Economic issues top race in Dorchester 6


SUMMERVILLE — Dorchester County Council is in a bind — strapped by revenue losses, stung by demands for services and facing vocal resident discontent with nearly every initiative that costs new money.

The two candidates for the County Council District 6 seat each see the demands, the dilemma and solutions.

They differ on the emphasis.

Miriam Birdsong challenges incumbent Republican Bill Hearn for the seat that represents parts of Summerville, Jedburg and Knightsville. Birdsong, a Democrat, is running as a petition candidate in the wake of widespread candidate filing confusion created by a recent S.C. Supreme Court ruling.

She calls for a waste-cutting watch on spending, awarding contracts so that low bidders don’t come back to bill more and for independent oversight of high-dollar projects. “I don’t think county residents would be as upset as they are now if they felt their money was being spent wisely and conservatively,” she said. “We have to find a balance between our wants and our needs.”

Hearn wants to expand the county’s economy by creating an atmosphere of economic growth; the growth would provide the revenue to improve services. “Economic growth spurs better quality of life,” he said. “We can make prudent decisions to expand capacity in our roadways, create more enjoyable activities for our residents and give them a place they’ll love to continue to call home.”