DARLINGTON — Three candidates are running for mayor of Darlington. They are Curtis Boyd, Carolyn Bruce and Gloria Hines.

Six candidates are running for three at-large seats on the Darlington City Council. They are Ernest L. Boston Sr., Carolyn Bruce, Bryant Gardner, Winfred M. Herrington Sr., John M. Milling and Howard J. Nettles.

Candidates were asked to submit written responses to the same five questions.

(On question three, the candidates were asked: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity. Possible choices were: strongly disagree; disagree; neither agree nor disagree; agree; strongly agree.)

Darlington Mayor

Curtis BoydOccupation: Entrepreneur

Campaign Phone: (843) 206-4389

Campaign email: curtisboydformayor2019@gmail.com

Current job: Business Owner

Campaign Website: http://boydformayor2019.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/karatecurtis

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: I hope to build a coalition of people willing to work towards a more successful Darlington—where all people here can benefit. We can restore Darlington by starting with our streets, buildings, and existing properties. To thrive, our city must become more inviting to our current residents and begin to attract those from outside areas. More people moving here leads to increases in revenue of local businesses, which brings in new businesses and jobs, and more potential for growth. Let’s reclaim our place as the Pearl of the Pee Dee in the hearts and minds of our residents and surrounding regions.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: My priorities for discussion are infrastructure, employee safety/morale, recreation, and business growth. I want to discuss solid goals for each area and a plan-of-action that will be visible to the public to measure success and bring positive change to Darlington. Currently our city’s drainage and sewage services are woefully inadequate and in need of repair. City employees have been harassed by some elected officials. We are 40 years behind our neighboring cities in development of recreational facilities. Until those are remedied, business and economic growth will remain stagnant.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Strongly disagree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: Under the current elected leadership, Darlington is destined to become a ghost town. Severe debt, lack of a clear plan to change, and political inaction are all stifling opportunities for Darlington to prosper. If you need evidence of this: there is a 16-foot-deep hole in the yard of a Darlington residence that has been there for four years, cones all over the city, sinkholes, sewage backups, etc. Our city needs the opportunity to unify behind a leader who will be working in the ditch alongside them to do whatever it takes to see Darlington regain its identity as the Pearl of the Pee Dee.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: Darlington has been my home since I was born. In 1989 I started a business here—Fitness World—from 2 people in my backyard to over 15,000 members across 8 cities. With experience managing over 60 employees and a multi-million dollar budget, I know the challenges and steps we can take to make Darlington a city we can all be proud to call home. As a citizen I invest time and money heavily here. And as mayor I’ll work tirelessly to bring restoration and revitalization to our town—replacing the stagnant and divided atmosphere of our current local politics with a platform of unity and productivity.

Carolyn BruceOccupation: Career Development Facilitator

Campaign Phone: (404) 840-1788

Campaign email: cbruce0812@gmail.com

Current job: Career Specialist for the Darlington County School District

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: I hope to create cohesiveness and develop a winning plan for all.

I want to promote transparency through Quarterly Mayor’s State of The City Address, and encourage community involvement.

I want to continue to improve our City’s infrastructure.

I want to develop a 5 year plan to revitalize our downtown area.

l want to work to improve City processes to help new businesses locate here.

I plan to work with our local officials to develop a plan to create safe and healthy neighborhoods.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: No response.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: No response.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: No response.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: No response.

Gloria Cheeseboro HinesOccupation: Mayor

Campaign Phone: (843) 307-6874

Campaign email: ghines55@yahoo.com

Current job: Cosmetologist

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: Continue the work I’ve already started, infrastructure, stormwater, more businesses, working with business owners, continue with parks for the quality of life for all citizens and making Darlington more attractive so people will want to stay here.

Continue working with the beautiful ladies of the garden club that enjoy help making Darlington look great. The beautification board helps dress up Darlington also. All boards are appreciated for what they do for our great city.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: The issues that need to be discussed this election season is stormwater, infrastructure, job creation, more jobs, a homeless shelter and quality of life for the citizens of this great city.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Strongly agree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: There is growth and prosperity for Darlington it’s all about networking with other municipalities and hiring qualified people for the job title. When you hire unqualified people for a position that don’t know their job and you have to bring someone else in to do what they are suppose to know how to do , it makes the city look bad. Most times it causes the city to pay out more money.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: I’ve been on council going on 20 years, I continue taking classes dealing with government as to how the city should be ran, being transparent and being fair to all citizens. In my training in college and being behind the chair at my salon I know how to deal with people. One must always remember it’s not about you and what you want, it’s all about the citizens and what’s best for the citizens of Darlington.

