Growth key issue in Dorchester race

Buzzy Charpia

SUMMERVILLE — How to manage growth is the main issue once again in a fight for a seat on Dorchester County Council.

Buzzy Charpia, 57, a general contractor, is challenging incumbent Richard Rosebrock, 80, a retired computer systems analyst, in the District 5 race. The winner of the June 10 Republican primary will take office, since there is no Democratic challenger.

This is Charpia's second attempt to unseat Rosebrock, who has been on council since 1992. The fight centers around managing growth, as it did when the two faced off in 2004.

Rosebrock, one of the strongest proponents on council for growth curbs, took 65 percent of the votes in the last election. He and Councilman Jamie Feltner took the lead in pushing through a zoning ordinance to reduce the number of houses that can be built near the historic plantations along S.C. Highway 61.

He's often the only vote against new residential developments, arguing that the county should not approve any more new subdivisions until a better plan to manage growth is in place.

Charpia said Rosebrock did not do enough to prevent overcrowding in the first place and has not done enough to make developers pay for it.

"The truth is you can't control growth," Charpia said. "At least I'd like the county to get the money from growth" to build new roads and pay for services.

Charpia said he favors an impact fee of several thousand dollars on each new house.

Rosebrock said impact fees won't help build new schools, the main challenge of growth, because state law doesn't allow it.

"Charpia is a contractor, so he is for growth," Rosebrock said.

"With all the problems we have with inadequate schools and roads, it just doesn't make sense to keep piling more people in when we can't take care of the ones we've got."

Charpia fought the penny sales tax increase that council unanimously endorsed to build new roads, and he questioned whether the money is doing much good.

Rosebrock said all 22 projects are under way, although some of them require more preliminary surveying and right-of-way acquisition before construction can start.

BUZZY CHARPIA

BIRTHDATE: Nov. 27, 1950.

FAMILY: Wife, Jody.

EDUCATION: Summerville High School.

OCCUPATION: Residential contractor.

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICE: None.

WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR OFFICE? "Lowering taxes and making growth pay for itself."

WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST ISSUE FACING THE COUNTY? "Getting the money to pay for the infrastructure from the growth."

RICHARD ROSEBROCK

BIRTHDATE: Jan. 31, 1928.

FAMILY: Wife, Grace; two sons; a daughter; and two stepsons.

EDUCATION: Summerville High School.

OCCUPATION: Retired systems analyst for Navy supply center.

PREVIOUS ELECTED OFFICE: County Council since 1992.

WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR OFFICE? "We need to plan and manage the growth."

WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST ISSUE FACING THE COUNTY? "Managing the growth around Summerville, including protecting historic areas and green space, while getting more industries around St. George."