campaign expenditures reported as of Oct. 12.
Highest contributors: No campaign contributions or expenditures reported as of Oct. 12.
Why should people vote for you?
I have been civically and politically active in Beaufort County for over 25 years. I am retired and have the time to devote to the critical issues facing our citizens. I know the history of development and growth. I know the goals Beaufort County can achieve that will enable our county to have a thriving economy that supports families and business in our communities.
I understand the issues that need to change to attract new business and as an extremely active member of the Republican party for over 20 years. I am time-tested in my views and actions. I understand the strength southern Beaufort County will have with this new district, and it is important to elect a person who will not go along with the status quo and who does not need on-the-job training.
I have never seen my opponent involved in the Republican Party or any civic matters until this election, and he has lived here nearly as long as I have.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?
1. Beaufort County should have a strategic plan to provide city water and sewer and remove and replace septic tanks that are old and inoperative for the highest quality infrastructure in Bluffton and as the sustainable solution to eliminate pollution of our rivers and tributaries.
2. Privatize landscaping, road maintenance and add aesthetically appropriate street lighting on U.S. 278 in Bluffton for safety and to attract tourism.
3. Beaufort County has to have the best qualified employees for oversight of county projects so that taxpayers are not burdened by exorbitant additional costs to repair new projects.
What other issues do you see as important?
County Council has to be proactive in determining spending and insure we are able to remain revenue-neutral without raising taxes. When council substantively addresses the issues to enable our bases to remain open and tourism to flourish we will be able to provide services to citizens without a tax increase.
I support land preservation and appreciate the open spaces that maintain the area's natural beauty. But in our economic crisis, now is not the time to consider a $25 million debt for taxpayers. Our whole county is in a state of preservation. We must be sensitive to families that are struggling desperately not to lose their homes, where every dollar counts to them.
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
When County Council has a cooperative attitude to assist and serve citizens, the public will access government as they become more productive. Councils have reputations: Either they are effective and successful or they stonewall citizens out of the area.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give the details.
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
My husband and I are missionaries to Ukraine whenever possible.