As a former Beaufort County School District educator and student, I have first hand experience working within the schools and understanding the structure of our District for the past 15 years. As of 2018, South Carolina ranks 22nd in the nation for educational spending. However, ranking in the 40s in education quality. Are the education funds being spent and used properly? I believe County Council needs to support the school board with the proper resources to effectively lead our schools. This will allow relationships to build within our District and Council Members. Outside the classroom, the new referendum will help support the needed update to our schools. This must be tracked to ensure accountability. County Council needs to make sure the school board is set up for success, and manages its funds properly, especially in our schools.
I am the advocate that will bridge the gap between the people, school board and council. Our education must be dictated at the state and county level. We must make sure the school board, teachers, and administration are supported properly in order for our students to be successful. I support District 7, School Board Member, Rachel Wisnefski's plan to place Student Resource Officers (SROs) into every school within Beaufort County. SROs will provide that physical and emotional security, in which education will become the prime focus for students again. I am passionate for every student, teacher and facility member’s voice to be heard, so future generations will have the best education, resources and support possible.
Beaufort County has been and will continue to be one of the fastest growing counties in SC. Transparency is needed in our government. I believe accountability is needed to help ensure our tax dollars are being monitored, managed and spent properly towards their initial purpose and does not exceed it. This is how transparency is used successfully by not just providing the information needed but using that information to put the Beaufort County residence first. Transparency goes beyond finances.
Every elected official has the same common goal of representing the community and its’ citizens. County Council, Town Council and School Board must be transparent for Beaufort County’s success. Fractured relationships need to be mended to gain back the trust of the people. If transparency is not practiced, how can growth be effectively managed? My goal for District 7 is to let the citizens know exactly where and how our tax dollars are being spent. I will advocate in the front lines and fight for an even better District 7. I will ensure fiscal accountability for all of Beaufort County.
I am for the growth of Beaufort County and District 7’s community, however, it must be managed properly. I believe District 7 can be managed properly by handling and conserving the businesses that are being built, focusing on precise development before moving on to another project. Builders must pay their fair share of impact fees to support our economy and schools. In District 7, Buckwalter continues with commercial and residential development. Growth is great for our economy and community. My goal is to make sure the preservation of Bluffton is kept and we capitalize on the needs of our economy and community.
We are called the Low Country for a reason and we must maintain that. Take Old Town Bluffton, for example. The Locals and Council members did a great job preserving its historical and tourist attractions. District 7 needs to follow suit due to the rapid development and expansion happening within our area. As stated in my Environment Matters section, I couldn’t be more passionate about the protection of our coastal waterways. I will continue to stand for the protection and the preservation of the nature trails, existing neighborhoods with recreational facilities and waterways surrounding Beaufort County.