We had a great presentation Wednesday evening from Crystal Morphis of Creative Economic Development Consulting about the strategic plan for our community. She reported that more than 300 people had provided input for the plan, and that people were very complimentary of the quality of life Chapin and of our staff at Town Hall. The major opportunity and challenge before us is expanding our planning efforts to balance growth with our citizens’ desire to maintain the features that made our community an attractive small town. A copy of the full report is on our website (www.chapinsc.com) as is the video of the council meeting. I encourage to take time to read the report or view the video.
I had the good fortune to attend the Town of Lexington Mayor’s Prayer breakfast hosted by Bill Shanahan, owner of the Lexington Blowfish baseball team. In addition to seeing Mayor Steve McDougal, former county councilman Johnny Jeffcoat and many other Lexington friends, I was delighted to hear the powerful testimony of one of my childhood idols and New York Yankee great Bobby Richardson. It was great to hear Bobby Richardson tell so many stories about Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle as well as other baseball legends and their relationship with Jesus Christ. Truly, an inspiring moment for me and others who attended the breakfast. Thanks to Bill Shanahan for putting this event on for our community.
Karen Owens, Chapin’s Director of Communications and Economic Development, gave me an update on our Chapin Business and Technology Park after speaking with her counterpart Mike Eades. The lighting should be going in over the next few weeks as will parcel markers. Lexington County has contracted with a forester to thin out trees on several parcels to make it easier for potential buyers to see the property. They have gotten power extended to the fountain so that should be in operation soon. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being targeted for January 15, 2018. I know we are all ready to see some activity in the park. As our consultant mentioned on Wednesday, creating more jobs that our Chapin residents can have here in town would reduce time commuting to other cities and enhance their quality of life. It also adds to our economic base because those people will now have lunch in Chapin as opposed to Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, or wherever they were commuting to before.
I am grateful to everyone who came out last Thursday evening to the Tipsy Toad for the Mayoral debate. Paul Kirby, with the Lexington Ledger, did a great job as the moderator, and I enjoyed discussing the issues facing our town with Shayla Flores. We covered a wide array of topics, including the importance of our police department, ways to manage growth, and the tough part of how to pay for the services and amenities our citizens desire. I hope those present got a better understanding of how our town operates since there has been a lot of misinformation put out there on social media. At the end of the day, we all want what’s best for our town and its long-term future. We just differ on the best ways to get there.
I will finish by saying I hope everyone will get to Town Hall on Tuesday that is registered to vote and cast their ballot for a Mayor and two council members. You’ll be able to vote at the town hall from 7am to 7pm.
I have enjoyed serving this town the past four years and am grateful for the wonderful support I have received from many in our greater Chapin community. I’m also so appreciative and Chapin Proud! of the professionalism “YOUR” town hall staff has shown throughout the entire four years of my administration. They are the BEST and GREATEST of all my accomplishments. It’s my hope we can continue to build on the work we started -- to improve town services, provide greater transparency and financial stewardship, add more community events, and beautifying our town. Thank you!