In my first term as the mayor of Darlington there have been a lot of accomplishments starting with the largest stormwater Infrastructure project in the history of the city.

Darlington City Council at LargeErnest L Boston Sr.Occupation: Parts/Service Sales

Campaign Phone: (843) 944-0927

Campaign email: ernestbostonsr@gmail.com

Current job: Generation 3 Powersports

Facebook: http://ernestbostonsr@facebook.com

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: Darlington’s drainage system needed a major overhaul because the lack of maintaining the system has caused rain water to not being able to flow freely through our drain system.

We needed to revamp our recreational facilities, so that we are able to attract more people to our city. We have the talent to compete with any part of the state.

Jobs are always a priority for any community for growth.

Find a way to get our property owners to remodel the buildings to make it more attractive to new renters.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: How can we get funding for our drainage system to attract businesses to downtown Darlington SC.

What can we do to attract more businesses and development to the city.

How can we partner with local and state law enforcement to help not only reduce crime but create more cooperation within the community.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Neither agree nor disagree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: There are more steps the council can take to help spur growth and development. We are not going backwards, but we are not moving forward either.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: I have been in retail for the past 36 years. I also work with Sears Catalog division for 17 year from merchandise inspected, record clerk, clerical assistant; (working with Catalog Buyer that purchase merchandise for five warehouse)’, to supervisor in a retail store. I work for Western Auto store in Florence, S.C. as A Service Manager. When i left the store we was 11 of 53 store in service income. When I was taking over the service the department, we were 51 of 53. I work for Florence Honda for 18 year from parts clerk to Parts and Service Manager before Don Miller purchase the business

Carolyn BruceOccupation: Career Development Facilitator

Campaign Phone: (404) 840-1788

Campaign email: cbruce0812@gmail.com

Current job: Career Specialist for the Darlington County School District

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: No response.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: No response.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: No response.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: No response.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: No response.

Bryant GardnerOccupation: owner of Concrete Coatings of Carolinas

Campaign Phone: (843) 260-1288

Campaign email: Gardnerbp@gmail.com

Current job: Owner Operator and Counciman City of Darlington At-Large

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BryantGardner

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: FIRST. Improving the quality of life for the citizens of Darlington through well positioned projects. For example ballfields or the new park on Hampton St which was a campaign promise of mine. It is our first new park in 40 years. Splashpad? SECOND to invest in our infrastructure. I pushed to purchase a Vactor truck which vacuums debris from our existing storm water and sewer system. I also found funding to pave our streets. These investments are basic infrastructure necessities for a well-functioning community. I would appreciate the opportunity to build upon and expand these accomplishments.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: Like most communities we have an aging infrastructure and I expect all elected officials to do their part to maintain and upgrade these basic needs. It’s time we get proactive and not reactive.

However, the primary issue I believe we need to be focused on is our negative population trend. Over the last two census, Darlington has lost 20% of its population. This can’t continue without having negative effects on our city, our revenues, and our ability to compete with other communities. We have to invest in the quality of life activities we’re missing that will in turn increase our population.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Agree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: I have the passion I have for Darlington because of our potential. I want to serve because there is more we need to do to fully realize it. We have more jobs each year, but we can work to attract more. We need to invest in quality of life opportunities to make Darlington more attractive and invest in upgrading our infrastructure to support the demands of a growing community and economy. Our prosperity will be determined by how well we all work together to solve these complex issues and by how strategic we are in investing our resources. If re-elected, I’m excited to make these things happen.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: I live here because I love Darlington. I built my Business here, I returned here after graduating from Wofford College and working on a MUSC project. I’ve taken ideas and turned them into reality. I represent the unique perspective of youth on council. I have proven to care about the basic needs-funding fire, police, garbage needs, 1.4m for sewer upgrades. As well as playgrounds, basketball courts, new roofs on all our buildings, but most importantly recreation and quality of life improvements. I’ve proven that when I say I am going to pursue something, I will follow through and get it done.

Winfred M. Herrington Sr.

Occupation: Retired Social Worker & Counselor

Campaign Phone: (843) 618-3655

Campaign email: wimp1969@yahoo.com

Current job: (Note: Candidate did not respond, but based on occupation, above, he is retired.)

