North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- It’s election Day for voters in North Augusta. Today, voters will go to the polls in North Augusta for a municipal election. On the ballot, the race for mayor and three open city council seats.
Democrat Richard Adams will face off against Republican Briton Williams for mayor.
Incumbent Republicans, Pat Carpenter and David McGhee, will face Republican Jenafer McCauley plus Democrat Trina Mackie and surprise write in candidate Richard Fletcher, who is running as an Independent.
McGhee said he hopes to get the chance to continue on as a city council member.
“Well, I’d like for people to understand that my level of commitment and experience and strong leadership here in the community has been good and I’d like to continue to do so. I’ve had projects that I’ve continued to work on for many years. I’d like to see those come to an end and see them progress like we need to.”
Carpenter, the longest serving member of the council with 28 years of experience, said she wants the chance to see several projects completed before she leaves city council.
“Well of course the fire station itself, hopefully by next spring will be opened up and running. And of course our next project would be the public safety headquarters. And it’s to finish up Riverside Village. And I know a lot of people think that is not the only thing in North Augusta. But it is a must that it be completed,” she said.
McCauley is new to politics in North Augusta and she says talking to people has strengthened her platform. She is a small business owner and said she wants to see small businesses in North Augusta succeed.
“So, Greenway connectivity, I would love to see a downtown Greenway happen and Greenway connectivity throughout our city. I think it’s important as we continue to build neighborhoods and neighborhoods grow, that we add that element of the Greenway to connection. And I think that helps bring our community together. And outside of that, I love small business, I’m an advocate for small business and I think North Augusta is prime for small business growth,” McCauley explained.
Mackie is the lone Democrat running for a seat on the council. She said she is running to be the voice for the people of North Augusta, to make sure they are heard. She said that right now, she doesn’t think the sitting council takes the will of the people into consideration when making decisions. She aims to change that.
“Our biggest challenge right now is the financial health of Riverside Village. Although it is beautiful and I love it, I want to see it succeed. I believe the only way that we can get through this potential crisis in our city is together,” said Mackie. “We must have citizen engagement and citizen input and citizen awareness so that we will truly know where we stand as it relates to Riverside Village.”
Fletcher is a surprise last minute candidate for city council. He said said he decided to run just last week, because several people told him they had written him in for city council during early voting. He said that they told him they only wanted to vote for two of the candidates on the ballot, so he decided to give people another option.
“Growth is coming. There is no stopping it. The People need an advocate on City Council to ensure that rezoning applications, site plan approvals, and changes to our development codes, policies and procedures are scrutinized so that each new thing we build is better than anything we have built in the past,” said Fletcher.
Bill Hodges is a voter in North Augusta. He said it’s extremely important to vote in local elections.
“If you look at the city of North Augusta, with all the planning and development and it’s important if you’re for that issue, then I mean, I’m sure a lot of people in North Augusta don’t want more development. But you need to have the representation to, I mean it’s going to improve the real estate values and everything,” Hodges said.
Voting will continue until 7 p.m. Tuesday night. Count on NewsChannel 6 for your North Augusta Election results.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins