North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- Elections are over for most, but one local city is just beginning theirs.
There are three seats available for the city council in North Augusta and Mayor Bob Petite is not running for re-election. I sat down with the three candidates vying for his seat.
“I tell ya, I thought it was important this go round that the people in North Augusta have a candidate that understands the issues that are in front of the city right now,” said Stetson Corbitt, one of the Republican candidates for mayor.
Two Republicans and one Democrat have entered the race for Mayor of North Augusta. The city will hold a primary election in February to decide which of the two Republicans will run against Democrat Richard Adams in April.
Stetson Corbitt ran for city council two years ago as a Constitution Party Candidate and he says he is up to the job.
“It’s very important that the person who gets in the mayor’s seat understands the ins and outs of our development at Project Jackson,” explained Corbitt. “And I am definitely that person. I’ve been living it and breathing it for years and I feel that I have a very good understanding of it.”
The stall in development of Riverside Village–known to many as Project Jackson is a big problem that the new mayor is going to have to tackle.
Briton Williams says growth in North Augusta is inevitable and he’d like to see the city focus on other aspects of growth.
“But the one area of our community that we have not put a priority on is our downtown. So we need to revitalize our downtown. And what that means in, we already have resources available through the Main Street Program which is designed to help communities revitalize. But we have to have a city that is willing to prioritize that downtown revitalization,” Williams said.
The next mayor will also inherit the problem of the Meriwether Monument. Corbitt believes the city is in the unique position to educate and unify the people of North Augusta in regards to the monument. Williams agrees, but says whatever happens to the monument must be within the confines of the law, and right now that’s murky.
“A number of months ago they sent a letter to the Attorney General asking what does the Attorney General say? And the Attorney General, quite frankly kicked the can back to the legislators. I think they did state it probably does not allot historical perspective there, but the point is, kicked it back,” explained Williams. “And what they city’s now done is send a letter to the South Carolina Legislative body to say, ‘Ok. What’s the next step?'”
Either Corbitt or Williams will run against the lone Democrat, Richard Adams, in the Spring. Adams is the youngest candidate for the seat and he said he wants to represent the diversity in North Augusta.
“We have a lot of areas of the town that are under serviced and I would like to see them addressed, so that we can give everybody an opportunity to grow.”
Adams said he is passionate about North Augusta and has big plans for its future.
The primary election will take place February 9th. The winner of that vote will face Richard Adams in April.
For more information on the candidates and their platforms, just click on the names of the candidates below.