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: I hope to improve our city’s infrastructure in the Storm Water and Sanitary System, Enchanting the quality of life, new recreational complex, more community parks, and more activities for our youth. Job creation, and Downtown revitalization.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: Overhaul City Storm Water Drainage System, and Overhaul the Sewage Infrastructure. Expand recreational facilities. Job Creation, and Downtown Revitalization.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Agree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: I feel Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity. The last three and half years the new businesses of Walmart, Tractor Supply, Little Caesars, SC Wings, Manheim, 225 Farhrenheit and Family Dollar has been added to the existing business of Darlington. Sonic and others are coming in the future.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: I earned a BA degree in Psychology from Coker (College) University 1977 and an MA degree in Counseling from Webster University 2000. I’m presently serving on several boards-church and civic. Retired from Darlington County DSS after 34 years of enhancing the lives of the citizens of Darlington in a positive way by helping them become self-sufficient in striving to reach their goals in life.

John M. MillingOccupation: Attorney

Campaign Phone: (843) 687-3020

Campaign email: johnmilling@bellsouth.net

Current job: Semi-retired

Questions:

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: I would like to work with Council and the Mayor to develop long range plans to improve our infrastructure, recreational and employment opportunities. The costs related for these and other functions and opportunities that everyone would like for the city to provide are expensive and have to be planned for. Would also explore public/private partnerships to address these needs.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: Those related to infrastructure, recreation, employment and what we want the City to be in 5 years and how to actually implement our ideas for Darlington.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Agree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: Darlington has the assets that make it well positioned to achieve growth and prosperity but requires leadership and planning and the active participation of all of its citizens in order to achieve these goals.

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: First of all I grew up and Darlington and I care about Darlington and all the people who live here. I am a licensed attorney and have been practicing law in Darlington since 1973, except for the period from 1999 to 2009 when I served as a Circuit Judge for the State of South Carolina. My career has provided me with the opportunity to work with people and to solve the problems that they face. My career has also offered me the opportunity to travel about the state and to observe what other communities have been able to achieve that can be explored for Darlington. I want us to be successful.

Howard J. NettlesOccupation: Director of Community Outreach and Marketing

Campaign Phone: (843) 229-4030

Campaign email: hjn64@aol.com

Current job: Director of Community Outreach and Recruiting for Genesis Health Care.

Facebook: http://Howard Nettles for Darlington City Council @ HowardnettlesDCC

Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you win this election?

A: I hope to Unite, hear and work with the citizens of the city and work with Council and the Mayor to build a better infrastructure to allow Darlington to move forward and grow to bring more businesses, job opportunities, housing, events and tourism. We need to review/revise outdated ordinances which deter new business from coming in and current ones from growing. All communities should receive equal treatment, not just certain ones. We also need to have a 1, 3 and 5 year business/budget plan and use funds for their intended purpose and not spend funds we do not have. In short, manage to success.

Q: What issues do you believe need to be discussed during this election season?

A: As stated previously, we need to address/resolve ongoing Storm water drainage issues. Create a more unified city and overcome the Divisiveness that has troubled us for some time. As a city, we need to work to resolve issues rather than create them for self gain. Supporting our schools, staff and teachers to educate and better prepare our next generation for success and hopefully remaining in our city as they graduate. Reviewing Outdated city ordinances, Agressively seeking new businesses. Owner accountability for derelict buildings. Improperly spending funds that we do not have in our budget.

Q: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Darlington is well-positioned for growth and prosperity.

A: Disagree.

Q: Explain your answer to the above question in two or three sentences.

A: We do not have the necessary infrastructure.

We have a minimal plan in place with very little supporting detail.

If, as a city (inclusive of Council) we cannot agree on simple issue resolution, are we prepared to agree on major items which will support our growth and prosperity...for the city as a whole?

Q: What are your background and qualifications for this office?

A: I view my qualifications as both Objective and Subjective. I will base decisions on rational thought, logic and facts presented, yet incorporate past experience and observations to make the most educated and empathetic (when required) decisions.

I have worked in Management for many years and understand the importance of working as a team, reviewing and considering relevant, fact based information. I have a great deal of Budget experience, am fair, and will not be improperly influenced by others.

I also received the key to the city in 2018 for my work in the community, which shows I care.

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