Meet the candidates seeking Rock Hill Ward 5 seat

adouglas@heraldonline.comOctober 5, 2013 

  • More information

    The deadline to register to vote this month has passed.

    For Ward 5, Jackson’s name will appear first on the ballot, then Moore’s, then Williamson-Morrison’s. A write-in option will be available.

    Other positions up for re-election this year include the mayor’s seat and the Ward 4 and 6 council seats.

    Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols, Mayor Pro-Tem John Black from Ward 4 and Councilman Jim Reno from Ward 6 are running unopposed.

    The election is the first in Rock Hill since state legislators passed South Carolina’s Voter ID law last year. There are five acceptable forms of ID needed to vote: a S.C. driver's license, an ID Card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, an S.C. voter registration card with a photo, a federal military ID or a U.S. Passport.

    York County’s office of voter registration and elections will provide a photo voter ID card at no charge. Its office is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 13 S. Congress St. in York.

    For information, call 803-684-1242 or email elections@yorkcountygov.com

    Voters can check their registration status and find other information online at www.scvotes.org.

  • More information

    • Mt. Holly, located at Oakdale School, 1129 Oakdale Rd.

    • Northside, located at Northside Center, 900 Annafrel St.

    • Ogden, located at Antioch United Methodist Church, 930 W Rambo Rd.

    • Rock Hill No. 2, located at Rock Hill City Hall, 5155 Johnston St.

    • Rock Hill No. 6, located at Parentsmart, 384 E Black St.

    • Rock Hill No. 8, located at The Children's School, 929 Sylvia Circle

    • Edgewood, located at Edgewood School, 1446 Russell St.

  • Meet the candidates: Nikita Jackson

    “I am the best person to serve Ward 5 on the Rock Hill City Council because I have the interest of the residents, myself....I will be the City Council member that will have a very open relationship with my residents...I know what they’re wanting.”

    Age: 40

    Family: Son, age 14, who is a freshman at Rock Hill High School

    Education: Graduate of Northwestern High School and bachelor’s in biology from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.

    Occupation: Sales associate at Agape Medical Mart in Rock Hill

    Community activities: Previously volunteered with Rock Hill’s crime-eradication program called “Weed and Seed;” currently serves as secretary for the Sunset Park neighborhood association; board member of “Keep York County Beautiful;” works with various youth programs and the youth choir, serves on the kitchen committee and drives the van for her church, Union Baptist Church in Newport.

    Mildred A. Moore

    “I am the best person to serve Ward 5 on the Rock Hill City Council because I have an interest in the city. I want to be the new voice that can bring some new things to the table, not only for Ward 5 but for the citizens of Rock Hill.”

    Age: 64

    Education: Bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., and master’s in teaching degree from Winthrop University.

    Occupation: Retired public school teacher from Rock Hill and Chester County and retired English professor from Clinton College

    Community activities: Member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. sorority and holds various leadership positions at her church, New Mount Olivet AME Zion, including serving as secretary of the bureau of supply outreach group and as a missionary.

    Ann Williamson-Morrison

    “I am the best person to serve Ward 5 on the Rock Hill City Council because the people in my ward know me--they trust me. They know I can do the job. I know I can do the job. I am willing, capable and I am ready.”

    Age: 68

    Family: Son, Bo Williamson

    Education: Graduate of Emmett Scott High School and Winthrop University

    Occupation: Retired flight attendant and elementary school teacher

    Community activities: Previously served on York County’s Convention and Visitors Bureau board and graduated from the city of Rock Hill’s civic course called “Inside Rock Hill;” currently serves as vice president of the local Democratic Party group, third vice-chair of the local Democratic Council of Women group, third vice-chair for Rock Hill’s chapter of the NAACP and on the city of Rock Hill’s stormwater advisory board. She is a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Rock Hill.

For the first time in two decades, there’s no incumbent on the ballot for Rock Hill’s Ward 5 seat on City Council.

Three Rock Hill natives – all making their first run for public office – are vying for the seat which Councilman Osbey Roddey has held for 24 years.

Roddey, a pastor at Langrum Branch Baptist Church in York, said earlier this year that he would not seeking re-election in order to spend with his church and his family.

Hopefuls to succeed Roddey in the Oct. 15 election are Nikita Jackson, a sales representative with Agape Medical Mart; Mildred A. Moore, a retired teacher and English professor; and Ann Williamson-Morrison, a retired flight attendant.

The Ward 5 district includes many homes and businesses in southern Rock Hill such as those along Albright Road and Saluda Street and those near South Pointe High, Saluda Trail Middle, Oakdale Elementary and Sylvia Circle Elementary schools.

Parts of Crawford Road, Heckle Boulevard and downtown Rock Hill are also in Ward 5.

For decades, Ward 5 residents have complained of stormwater drainage issues that leave water standing in the road and in yards after heavy rains.

The area’s residents have also said more economic development is needed in the area to provide jobs and places to shop and eat in Ward 5.

During a candidate forum last Tuesday in Rock Hill, residents said Ward 5 could benefit from better community relations with local law enforcement officers.

At the forum, Moore was quick to point out that Ward 5 is not “behind” the rest of the city, though many people assume it is.

But there are some aspects of the area that need more city attention, she said, such as the stormwater issue.

Williamson-Morrison says the key to improving Ward 5 will be empowering its residents – which is her main objective.

She wants the area’s residents to “come out in droves,” she said, and ask the city to step up its efforts in the ward.

Jackson wants the city to partner with county and state officials to tackle major problems such as stormwater drainage failures.

She also wants Rock Hill to beef up neighborhood-centered programs such as “Weed and Seed,” a crime eradication initiative she was once involved with.

At last week’s forum, Williamson-Morrison said she’s determined to steer city resources toward Ward 5 to make it “look as beautiful as Old Town,” Rock Hill’s downtown district.

She says Ward 5 residents usually spend decades asking for improvements until something is done.

“In a sense, we are behind,” she said. “We need to be elevated.”

More aggressive marketing of Ward 5 to prospective businesses would be a boost, Jackson said. She supports finding incentives to attract investors to the area.

Jackson said she believes “Ward 5 is the place to be.”

Large, vacant pieces of land in the ward could work to its benefit, Moore said, adding that the city could market the available properties to industrial businesses, which could add jobs.

When courting new business, Williamson-Morrison wants Rock Hill to look for a grocery store to move into Ward 5, which residents often say is needed near their homes.

The ward includes some commercial areas such as Saluda Street and Rock Hill’s downtown core.

New commercial developments in downtown include a four-story office building with an attached parking garage and a $6 million public park, which city officials hope will spur more private investment.

In recent years, the city has spent millions of dollars on beautification projects in the Saluda Street area.

All three Ward 5 candidates say they hope the recently-completed Albright Road widening project will help draw more businesses to Rock Hill’s southern side.

Upcoming election information:

Rock Hill’s election will be held on Oct. 15. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Where to vote on Oct. 15

Voters in the following precincts will cast ballots:

• Highland Park, located at Belleview School, 501 Belleview Rd.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

The Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service