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Letter to the Editor

District 1 Candidate makes case for candidacy

web posted April 29, 2008
Dear Editor,

I am running as a republican for the Edgefield County District 1 County Council seat.   The residents of Edgefield County have a choice this year.  Four of the five council seats are up for re-election in the upcoming election. Over the past few years I have questioned the reasoning behind many of the county council decisions. The reason I decided to run for this office is that I believe the council needs a new perspective.  The council needs new opinions and members that are not afraid to stand up for what is right, fair and honest. Many times it seems that council votes are based on the good ‘ole boy system and not logical, realistic and factual information. 

Is it wise to vote to spend close to a half a million dollars on a building and small amount of property that may or may not be used for expansion of the law enforcement center in the future? Has the cost of utilizing the property for this expansion been analyzed for viability? There is no doubt that the county courthouse is desperately in need of repairs.  Is this less priority than the property purchase? The citizens of the county are not privy to the closed working sessions of the council. Private closed sessions are necessary at times but our county council seems more like a secret society than the public servants they were elected to be.

If elected I promise that I will absolutely have no hidden agendas.  I also pledge that the citizens of District 1 will be the only body that I answer to concerning issues called before the council.  My only purpose for seeking the District 1 Council seat is to give back to the county that I love so much. I want Edgefield County to be a better place for my grandchildren to grow up in.  The county has so much potential for economic and recreational growth; potential that has been ignored by the current council many times.

I believe that the county council should be the voice of the entire county and not a privileged few. I pledge to actively pursue grants for county water lines for rural areas of District 1 that are in desperate need of county water.  I believe that The Bettis Academy Recreational Area is a wonderful asset to the county but by the same token I don’t understand why the North side Area hasn’t received the same funding for recreation for our children?  Every district in the county should get the same benefits from our tax dollars as the other districts.

Edgefield County property taxes are comparative with the Columbia SC area.  Does this make sense?  District 1 is comprised of over 60% rural area. Should we pay taxes on the same level as Lexington and Richland counties?

I believe that if a county council member is elected by a district, that council member works for the residents of that district. A council member must put the needs of the district and the entire county above any outside influences or opinions. I pledge to do that if the residents of District 1 give me the opportunity to serve them on the council.
I believe in fair and honest representation. I believe that every citizen in the county should be given the same consideration in decision making by the county council.
In recent days I have been approached by several young adults in the county who had not registered to vote in the past. They registered this year and plan to vote in the June 10th primary. I urge every person to register and to vote. The only way you can make your voice heard is to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is rapidly approaching.  Please register. Please vote. Contact elected officials to inform them of needs and concerns.

I seek your support and I desire your vote in the Republican primary on June 10th.    Take a stand, register, and vote and make your voice be heard.

Jeanette S. Cockrell

Edito's note: Mrs. Cockrell is a Republican candidate for the County Council District 1 seat.

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