Residents not ready to burn town down
Thursday, December 05, 2013 7:08 PM
Whew! Not even close.
No, we're not making a late reference to Saturday's now infamous game between the Gamecocks and Tigers. Rather, this is in reference to Tuesday's election in Calhoun Falls in which current councilman Charlie Tillman came in last in his mayoral bid.
Former longtime mayor Johnnie Waller took nearly 50 percent of the votes and political newcomer Terry Richey landed nearly 26 percent of the vote. Tillman came in just shy of 23 percent.
As we noted Sunday, this newspaper does not endorse candidates in political races, leaving the voting process to the voters to decide. While we did not endorse any of the three, we did strongly urge the townspeople to exercise some wisdom and not elect Tillman as he has, it seems, done just about all he can to wreck any forward momentum the town has toward economic recovery.
Following Tuesday's election, a reader posted on the newspaper's Facebook page that Tillman is the one who should have been elected because "he understands this country runs off sex, money, football and drugs." We're fairly certain the person was kidding, although plenty of politicians have done their part to give that credence, but Tillman has certainly proven he's not the one to lead Calhoun Falls.
We will be interested to see how Waller performs this time around. It is gratifying to learn he has at least largely embraced the town's Strategic Economic Development Plan that was spearheaded by outgoing mayor Lee Garrett and focuses on opportunities the town has to capitalize on water and outdoor recreation. It is understandable, and certainly well and good, Waller wants to pursue efforts to bring more traditional job opportunities to the town, but we do have to question the wisdom of worldwide trips, such as he previously took to Poland, Japan and other areas. We are not so convinced those investments net the return intended and suggest leaving the bulk of those jaunts to the state Department of Commerce and others.
That said, we do think Waller's heart is in the right place and that his intentions as mayor are to bring about a more cohesive council with a purpose of properly governing and guiding the town.
At least he's never threatened to burn the town down.