Gettys can represent all
We forget that our greatest opportunity to impact lives is by participating in our government at the local level. Conversely, local elections have far fewer voters participating than national elections do. I have a hard time reconciling that when I hear people chattering about everything wrong with our city and how to fix it.
John Gettys has never been such a person. He is not content to just talk, he is willing to give freely of his time in order to run for office as your mayor. I have known John for 27 years. He is not a person just recently drawn to community service; it has always been part of who he is – whether his community was defined as his college, church or city. When you meet him, you discover an unpretentious man who sees you as a person, as opposed to someone who is rich or poor, black or white. This is why he will be able to represent all in the city.
During this race, there have been misstatements – I believe based on honest misunderstanding – regarding city finances. I can attest to John’s knowledge about municipal finance because for 23 years accounting has been my area of expertise. For almost 10 of those years, I worked in governmental finance, at one point as the finance director for the Attorney General’s Office and at another point as the finance director for the city of York. Governmental finance is very different from “for profit” accounting. This is a difference John understands and a value to the city which should not be underestimated.
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I love my city and want nothing but the best for her. That is why I urge you to cast your vote for John Gettys on Oct. 17.
Laura J. Mitchell
Gettys offers progressive leadership
I’m proud to say I cast my ballot for mayor for John Gettys.
John has a solid history of fighting for the least of those among us.
Two instances especially stand out to me:
▪ In 1998, John was instrumental in launching the No Room for Racism initiative as part of Rock Hill’s human relations efforts. This work lives on today.
▪ During his seven years on the Rock Hill City Council, John was the key member encouraging the city to work with the county to provide bus service by request. As mayor, he is committed to greatly expanding public transportation for Rock Hill.
By electing John Gettys, Rock Hill is assured of progressive leadership going forward.
Brother David Boone
A principled look at the mayoral race
I have an interesting and diverse political background. While at The Citadel, I was assigned to work in the Republican congressional office of Floyd Spence, and later Stephen Buyer. I served as field director, and later co-campaign manager, on two of Democrat John Spratt's congressional campaigns.
In law school, I was the president of the USC Law Republicans. At times, I have been engaged with the local Republican Party. I was also a founding member of the Concerned Black Men of Rock Hill (later changed to Concerned Black Citizens), a group that demanded that the Rock Hill Police Department purchase body cameras and stop certain police conduct in minority neighborhoods.
It is clear to me that we live in troubling times, no matter your perception of what the “trouble” is. That “trouble” is national, to be sure, but it also resonates in local decisions and processes. And we have no better way to impact day-to-day life in Rock Hill than the local mayoral race.
Webster's dictionary defines being principled as a “habitual devotion to right principles.” If my political experiences have taught me anything, it is that it is extremely difficult to play the “political game” while remaining a principled leader. It is a function of a system of compromise, and it is a function of the requirement to remain popular with the majority of the voting public.
When I think of principled leaders, there is one inevitable stamp on their resume – taking a position that, at least at the time, was controversial. It is extremely unlikely that following principles will lead you to a majority opinion on every issue. It is even less likely that finding yourself in the majority is a marker of morality. Whether we are discussing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or Roy Moore, there is an intrinsic value to finding a leader who is willing to be driven by what he feels is right, not what will make him the most popular.
I know John Gettys personally, and know that he is an intelligent, thorough, and good-hearted man who would make a great mayor. I also know William “Bump” Roddey, and think his election as the first African-American mayor of Rock Hill would be an important and long overdue moment in a city with a troubled racial history. Both of these men deserve your consideration.
I also know that when I gathered many in the black community and sought to force the city to publish information on use of force, to purchase body cameras, and to stop certain conduct within minority neighborhoods, Duane Christopher was one of the first people to offer his support. When that group was being attacked online as “uneducated” troublemakers, Christopher took the time to create a dialogue and understand our logic. Once it became apparent that we would be successful, and the City Council passed a budget resolution approving $1.3 million in new camera equipment, I heard from many city leaders about future support for the group. I heard from Duane Christopher long before it was apparent that those phone calls would ever come.
