By Paul Gable
Three candidates for Aynor Town Council, in Tuesday’s upcoming town elections, pledged more transparency to the citizens on town issues if they are elected.
Paula Creel Floyd is running in the special election for the unexpired term open on town council. Her opponent is Benjamin Jordan.
Landon Johnson and Lori Beatty are running for the two full term seats currently held by Steve Riggins and Chris Shelley. Riggins and Shelley are running for reelection with Nolan Thompson also in the candidate mix.
Floyd said she is surprised to see the lack of accountability and transparency in the town council. She is running on a platform of accountability and transparency in local government and supporting local businesses.
Floyd noted that business owners who are not residents of the Town of Aynor are not listened to by current council members. “Too many commercial properties in town have gone vacant over the last 10 years,” she said.
Johnson said he has spoken with many residents of Aynor. They do not feel they are heard and respected by current council members.
“If council members are not hearing the citizens, they are not representing them,” said Johnson. “There is resistance and aggression toward citizens who ask questions (about town issues).”
Beatty said she feels it’s time to make town business more transparent to citizens.
“It’s tough to get things done with the town,” Beatty said. “Everything is so secretive. Town business must be made more transparent.”
Floyd, Johnson and Beatty all noted things are changing around Aynor and growth is coming.
“The dynamics of the county have changed significantly,” noted Johnson. “The town must be ahead of the curve in planning, it must be pro-active. The town must adapt, it’s counter-productive to not listen to citizens and businesses.”
Beatty agreed the town must prepare for what is happening in the county around Aynor. “The town can’t be isolated,” she said.
Members for the three open council seats will be elected Tuesday. Many residents of Aynor are frustrated with the secretiveness of town government and the resistance current council members appear to have toward citizen input and participation in decisions.
Voting for Johnson, Beatty and Floyd could go a long way toward changing that dynamic.
Polls will be open in Aynor from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday November 7, 2023. If you are a registered voter in Aynor, get out and vote.