On Tuesday, residents of largely rural Aiken County District 2 must choose a new council representative. On one hand, we have a banker who is excited by strategic planning and says he has prepared his whole life for this job.
Then we have Libby Bland - a mother, manager and professor who wants to improve recreation, police, fire and emergency services for rural areas. After studying the candidates and their published comments, I believe Mrs. Bland is the best choice for District 2.
She knows Aiken well. She began riding her father's gas truck at age 4, and has a distinguished career as a manager, real estate agent and volunteer with numerous local charitable organizations.
While her opponent wants to see "more detailed" zoning in the county, Mrs. Bland knows that rural residents jealously protect their property rights. In fact, she served on the planning commission when they first developed comprehensive county zoning and discussed overlay districts.
Mrs. Bland also knows that, unlike her opponent, many District 2 residents don't have the benefit of private security, recreation and dining services. They need a representative who will battle for their needs and be readily accessible.
Frankly, anyone who is that excited by strategic planning scares me. While planning is a necessary evil, I think our cities and county have done an admirable job of attracting industry and development while improving our quality of life. I would much rather see our council spend less time creating "pie in the sky" wish-lists and devote more of their valuable time to pressing issues, such as how to offer our kids recreation opportunities that keep them off the streets.
Please elect someone who cares more about our health, happiness and safety than strategic planning and zoning. Please elect Libby Bland.
David A. Towles, Beech Island, S.C