— The 800-pound pet hog on the loose here recently was a big event for this sleepy burg.

“We don’t have a lot of controversy,” said Keith McCarty.

But things could be heating up for the May 7 election as three candidates compete for two Town Council seats.

Retired town employee Gail Seabrook is challenging incumbents McCarty and Tommy Butler, an 11-year council veteran who is the Charleston regional audit manager for the state Department of Revenue.

McCarty, a lawyer, is completing his second four-year term.

Seabrook most recently served as planning and zoning administrator.

McCarty and Butler said they have worked to control development and preserve the quality of life here. Seabrook said there is a need for better public communication about council business.

The candidates offered some of their priorities and concerns for the town of 1,700 residents.

Gail Seabrook

She hopes to improve town dialogue with residents. Few people attend council meetings, and those who do seem ill-informed, she said.

“Half the time, I don’t think they realize what is being voted on,” she said.

She supports more opportunity for public comment at council meetings.

“Spending, I think, is out of control,” she said.

A copper roof was installed at Town Hall, but a metal roof that looks like copper could have been purchased for much less, she said.

Tommy Butler

Protecting property values through smart, managed growth is important. He wants to prevent cookie-cutter development in the rural bedroom community.

Council took a step in that direction when it approved a 2-acre minimum lot size for homes, he said.

Improvements to the town’s new 160-acre park on the Toogoodoo River are a priority. Upgrades to the town Web page are planned with the goal of increasing citizen involvement, he said.

A budget surplus is key, and the litter campaign is a priority, he said.

Keith McCarty

He favors attracting residents who want to call Meggett home as opposed to investors who flip a house after two years and then leave.

“Mainly, I was concerned about controlling the growth,” he said.

Like Butler, he pushed for the residential minimum lot size.

“That was kind of my mission,” he said.

He aims to preserve the rural feel of the community and its eclectic mix of residents.

Improved Internet and phone service are priorities as well as maintaining a reserve cash supply in the $500,000 budget.

He advocates keeping municipal government out of people’s business.