Political party: Republican
Office: Beaufort County Council District 2
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: 68 years
Family: Wife, Ann Crosby; daughters Paula, 18, and Alexis, 14
Education: Duke University
Current occupation/employer: Management consultant
Employment, military and volunteer history: U.S. Army; more than 50 years of labor relations direction and consulting; owned and operated shrimp trawlers in Beaufort County from 1975 to 1988
Public offices held: Beaufort County Council District 2 from 2007 to present
Unsuccessful bids for public office: Beaufort City Council in 2004
Other prior political and government experience: None
Key endorsements you've received: Not seeking endorsements
Campaign contributions: None
campaign expenditures: None
Biggest contributor: N/A
Why should people vote for you?
Governing requires being able to listen to and evaluate all points of view and be respectful of them, whether I agree with them or not. My background as a negotiator lends itself to this requirement. I have the ability to work with others to find consensus, and I do not allow partisanship to interfere with that. I return all phone calls and emails and letters and routinely meet with constituents to discuss individual concerns.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?
1. Water quality -- Beaufort County currently has the most stringent stormwater ordinance in the state and possibly in the country. Our job now is to make certain that it is enforced. This entails not only taking care in negotiating new development agreements, it also entails using our enforcement authority to ensure existing and proposed developments continue to meet the standards in perpetuity.
2. Military base retention -- Aside from tourism, the military is the basis of our economy. Preserving this great asset requires enforcing the compatible-use zones, making certain our development standards take their requirements into account and updating the Joint Land Use Study to reflect changing Marine Corps requirements. It also requires a regular presence in front of our state and federal legislative delegations to remind them just how important the military is to Beaufort County and what specifically they can do to help.
3. Solid-waste disposal -- This is a time bomb. We have approximately two years left on our current solid waste disposal contract with Waste Management, albeit at a grossly inflated rate. We have explored placing a transfer station in Beaufort County but as a practical matter this is not likely. Waste Management has a monopoly with its landfill, Hickory Hill, so our best option in my judgment is a transfer station in Jasper County, probably in partnership with Jasper County.
What other issues do you see as important?
1. Incorporate updated FEMA flood maps and new Joint Land Use Study into county development codes
2. Implement new community development code
3. Keep taxes as low as possible while still providing the necessary services
4. Repair/replace Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge
5. Complete Crystal Lake Park and Lady's Island Landing Park
6. Complete the Spanish Moss Trail to the Whale Branch and beyond
7. Upgrade boat landings
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
1. Continue to televise as many council, committee, agency, board and commission meetings as possible
2. Continue to meet with any individuals or groups as requested
3. Continue to limit executive sessions to the limited and specific topics authorized by law
4. Continue to return all calls, e-mails, etc.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you?
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?
I am bilingual in Spanish, which allows me to regularly interact with the Hispanic community.
My family has lived in Beaufort since 1862 when my great-great-grandparents, northern abolitionists from Massachusetts, arrived on Hilton Head to take part in the "Port Royal Experiment," building schools and teaching freed men. My great-grandmother funded and founded the Port Royal Agricultural School, which eventually became the Shanklin public school. My uncle, Niels Christensen Jr., was a state senator for Beaufort County before Jasper broke away. My cousin, Stratton Christensen (Harvard class of 1940 along with John F. Kennedy), returned from Harvard and ran for the state legislature and won, becoming the then youngest person to win a seat in the state legislature. Unfortunately, he gave up his deferment, joined the U.S. Navy and was killed by a German submarine in 1942.
I was honored last year as "parent volunteer of the year" at Beaufort Middle School.
I have been to the Dominican Republic on probably a dozen occasions as a missionary.
- Owned and operated commercial shrimp trawlers
- President, Savannah Area Mensa
- Past board of trustees member, the Beaufort Academy
- Past president, Beaufort Academy Parents Association
- Past vestry member, Parish Church of St. Helena
- Past chairman, Mission and Outreach Commission, Parish Church of St. Helena
- Past president, Duke Alumni Club of Hilton Head
- Beaufort County Council chairman
- Military liaison between Beaufort County, South Carolina and Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Beaufort Naval Hospital
- Past vice president, Parents Advisory Council at Beaufort Middle School
- Past member School Improvement Council, Beaufort High School