In the Democratic primary for the District 4 seat on the York County Council, we endorse William "Bump" Roddey.
Roddey and Gwendolyn Conner are trying to unseat incumbent Roy Blake in the primary. The winner will face Republican Tom Hardin, who is running unopposed.
Roddey is a Rock Hill native who attended local public schools and graduated from Northwestern High School, where he lettered in football, baseball and track. He attended York Technical College and Winthrop University, where he graduated in 1996 with a major in economics. He has been employed at Bowater for nearly 11 years, where he now works in the testing laboratory.
Blake is seeking his third term on the council. Among his accomplishments was a successful effort to get the South Point Trail built. The trail consists of sidewalks installed to help ensure that students could walk safely from homes along Crawford Road and in the College Downs neighborhood to South Pointe High School.
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Blake also is a member of a collaborative initiative among members of the York County Council, the Rock Hill school board and the city of Rock Hill. He attends monthly meetings with his counterparts in the city and school district.
While Blake has been an adequate representative of the district, we think Roddey would bring new energy and innovative thinking to the job. He would focus not only on the needs of his district but also on the central issues facing the county and the region, of which he demonstrates a far keener understanding than his opponents.
While he believes that the "Pennies for Progress" road projects are important for the county, he thinks the management team hired to oversee the projects had an insufficient track record to handle a job of that magnitude. He does, however, think the county was right to take over management, and he would support another "Pennies" referendum in 2010.
Roddey said he is committed to the county's long-term land-use plan. He thinks the county should find ways to require developers to commit to help pay for new schools, infrastructure and public facilities as a condition for approving new residential developments.
Roddey supports the extension of Dave Lyle Boulevard into Lancaster County, saying it would be a boon for local businesses. He pledges to improve communication with constituents and said he also would meet regularly with Rock Hill and regional officials.
Gwendolyn Carter, a human resources manager at Thomas & Betts Corporation in Lancaster, also would bring new ideas and a commitment to the community to the council. She is a relative newcomer to the county, having relocated to Rock Hill from Aiken in 2005.
Since moving to the county, however, she has served on the board of the Rock Hill Human Relations Committee; the board of the Education Foundation of the Rock Hill school district; as a member of the Government Relations Task Force of the York County Regional Chambers of Commerce; and as PTO president for Rawlinson Road Middle School.
We think, however, that Roddey, with his roots in the Rock Hill community and his knowledge of the issues, is the best candidate for this seat.
William "Bump" Roddey brings a knowledge of the issues to this primary race.