In the race for the District 1 seat on the York County Council, we endorse Democrat Marion Davenport.
Davenport seeks to unseat incumbent Paul Lindemann, a Republican. Also challenging Lindemann is Bryan Smith of the Green Party.
Daven-port is the owner and operator of Chirp and Chatter, a Fort Mill store that sells products related to wild birds. It opened in 2001 and has grown into a $750,000 business with five employees.
Davenport, who moved to Fort Mill in 1997, is on the board of directors of the Regent Park Community Association. She was named 2006 Small Business Person of the Year by the York County Chamber of Commerce. She also has served for several terms on the editorial board of the Fort Mill Times, which, like The Herald, is a McClatchy newspaper.
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She says unfinished "Pennies for Progress" projects should be paid for with bond money if necessary. That way, she says, the county would have the money up front and would be less likely to be overtaken by rising costs of materials and labor.
She believes the anticipated 2010 "Pennies" referendum could be a hard sell. The county, she says, needs to look hard at what's practical and perhaps include some funding for mass transit as a long-range solution to the county's transportation needs.
Davenport supports the legal battle to prevent the interbasin transfer of water from the Catawba River to cities in North Carolina. She says the impact on water supply should be a consideration every time the county approves a new subdivision or major industrial project.
She says one of the key roles of a council member is to listen attentively to constituents and work to form a consensus. To that end, she would hold monthly meetings with people in her district to discuss their concerns.
We think Davenport could add a different voice to the council that is not there now. She has the perspective of a woman, a small business owner and a devout advocate of open government.
Lindemann, we think, has worked well with business and community leaders in his district to promote orderly growth. He has helped to encourage improvement in the balance between business and residential development in one of the fastest-growing parts of the state.
Lindemann, 29, also, unfortunately, has been embroiled in personal problems stemming from his July arrest on drunken-driving charges. This was the third time Lindemann had been charged with driving under the influence since 1998. After a DUI charge in 2000, Lindemann completed an alcohol and drug safety action program.
After Lindemann's arrest in July, York County Republican Party Chairman Glenn McCall and other party members called on him to resign and get his life in order. At the least, this has to be a serious distraction for Lindemann.
Smith, we think, brings the concerns of a devoted environmentalist to this campaign, which is welcome. We don't believe, however, that he has the broader vision for the job that the other two candidates possess.
Davenport, we believe, would bring needed diversity to the council, and we urge voters to support her on Nov. 4.
Marion Davenport would bring a different voice to the York County Council.