Two newcomers and a long-time community volunteer will vie for the vacant Fort Mill Town Council seat.
Filing closed at noon Monday to fill the seat left open by former Councilman Tom Spratt’s resignation. A special election will be held Jan. 27. Candidates for the seat are Cory Kusick, Chris LaRocque and Lisa McCarley.
Kusick, 37, is a former Marine and Virginia state trooper and now a stay-at-home father to a sixth- and third-grader. His family moved from the Washington, D.C., area to the Massey subdivision in July for his wife’s job.
“I love being involved in the community and decision-making,” Kusick said. “I just thought it was a good opportunity for me.”
Kusick said the strong schools and smart community growth were factors in his family moving to Fort Mill. By being a part of the town’s leadership, he hopes to help both stay strong. Also, he said he’d like to help solve traffic issues.
“Traffic flow, hopefully making decisions on keeping traffic flow down, as well as keeping the crime rate down,” he said.
LaRocque, 30, moved to The Greens at Fort Mill in September. He lived in Charlotte two years prior, but comes from Newtown, Conn. Now he’s a financial consultant in Charlotte.
The U.S. Army Reserve officer doesn’t have a wife and children, but sees Fort Mill as an appealing place for families. He hopes to add to that hometown feel on Council.
“I really enjoy it,” LaRocque said. “It’s a great place to live and a great place to raise a family.”
Strong economic development and a focus on communication are top issues beyond community growth, he said. LaRocque looked at running for his Ward 2 seat next fall, but jumped at the chance to serve when Spratt’s seat came open. Though new, LaRocque believes community service is “more than just voting.”
“We always talk about that next generation,” he said. “I think I’m part of that next generation.”
McCarley, 44, grew up in Tega Cay and graduated from Fort Mill High School. She moved to Fort Mill after college, where she’s lived more than 20 years.
“Fort Mill is experiencing record growth and constant change,” she said. “Being a native, I have experienced this growth first hand.”
McCarley sees Council service as an opportunity to give to her community. Involved with volunteer projects such as the Fort Mill School District Athletic Board and recent school bond referendum committee, McCarley wants to bring partnership among neighboring communities.
“Because I have spent several years volunteering with many area leaders, I already have relationships with Fort Mill and Tega Cay officials, county, state and school district leaders,” she said.
Those partnerships will help, she said, tackle the biggest issue facing Fort Mill.
“We are all aware of the growth concerns not only in our town, but the entire Fort Mill Township,” she said. “This growth continues to put strains on many of our town’s resources, especially law enforcement, fire, utilities, planning and parks and recreation.”
McCarley is a marketing manager with Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. She has two children, a second-grader at Doby’s Bridge Elementary School and a 2014 Nation Ford High School graduate.