Simpsonville City Council Candidates

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Simpsonville, Political

October 11, 2021 by The Simpsonville Sentinel - Views: 49

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Simpsonville City Council Candidates

Every two years half of the seats on the Simpsonville City Council are up for election.  In 2019, voters chose the Mayor and those who would take Council seats for Wards 1, 3, and 5.  On November 2nd, Simpsonville voters will be determining who represents Wards 2, 4, and 6.  

S196-1.jpgSimpsonville City Council Seats – like those for most towns in the state – are non-partisan.   Candidates do not state a party affiliation.  

In Ward 2, the incumbent has decided to retire.  Four candidates have stepped forward to compete for his Council seat:  Brian Lee Sanders, Aaron Rupe, Timothy R. Simmons, and Mike Giordano.

With so many candidates, it is unlikely that any one candidate will get over 50% of the votes.  If so, then a run-off will be held two weeks later, with the top two vote-getters facing off.  Be sure to return on November 16th to help your candidate win his seat on City Council!

In Ward 4, incumbent Sherry Roche is running unopposed for reelection.  

In Ward 6, incumbent Lou J. Hutchings is running unopposed for reelection.

Ward 2 Candidates

Brian Lee Sanders - Challenger Brian Lee Sanders is a retired product-design engineer and business owner, who has lived in Simpsonville for many years.  He is running for City Council to assure that the voices of Simpsonville residents and businesses are heard, and that the actions of the City Council reflect the preferences and desires of the city’s residents and businesses.

As a retiree, Mr. Sanders’ intent is to devote a greater than usual amount of his time to City planning and operations, with an eye to finding any waste of resources and setting up any improvements.  

Mr. Sanders is politically conservative, and would generally be inclined to oppose any Federal government intrusion into the city’s affairs, particularly any programs requiring partial funding by the City.  

He believes a landowner should be free to develop his land, and he is pro-business and pro-development.  He wants also to assure the infrastructure is present before development begins.

Mr. Sanders believes most people in Simpsonville know his concern for business and ethics, and he hopes residents will vote for him with that in mind.

Aaron Rupe 

Challenger Aaron Rupe first came to Simpsonville at the age of one, when his parents moved here.  He is a High School teacher of History and Government.

He first ran for election to City Council four years ago.  The election was a tie, and he lost the run-off by nine votes.

Mr. Rupe’s purpose in running for the Simpsonville City Council is to be a voice for the town’s residents; he feels many residents do not feel they have a real voice on City Council.  He intends to always be available to residents, and to be transparent on the issues, two of which are the influx of new residents vs. the lack of infrastructure, and recycling.  Mr. Rupe says that as a Council member, he will utilize surveys and call-ins for issues before voting on them.

Mr. Rupe is a strong pro-police supporter.  He wants to assure that they have the budget and equipment to do their job, and to keep them and the city’s residents safe.  He believes that City Council’s role is to support the police department.  

He also supports an increase in family-oriented activities, both at the City Parks, and by encouraging more restaurants and stores that are family-oriented, particularly in the walkable downtown area.  

To assure the best direction for Simpsonville’s growth, he wants to assure that developers’ plans coincide with that direction prior to sign-off by the City.  The same consideration must be given to annexations:  do they make sense in light of Simpsonville’s strategic direction?  

Mr. Rupe is likewise concerned about the City’s budget:  he wants line-item reviews.  He is quick to say that the City’s income is not the Council’s, but rather the residents’ money.  He is against tax increases.  He believes in low taxes and keeping government out of our pockets as far as possible.

Timothy R. Simmons 

Challenger Timothy R. Simmons has lived in Simpsonville all his life.  His choice to run for the City Council is due to the repeated urging of friends and clients over the years.  

He believes elected politicians should do what they were elected to do.  As a Council member, he intends to assure that Council spends money within its limited authority, and without waste.

Mr. Simmons considers the recent events surrounding trash collection to be a prime example.  Several years ago the City contracted with a private collection company to provide trash collection for its residents.  Now the City has cancelled that contract, and purchased all new collection trucks.  That change also included destroying the old trash containers, worn out or not, and purchasing new containers for every household.  Mr. Simmons states unequivocally that he views that replacement as unnecessary and wasteful of taxpayers’ money.

He is also very aware that every Council vote affects someone.  He therefore views it as crucial to be available for discussion for those who would be impacted by his vote, prior to his decisions.  He sees examples as including food trucks at Heritage Park concerts:  on those days, downtown restaurants suffer.

Mr. Simmons firmly believes it is not Council’s purview to, in his words, “pick winners and losers”.

Challenger Mike Giordano

Mike Giordano and his wife have lived in the Upstate for fifteen years; they have one child of 18 months, and are expecting another.

With the influx of so many people to Simpsonville, his desire is to see it grow in a way that is sustainable.  That effort should be reflected in the city’s stores and shops, its subdivisions, and its signage.  

His goal is for Simpsonville to have a way to grow that allows and does not handicap future growth.  He wants to avoid the condition in many Atlanta suburbs, which are full of congestion.  Simpsonville needs to be a destination.

As a destination for its own residents, he wants a City government that is committed to family-oriented parks; they should be places of great family memories.  With that in mind, he believes some upgrades of park equipment are needed, with the goal of being more family-friendly.

Mr. Giordano also sees a need to make the city more sustainable through improvements to its zoning codes.

He is a strong believer in a City budget that pulls the maximum value out of every tax dollar the City receives.  To that end, a line-item by line-item review of each year’s budget is required, to assure that the City provides high-quality services.

Mr. Giordano sums up his goals as a Council member clearly:  Make Simpsonville “Simply the best!”

Ward 4 Candidates

Incumbent Sherry Roche refused to be interviewed on her candidacy.

 Ward 6 Candidates

Lou J. Hutchings -  Incumbent Lou J. Hutchings is running unopposed for City Council seat for the 6th ward.  

When Lou J. Hutchings and his wife Mary were married, they chose Simpsonville as the place they wanted to live and raise a family.  He city has been their home for most of their adult lives.  All four of their children grew up in Simpsonville.  Mr. Hutchings is owner of Hutchings Solutions, providing consulting on residential construction.  Prior to becoming a Council member, he served on the Planning Commission and also the Board of Zoning Appeals.  He is also a member of several Upstate organizations, with executive roles in many of them.

In reviewing his first term on City Council, he feels his most noteworthy accomplishments have included his involvement in the City’s Strategic Plan, the Master Plan for Downtown, and the 2030 / 2040 Comprehensive Plan.  In addition, the Arts Center renovation is nearing completion, and one mile of Simpsonville’s section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is completed to date.

He is also pleased to be able to report that the City through careful budgeting has a healthy budget surplus, and is achieving goals in a fiscally-responsible way.  

Mr. Hutchings’ goals for his second term include completion of those long-term projects still remaining from his first term.  He also is looking forward to adding a new Economic Development Department for the City, to include a business recruitment specialist.  Infrastructure issues are also targeted, as are the adding of amenities to City Park, and extending the Swamp Rabbit Trail to Heritage Park.  

Vote for Your Candidates on November 2nd !

The voting is likely to be close!  Your vote can make all the difference!  Vote November 2nd for your choices for the Simpsonville City Council!■


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