Vice Chairman Chuck Moates is the only member of Greenwood County Council who has opposition on the ballot.
The District 4 Republican is facing petition candidate Kay Self.
“I am running because the council has embarked on a number of major capital projects,” Moates said.
Moates, 76, said one project that he wants to see started and completed is the development of the former Civic Center into a state-of-the-art athletic complex.
“I think that is going to be a significant improvement to the parks and recreational opportunities in Greenwood County,” Moates said. “I want to see that project completed.”
Self, 52, said her creativity, passion for collaboration and experience in economic and community development are assets she would bring to council.
“I feel like I can bring a new fresh perspective to county council,” Self said.
She said it was an honor to have friends and family members in the district urge her to run for public office.
“I do feel that I can make a difference,” Self said. “I want the opportunity to be the change for Greenwood.”
Self has called Greenwood home for more than 22 years. She is the executive director of the Foundation for a Greater Greenwood County, the 501©(3) charitable arm of the now-dissolved Greenwood Partnership Alliance where she served as director of investor relations and community development for nine years.
A graduate of Clemson University with a degree in language and international trade, Self previously served as executive director of the SC Festival of Flowers through her involvement with the Greenwood SC Chamber of Commerce.
Self and her husband, Furman, have been married for 27 years and have two children, Coleman and Elizabeth.
Self is no stranger to politics. She ran her husband’s campaign for state House District 13 in 2002, narrowly losing to Gene Pinson in the Republican primary runoff. Pinson went on to win the general election.
Moates came to Greenwood in the late 1970s when he accepted a position as minister of education and administration at First Baptist Church of Greenwood.
“Really, that’s when I fell in love with Greenwood,” Moates said in an interview in September.
Moates served for 10 years in Greenwood before accepting a position as the executive minister at Smoke Rise Baptist in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He and his wife, Alice-Ann, returned to Greenwood when he retired in 2006. The couple has two children, David and Laura Lee.
Moates has obtained several degrees: a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University, a master’s degree in religious education from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a second master’s degree in education and counseling from the University of West Georgia, and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Erskine Theological Seminary.
Moates decided to run for council when District 4 incumbent Dee Compton ran for state senate in 2008. Moates won a four-way primary and defeated the Democratic candidate, Chuck McDevitt, in the general election.
“Greenwood County has a lot to offer,” Moates said. “We have a very business-friendly community.”
As previously reported, Greenwood County and the Chamber along with the City of Greenwood, Uptown Greenwood and Discover Greenwood will work together as a consortium to address the facets of economic development.
“I think you are putting a lot of different players on the field,” Moates said.
He added the Chamber should have always been a key player in economic development.
“My vision for Greenwood is to have economic prosperity for all,” Self said.
Self said her vision includes elements such as increased average wages, workforce housing, a vibrant Uptown, working on crime and litter and having a cooperative vision.
“It’s a community effort,” Self said. “It’s a partnership amongst us all.”
She said working on workforce development with Piedmont Technical College and Lander University is critical.
“I want to see Greenwood win,” Self said.
COVID-19 and mask ordinances
“Masks are effective,” Moates said. “This COVID thing is dangerous.”
Moates, a supporter of the mask ordinance that failed to receive enough votes in July to pass, said he listened to the medical community and the hospital in making his determination to support masks.
“I rely upon science,” Moates said.
Moates said the health and safety of county residents is a core responsibility of government.
“I’m proud of Greenwood for how we have stepped up as a community and embraced wearing a mask to protect ourselves and others,” Self said.
For any future mask ordinances, Self said she would have to assess the situation.
“I have to evaluate it,” Self said.
While she wears a mask, she said it’s a personal decision.
Protests of Confederate monuments have led to some calling for the repeal or modification of the South Carolina Heritage Act, a compromise from 2000 that brought down the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome and requires a supermajority in the Legislature to sign off on removing any war-related monument on public property.
Some of the proposals would have counties make the decision to keep or remove monuments.
“The state Legislature has to make a decision on the Heritage Act,” Moates said.
Until the authority resides with the counties, it would be premature to speculate on what a future council would do, Moates said.
“We really won’t have that situation until the state changes their position on the Heritage Act,” Self said.
Self said she would carefully review the issue if it comes up.
Capital Project Sales Tax in 2024?
The Capital Project Sales Tax, a 2016 initiative that increased the sales tax rate of Greenwood County by 1% to pay for 27 different capital projects, will sunset during the next term for District 4.
“I think we need to evaluate that,” Self said.
She said the county will need to look at the status of projects.
“I’m not for taxes but we have done a lot of great things for our community through the Capital Project Sales Tax,” Self said.
Moates said he wasn’t aware of any potential projects on the horizon for another installment of capital projects but thinks the CPST is a good tool.
“I think it has been a good vehicle for us to fund the projects that we see going on around us now without having to raise people’s property taxes or if we didn’t do that we wouldn’t have the funds to do these projects,” Moates said.
Moates said he likes the provisions of the CPST because it has a time limit of 7 years.
He said 40% of the revenue generated comes from residents of other counties coming to Greenwood County and spending their money.
The general election is Nov. 3.