ADAMS RUN -- Ditch cleaning, road maintenance and the lack of life-enhancing services such as libraries and recreation programs were among the issues that residents of this rural community raised with candidates running for the District 8 seat on Charleston County Council.
The six Democrats and two Republicans in the race gathered for a meet-the-candidate forum Wednesday evening at the Wiltown Community Center.
The candidates all are running for the open County Council seat currently held by Curtis Inabinett, who is not seeking re-election this year.
The race will feature a six-way Democratic primary contest among Karen Hollinshead-Brown, Charles Glover, Anna B. Johnson, Eric L. Mack, Richmond Truesdale Jr. and Parris Williams. The winner of the Democratic primary will face either Fran Roberts or Thomas Legare Jr., the two Republican primary candidates.
Ophelia E. Williams of the Wiltown Community Center, who moderated the forum, asked the candidates what they thought about the possibility of a construction waste landfill being built in Adams Run. She said the community is strongly opposed to the project, which is being considered by County Council.
All the candidates said they were opposed to the landfill, including Glover, a Parker's Ferry resident. Glover previously had supported the landfill, but said the issue is over for him now and he's ready to move on to other things.
Glover said he also supports bringing more recreation activities for young people to the community, to give them healthy things to do.
Hollinshead-Brown, who lives in Rantowles and is principal at E.B. Ellington Elementary School in Ravenel, said she would focus on bringing libraries, parks and recreation activities, and job training programs to rural communities. She also said that she thinks District 8 needs more representation on various county boards.
Johnson, who lives on James Island, said she would push to have area ditches cleaned and to pave more dirt roads in rural areas.
"Everybody should have the opportunity to drive on a paved road," she said.
Legare is a life-long resident and farmer on Johns Island. He said his main goal is to preserve the quality of life in rural areas. That will be especially important when the economy recovers and development starts to move forward again. "We want to live out here and enjoy the country," he said.
Mack, who lives on Wadmalaw Island, said he's also concerned about growth. "We need to stick together when others come in and want to change things. We don't want to become a major, overgrown area."
He also said he's concerned about transportation in rural areas.
Roberts lives on Johns Island and served on County Council from 2002 to 2004 and on Hollywood Town Council from 1999 to 2002.
He said his priorities would be to regularly clean the area's ditches, bring more bus service to the area, and improve trash collection.
Truesdale, an Adams Run resident, said his main goal would be "to save your property for you." People in the area struggle to pay property taxes, he said. He thinks people should be able to pay their taxes monthly, quarterly or annually.
Williams, who lives on James Island and serves on the Town Council, said he also is concerned about keeping property taxes low.
A lot of homes in rural area sit on large pieces of property, he said. People have to pay taxes on the land, but many can't make money from it because they can't develop it.
He also said his experience as an elected official will pay off for his constituents. "I know how to get the job done," he said.