Watchdog Report – August 24th


At this writing, almost all the filing periods for local city councils are closed.  The remaining filing periods close by August 25 at 12 noon.  I am not going to cover all the details of the elections this week, but some are interesting and worth highlighting.  But first, these city and town councils in the Western Upstate will be on the ballot this fall:

Anderson County

  • Pendleton: Ward 2 and 4
  • Pelzer: 2 at-large seats
  • West Pelzer: Mayor, 2 at-large seats
  • Belton: Mayor, Ward 2, 4, and 6
  • Iva: Mayor, Ward 1, 2, 3, and 4
  • Honea Path: Mayor, Ward 2, 4, and 6

Pickens County

  • Central: 3 at-large seats plus the special election (4 total seats)
  • Norris: Mayor, 2 at-large seats
  • Six Mile: Mayor, 2 at-large seats

Oconee County

  • Salem: Mayor, 2 at-large seats
  • Seneca: 4 at-large seats
  • Walhalla: Mayor, 3 at-large seats, plus a special election (5 total seats)
  • Westminster: Mayor and 3 at-large seats
  • West Union: Mayor, 1 at-large seat

Easley, Pickens, and Liberty, which are part of GGAR in Pickens County, also have elections this fall.  Notable is that Allie Winter, a Realtor with Justin Winter Sotheby’s International, has filed to run for Pickens City Council. 

And Dixie Meeks, a Realtor with Keller Williams Seneca, has filed for reelection to West Union Town Council.

These are a few other notable news items from the filings so far:

West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders announced he would not seek reelection after 8 years in office.

Walhalla Mayor Danny Edwards won’t seek reelection either.  In fact, with the resignation of one other member of city council in July, five of the seven members of city council, including mayor, will be on the ballot.  Four members of the same family, all living in the same home, are running for the various offices.  In fact, Walhalla may have the most candidates on the ballot.  The current count is 11 candidates.

Central City Council will have a full ballot as well.  Four at-large seats will be on the ballot, and eight candidates have filed to run.

Elections are an important way that your association represents you and helps make a strong market for real estate.  Through RPAC, we support pro-business candidates who understand the importance of a vibrant economy for real estate.  You can help by supporting RPAC.  It’s easy.  Your association includes a voluntary contribution to RPAC on your annual dues invoice.  Pay it, and you are an RPAC supporter.  If you haven’t supported RPAC this year, I encourage you to do so by clicking here

Realtors seeking and holding office is another way you support your industry.  Thank Allie Winters and Dixie Meeks for stepping up and seeking public office.

But the most important way you can support your industry, and community, is to VOTE.  We will help you become educated about the candidates during the fall so you are ready to vote on November 7.

Pickens County UDSO

Wrapping up, we had one notable meeting this week.  Pickens County Council met for a 2-hour work session to discuss amendments to their Unified Development Standards Ordinance.  Pickens County doesn’t have zoning, so the UDSO is an important ordinance for regulating land use in the county.  Since February 1, the county has been under a moratorium on subdivisions larger than 49 lots.

Among the changes discussed by county council are:

  • Imposing a development impact fee.
  • Requiring developers to perform off-site road improvements.
  • Requiring 40% open space for subdivisions of 11 lots or more.
  • Imposing a 50- to 100-foot riparian buffer.
  • Eliminating minimum lot sizes and instead tying density to the surrounding land use density.

Pickens County Council will meet again on September 5 and are expected to consider second reading of these changes.  The moratorium expires October 3.

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs