Daily Mail Opinion makes the following endorsements for contested primary races in the Charleston City Council election. All contested races are in the Democratic primary, except for Ward 19, where both parties compete.
Deanna McKinney is a woman of action. Her son Tymel was shot to death on the family’s front porch in 2014. She holds an annual neighborhood block party to celebrate Tymel’s life and build relationships among youth and adults in the community.
Jeffery Mace wants the city to move to an inclusive zoning system that would allow for easier development. He favors implementing more of the Imagine Charleston plan, and the city should look into alternatives to buying trash bags for residents.
Joseph Jenkins said the city needs to evaluate programs and services rather than looking to raise revenues as the city’s population goes down.
Republican Brady Campbell won’t support tax or fee increases — the city can save money by having fewer council members, modernize trash collection and adjust the trash bag distribution program.
Democrat Mychal Schulz said the city shouldn’t have used money from the EDGE project to balance the budget and suggests the city should trash the garbage bag program.
Three Republicans and 12 Democrats are running for six at-large city council spots on the general election ballot. All three Republicans will move on to the general election. Of the Democrats, the Daily Mail endorses:
Becky Ceperley, the only incumbent running among at-large candidates, having completed one term. Former executive director and CEO of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and a former president of the national League of Women Voters, Ceperley gets things done.
Shawn Taylor, an attorney and Charleston’s former municipal court judge and clerk, said his primary concern is the city’s budget. He said to increase revenue, the city should consider annexing surrounding communities.
Ben Adams, an attorney, said to balance the city’s budget the city should look for ways to free up funds. He rightly points out the city’s “free” trash bags aren’t free.
Jennifer Pharr is a commercial real estate agent. She said to boost the population, Charleston should consider encouraging multipurpose properties that have space for housing and retail.
Stephen Grimm, an insurance agent, said Charleston needs to be a better partner for businesses. “I work with businesses here, and I don’t feel like the city is treating them like clients,” he said.
Naomi Bays is owner of a small retail shop downtown. She wants Charleston to have better communication with businesses. To balance the city’s budget, officials should question what services it needs.