Office: Bluffton Town Council
Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: Four years, more than 35 years in Beaufort County
Family: Wife, Cynthia; five grown children; 15 grandchildren
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Education: Wingate College; University of North Carolina
Current occupation/employer: Retired builder, self-employed consultant for Bensch-Mark Services
Employment, military and volunteer history: Builder for 40 years with Bensch-Mark Builders; served two years on Windmill Harbour architectural review board; licensed as real estate broker in both North Carolina and South Carolina, general contractor
Public offices held: None
Unsuccessful attempts at public office: Beaufort County Council, more than eight years ago
Other prior political and government experience: State delegate to the Republican State Convention; member of Precinct Executive Committee
Key endorsements you've received: I have not asked for endorsements
Highest contributor: Gary Bensch ($514)
Why should people vote for you?
As a retired builder and local businessman, my life experiences uniquely enable me to have the necessary overview and understanding of the important planning issues required to enhance the character of the Lowcountry.
I have a background as a businessman who has created jobs, negotiated contracts, prepared payrolls and produced budgets. I know the county, state, Department of Health and Environmental Control, and Department of Transportation regulations, which would be beneficial to Bluffton in this time of tremendous growth.
My knowledge of development and infrastructure costs also enables me to accurately project capital improvements cost.
I have the distinct privilege of being the only candidate who can offer Bluffton the important benefit of having my wife serve on County Council for the next four years for District 7. This will provide Bluffton with greater communication and teamwork between the two local governments.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?
- To reduce taxes by promoting quality economic development.
- Preservation of our rivers and tributaries through planning and managing the elimination of storm water runoff, retrofitting and retention ponds, and the restoration and expansion of wetlands.
- To increase maintenance and beautification of our medians.
Creating a "good-neighbor policy" in Bluffton as a community message that Bluffton is a place where we are considerate of one another. It would send a good message to our young people.
What specific steps would you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
I think Bluffton's government is very accessible to the public. I will be very accessible to hear and address the concerns of Bluffton's residents in a prompt manner.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or had an ethics violation filed against you?
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?
Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
My greatest motivation in determining to run on Bluffton Town Council is to help ensure the protection of our natural resources and ensure quality economic developments that blends with our Lowcountry lifestyle. I would like to help enable my 15 wonderful grandchildren who all live in South Carolina to consider Bluffton for their future home, to work and raise their families in a protected environment.