(Editor's note: Larry Holman completed this questionnaire when he ran for a City Council seat in the November general election. He declined to complete a questionnaire for the 2011 special election or to meet with the editorial board of The Beaufort Gazette.)
Years living in area: 14
Family: Married to Wilma Prince Holman for 39 years, with three grown children and five grandchildren
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Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in financial management (1974) from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.
Current employer: President/CEO of the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce, since 2001
Previous employment: Former J.C. Penney Company executive; retired as store manager of the Beaufort J.C. Penney store in 2001 after a career spanning 27 years. Earned the J.C. Penney Chairman's Award for Managerial Excellence in 1997, just one year after assuming management of the corporation's Beaufort store in the Cross Creek Plaza.
Military history: Served in the U. S. Army; Vietnam-era veteran
Volunteer history: Member of the Audit and Academic Review Committees of the Beaufort County School District; board member and Treasurer of Access Network; vice president and treasurer of the Wardle Family YMCA; ex-officio board member of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce; board member of the Lowcountry Economic Network; president of the Real Deal Investment Club; life member of both the NAACP and the North Carolina Central University Alumni Association.
Public elected offices: None
Any unsuccessful political campaigns: Ran unsuccessfully for a City Council seat in November 2010.
Other political and government experience: None
Endorsements received (from the November 2010 election):Beaufort County Councilman Brian Flewelling; former Beaufort City Councilwoman Alice Wright, the first woman and the first African-American woman elected to the Beaufort City Council; Gullah educator, entertainer, and businesswoman Anita "Aunt Pearlie Sue" Singleton-Prather; former Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce tourism/marketing director Liz Mitchell; Northwest Quadrant community activist Henrietta Goode; former Penn Center executive director and outgoing Beaufort Historic District Review Board chairman John Gadson Sr.; well-known local artist Claudette Humphrey; political activist Edgar Williams; businessman Ken "Mr. Ken" Singleton
S.C. Ethics Commission statement of economic interests: Nothing to disclose on statement filed June 7.
Campaign money raised: No money reported as of July 2.
Top three campaign contributors over past six months (amount): N/A.
Why should people vote for you?
Beaufort residents should vote for me because I have their best interests at heart and won't play political games. I'm not a politician. I am an honest, hardworking, pro-business advocate with a proven track record of going the extra mile to provide opportunities for businesses and the less fortunate. I want to be accountable to my constituents in a way that at-large elections don't encourage and ensure that city government is responsive, fair and transparent. And I believe that separates me from my opponents.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them?
- Support local businesses when contracting city services. Encourage commercial development within the city to create jobs.
- Support planned, sensible growth within the city using the Redevelopment Commission but with transparency, openness, and fairness to expand the city's weak tax base.
- Collaborate openly and regionally with Jasper County, Beaufort County, Colleton County and Hampton County to bring new industry and jobs into the area.
What other issues do you see as important?
City Council elections should change from the at-large system to single-member/hybrid districts to promote greater accountability and fairer representation for all Beaufort residents. Support revising existing city ordinances and business licensing to offer caps and abatements to encourage business growth openly. We should not tax businesses out of business. Support increase in tourism funding to keep Beaufort competitive with other tourist destinations. Support establishing an entrepreneur program that links entrepreneurs to industry leaders and technology experts. Making our community safer for us and our tourists.
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
To make Beaufort city government more open and accessible to the public, I would push for ending all executive sessions during City Council work sessions and Redevelopment Commission meetings so that all deliberations will be open to both the public and the press. In addition, I would work to develop a process for quickly resolving issues raised during the public comments section of city council meetings.
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 details.
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?
I was awarded the 2006 combined Distinguished Achievement in Business/Humanitarian Award by Beaufort County's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Steering Committee for my leadership in organizing residents of Beaufort's Northwest Quadrant to lobby for neighborhood improvements, and for pushing Beaufort County to add "teeth and accountability" to its small- and minority-business vendors and contractors ordinances. As part of our long history of giving back, my wife, Wilma, and I established the Larry and Wilma Holman Endowment Scholarship Fund in 1998 at North Carolina Central University (our alma mater) to benefit deserving students from low-income families.