Rock Hill native wants to be Ward 5’s voice on council

adouglas@heraldonline.comAugust 22, 2013 

Just a few weeks into her campaign for a seat on Rock Hill’s City Council, Ann Williamson-Morrison has already heard an earful from voters.

Ineffective stormwater drainage systems, crumpling streets and absentee landlords are problems in Ward 5, Rock Hill residents have told her.

Her response: “Your concerns are my concerns.”

The 68-year-old Rock Hill native is vying for the Ward 5 seat against Mildred Moore and Nikita Jackson. Councilman Osbey Roddey is not seeking re-election after holding the position for 24 years.

Ward 5 includes many neighborhoods in the Albright Road and Saluda Street area of south Rock Hill.

On Thursday, Williamson-Morrison held her campaign launch and a fundraiser at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she is a member of the Crawford Road parish.

She told her supporters that one of her priorities is to hold landlords accountable in Rock Hill.

While knocking on doors to campaign, she met a renter this week who has raw sewage in her yard, she said, because of an inattentive landlord.

On Wednesday, Williamson-Morrison got a call about stormwater drainage problems, which she plans to address at a stormwater meeting in September.

It’s evident that people need a voice in local government who will fight to fix their problems, she said, and she wants to be Ward 5’s voice.

She says “let me be your voice” so much, her son Bo wrote a song about it and played it at Thursday’s event.

Williamson-Morrison has the support of Joyce Knotts, a York County Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney in 2012.

As a candidate, Williamson-Morrison’s “heart is in it for the people,” Knott said on Thursday.

During Knotts’ run for office, her friend Williamson-Morrison helped make phone calls and joined her on the campaign trail.

They each share a desire to help others, Knotts said.

Rock Hill resident Barbara Smith and her husband, Michael, also attended Thursday’s campaign event.

They are hoping Williamson-Morrison’s candidacy will bring diversity to the City Council, Barbara Smith said.

Smith said she would also like to see the city take an active role in making sure Rock Hill’s children have access to the Internet at home to use the new iPads provided through the school district’s iRock program.

During her years on Rock Hill’s stormwater advisory committee, York County’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau board and staying active with the local NAACP and Democratic Party chapters, Williamson-Morrison said she is eager to serve the community in an elected office.

“I’m not interested in being a politician,” she said. “I am only interested in helping my fellow man.”

If elected, Williamson-Morrison said she hopes to address the business community’s needs on Saluda Street and other areas of Rock Hill that need more attention.

Residents’ relationships with local law enforcement need to be improved, too, she said.

Some people have an “uneasiness” with police, Williamson-Morrison said, adding that she’s been stopped by an officer in Ward 5 for no reason before.

On Thursday, she encouraged people to prepare now for Rock Hill’s Oct. 15 council elections.

Voter information

Voters will need to register and have a voter ID at the poll.

York County’s registration and elections office will provide free voter ID cards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 28 at York Technical College’s Baxter Hood Center, 452 Anderson Road.

Free IDs also are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at the registration and elections office, 13 S. Congress St., York.

To vote in Rock Hill’s election, residents must be registered in person by Sept. 15 or have the voter registration application postmarked by Sept. 14.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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