Irmo Elections are next week, I for one am ready. You would think I was running in this election since the last three weeks letters have been written bashing me, blaming the Mayor, for everything under the sun. I could respond by bashing them for their hateful words, false statements and lies, but it is understandable. They get their information from a gossip column, a haters/bullies facebook page, “Citizens of Everywhere”.
I want to speak to others in Irmo, the ones who have been asking for years for Town Council to get off our fannies and do something about the neighborhood deterioration you see happening all around you every time you ride through our older neighborhoods, Coatesworth, Friarsgate (Old and New). I want to speak to you, the ones that feels like no one is “listening” to you. Yes, they knocked on your doors in 2003, 04, 05, 07, 09, 11, and said they would fix it, but never did. The two incumbents up for re-election aren’t “listening”, they are “folding” to the others, the loud and the screamers.
But I did not fold, and the two new Council members “you” elected in 2015 have been “listening” to you and have not folded either.
We need to finish what we started in 2005 when I got elected and took on a sloppy managed Okra Strut Festival, took on the Good Ole Boys who told me in 2003 I needed to wait to run for Council and they would let me know when it was “my turn”, took on a Council who did what the string puller wanted. I have been fighting for you ever since.
We did begin making changes in December of 2015. Yes, some didn’t like it, but we listened, didn’t fold, and moved forward. We started making changes to ordinances, eliminating conflicting and confusing wording in town ordinances, making them easier to understand, therefore easier to follow. Then we, as a Council, started making changes on neighborhood blight issues. We all voted for a dilapidated structure ordinance, Kathy and Barry included. Kathy supported and voted for the 1st passed parking in the yard ordinance, then folded. She pushed in 2016 for a complete fireworks ban, which didn’t pass, but supported and approved the last fireworks ordinance. Then on the bully page, she started folding again. She and Barry both voted in 2016 for “no backyard chickens”. They turned around and folded this year on that issue as well.
You need Council members that keep their word, that do not fold, and listen to you as well. This is your town, too. You vote every election, not just once in the past four elections, not just this year. I am asking you to finish what we started years ago, when you elected me to be “your voice”, your Mayor. I heard you then, I hear you now, and I hope you hear me.
Irmo needs two new Council members who want to serve you, not just argue with the Mayor all night. Council members who listen to “all”, to you, not just the loud, but also the meek, the quiet majority, and two new Council members who will stand firm. Council members who say what they mean, and mean what they say, and do not flip and fold with every post on a facebook page.
Four others are running as well. I have given advice and help to three of them. All three, and the fourth as well for that matter, are good men, but I only have two votes. I told all three up front that in the end I would be voting for the two I felt were working the hardest to meet you, to win your vote.
Based on all that I’ve seen, been told, and know, I believe Brent Chitwood has worked the hardest to win your vote, and I believe Ed Wadelington would be next. I’m not saying don’t vote for the other two new candidates, but I do believe that Brent and Ed have the best chance of unseating Kathy and Barry.
Let’s finish what we started.
Hardy King, Mayor of Irmo