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3 Rock Hill council members will run again

All three Rock Hill City Council members whose seats are up for re-election this year have confirmed they will run again in the October election.

Filing for Wards 1, 2 and 3 opened July 20.

Susie Hinton, who represents Ward 1, refiled that first day.

A former principal and educator, Hinton is active in the community, working with the Rock Hill branch of the NAACP, the Central City Optimist Club, St. Mary Catholic Church and the Rock Hill Christian Educators Association International. She has served on the council since 2008, and said she takes pride during her first term in helping push for the ban on K2, or synthetic marijuana.

In January, council passed a ban on selling it, becoming the first city in the state to impose such a ban.

Ward 2's Kathy Pender told The Herald Wednesday she will be refiling in the upcoming weeks. Pender previously served on the Rock Hill school board for 14 years, six of those spent as chairwoman. She began serving on city council in 2004.

Kevin Sutton in Ward 3 has served on council since 1994, when he was 23, the youngest person ever elected to Rock Hill City Council.

Sutton told The Herald on Thursday there are numerous things he and fellow city council members have accomplished to be proud of. He pointed to the city recently receiving top marks on its credit ratings, thanks to council developing a strategic plan that reduced the general fund dependence on the utility system.

The top ratings were a "major accomplishment" and something he said staff and council take great pride in, he said. But, he added, his most rewarding moment came when he was first elected.

Sutton remembered a woman telling how poor the water service on her street was and how she had been trying for years to improve it. Within a year, a new water line was both funded and installed, and several hundred dollars were set aside in maintenance fees to replace older water lines each year.

"Many times, the satisfaction of the job comes from helping somebody through the process," he said. "Most satisfaction comes from serving the community."

City council elections will take place Oct. 18 with a runoff, if necessary, on Nov. 1.

Filing still open

Deadline for filing to run for city council is 5 p.m., Aug. 19.

Potential candidates must live in the ward they wish to represent and be registered to vote. They also must fill out their intention of candidacy and statement of economic interest forms online at ethics.sc.gov and a filing form either online at www.yorkcountygov.com/regelect or at the York County Registration and Elections Office at the E.C. Black Building, 13 S. Congress St., York.

Identification and a $160 filing fee are required.

Representation changes

Some residents might notice a change in their representation after city council approved a redistricting plan this month, based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

City officials spent months trying to divide the city's 66,154 residents as evenly as possible among six wards, with the ideal size being 11,026 residents.

Neighborhoods along Hagins, Hampton, Green and Saluda streets have been split between Wards 1 and 5. Ward 1 has been extended north along Constitution Boulevard.

A map of the wards can be found on York County's Registration and Elections website at www.yorkcountygov.com/regelect.

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