I truly do not know who I will vote for – it is hard when you have great respect for all three men. I do know that principled leadership is hard. I do know that there are few occasions to show that you are willing to take controversial or uncomfortable positions. I believe Roddey and Gettys have the capacity to be principled leaders. I know Christopher is.
Gettys for mayor
I want to make two things clear at the beginning of this letter. The first is I have nothing negative to say about any of the candidates, but I do think John Gettys is the most qualified to be our next mayor.
I also want to say that I have no vote because I live outside the Rock Hill city limits. Even though I do not live in the city, I have been and remain very active in the economic development of Rock Hill, the efforts to bring more jobs to the area and the redevelopment the Textile Corridor. While I served as chief executive officer of Family Trust from 1979 to 2016, we built four branch offices, an operations center and the new Family Trust headquarters in Rock Hill.
I have known John since he began a new law practice in Rock Hill. John has built one of the finest law firms in the Upstate, and he and his partners are known for their reputable character for treating all people with respect.
I have two significant reasons for supporting John. One is that he has a broad and inclusive agenda and platform. He is not running on one or two issues. John has always seen the big picture for Rock Hill. He believes our city should be the best place for everyone to live, and not one segment to thrive at the expense of another. He was one of the founders of the No Room for Racism initiative in 1999 and while serving on the City Council he pushed for expanding the city’s public transportation system. He has served as chairman of the Early Learning Partnership and has always been a strong advocate for children and for public education. John will be a mayor for all the citizens of Rock Hill.
My second reason for supporting John is that I believe in him. I learned long ago that leadership is measured by results. Look at the results of the Rock Hill Sports Commission under John’s leadership. What group has done more for our local economy than the sports commission? The huge success of the BMX World Championships brought millions of dollars to the local economy and drew international attention to our city. I firmly believe the best is yet to come with an Olympic quality Velodrome and world-class facility coming in 2018 for indoor sports such as basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.
John is a proven leader in a very successful business. John is a proven public servant based up his prior service on the City Council and his many roles as a community volunteer. He is a leader in his church and, of most importance, he is a committed husband and father. John is the kind of man I want to be our mayor.
Gettys can hit the ground running
As a former City Council member and mayor of Rock Hill for many years, I understand the complexity of leading this city. I am proud of Rock Hill’s heritage as a progressive city with a reputation for excellent quality of life. To continue down that path and bring in new businesses and jobs, our next mayor needs to have the experience to hit the ground running.
John Gettys has that. A member of this community since childhood, he served several years on the City Council, the only candidate with that background. He has served on many boards and commissions that have made a difference to our city. He is current chairman of the Rock Hill Sports Commission, which brought the BMX World Championships and the event’s tourism dollars to Rock Hill. John Gettys has the vision and skill to be a successful mayor, and has my endorsement.
Betty Jo Rhea
Mayoral election is critical
Rock Hill will be electing a new mayor Oct. 17, the first time this position has changed in 20 years. This election is critically important as it will chart the city’s direction for decades to come, affecting Rock Hill as our children and grandchildren will know it. We are proud of Rock Hill and the direction it has taken over the last decades and we want to keep our city moving forward. We ask you to join us in supporting John Gettys as Rock Hill’s next mayor.
Let us share some of the reasons we support him. John is a servant leader, a man who genuinely cares about all aspects of his community and shows it in so many ways. John was a member of the City Council from 2002-2010 before stepping down to spend more time with his wife and three sons and his growing law practice. A leader in First ARP Church, he was part of the group developing the No Room for Racism commission in 1999. He has served as president of the Early Learning Partnership literacy initiative and currently is chairman of the Rock Hill Sports Commission, sponsors of the BMX World Championships in Rock Hill. John is a graduate of Erskine and holds a master’s degree in public administration and law degree from the University of South Carolina.
The coming years will be challenging and exciting. John is equipped and ready to lead. He wants to be sure the city’s infrastructure and quality of life keep up with our growth while ensuring that we maintain the city’s high financial ratings.
Drs. Robert M. Alexander, Stephen F. Oehme, David A. Barkley,Walter J. Revell Jr., Martha Edwards, Richard L. Richter, bNathaniel Edwards, R. Norman Taylor, Malcom L. Marion IIII and Nicholas H. Tuttle