You don’t know what you don’t know. Mayor Shewmaker always says that’s one of the most important lessons he learned after being elected. And he immediately set about learning. We met shortly after he was elected, and it was a good meeting. Similarly, I recently met with Councilman-elect Rupe. I told Mr. Rupe much what I told the mayor: municipal government is a team sport. I also shared with him lessons learned and advice. I encouraged him to start learning what he doesn’t know he doesn’t know–and there’s a lot. I suggested he started his MASC coursework ASAP and make a goal to graduate by February of 2023. I also recommended he meet with each of the Department Heads. I shared with him how going to Public Works to speak with the staff there was when I learned just what bad shape the department was in. It was while I was there, I heard how under-resourced they were and witnessed with my own eyes the trucks literally being held together with duct tape. I saw the safety concerns first-hand. I didn’t know anything about that before I went down there. You learn a lot by going straight to the source. I told Mr. Rupe he definitely needs to meet with our City Administrator. She runs the city. And she’s doing a darn fine job. That’s because she has the education and experience to lead a city like ours. Getting to know her should be a priority for anyone new coming in. And I also suggested he meet not just with me but with every member of Council. Because each member has different strengths, experiences, backgrounds, and expertise. And that’s what makes our Council effective. We can learn from one another, and we do, and ultimately, that’s how, working together, we come to decisions that are in the best interests of this city and her citizens. Next week is our last Council meeting of 2021. In 2022, Mr. Rupe will join us.
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, the mayor rose to a point of personal privilege to speak about the recent election. The results were certified last Friday. The mayor, a bit of a data nerd like me, had been looking them over and doing some math. He pointed out a sad truth: only 7% of registered voters cast a ballot this election. That’s as low a turnout as I can recall. 7% of voters cast a ballot. Let that sink in. That means 3.6% of registered voters chose the new Councilmember for Ward 2. A mere 7% stepped up to make the choice, and 3.6% chose the person who will represent all 18,000 registered voters, all 23,000+ residents. All of that is to say, echoing the mayor’s comments, that voting is a privilege and a duty. Your vote matters more at the local level than anywhere else. None of us should abdicate that responsibility or give up that privilege to a mere 7% of us. We vote again in two years. I will anyway. And I hope you will too.
The mayor also congratulated Councilmembers Hutchings and Roche on their re-election (which he pointed out was not a given…just ask the mayor of Pacolet), and he congratulated Mr. Rupe on his win (although he unfortunately wasn’t there).
🇺🇲 Today we honored our veterans at the Veterans Day Ceremony 2021. The Quilts of Valor presentation is always one of my favorites every year. It’s hard not get teary-eyed thinking about the sacrifices made on our behalf by those brave enough to answer the call to serve our county. God bless them and God bless the United States of America. 🇺🇲
SFD and SPD will be memorializing the anniversary of 9/11 today, as they did last year, with fire trucks and police cars at the interchanges of I-385 @ West Georgia Rd and Fairview Rd. They will begin at the time of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers and ending at the time the last plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Simpsonville Fire Department is participating in the Memorial Stair Climb at Fluor Field, along with many other departments across the upstate.
Tater Shed Restoration Update: P+F Construction has been awarded the contract to improve the Tater Shed building.
Bricks will be saw cut from both sides of the building to open up the building for air and light, Trex flooringwill be installed, railing will be installed for safety, new lighting, and a new roof will also be installed.
The building will be available to be rented as a shelter, and will add another amenity to City Park. This restoration prevents the further deterioration of the building and makes it useful to the community again.
Tonight our neighborhood had a community public safety meeting with the Simpsonville Police Department. I am so grateful for and proud of our PD. Lots of people talk about community policing. They live it. I watched them in action tonight with members of our community. In lots of other places, tensions between police and citizens may be high. In some places a meeting like we had tonight would have tempers flaring, angry yelling, even name-calling or accusations. Not here. Here, I hear residents and officers alike talk about partnership, being like a family, working together. I hear them laughing at the same jokes, sharing stories about their families, asking and answering questions respectfully, listening for understanding, learning from one another.
That’s one of the many things that makes Simpsonville #SimplyHome. Big shout out to Chief Hanshaw, Investigator Donnelly, Sgt. Chandler, and Officer Stouffer for joining us tonight. 💜
We meet Tuesday! Twice even. Here’s the agenda…or two.
Prisma is now doing Phase 1a vaccine appointments via MyChart (as opposed to via VAMS). Per the government officials liaison, the web link below is the best way for individuals to know the latest and greatest around Prisma Health vaccine location hours, walk in availability, etc. In the screenshot, you’ll see they’re currently taking walk-ins for second doses at the K-Mart location. You can see it was last updated today at 10:26 AM. Prisma offers the Pfizer vaccine. You must have two shots of the same vaccine (i.e. 2 Pfizer vaccines). Second doses should be administered as close to the original window as possible: between 17-21 days from the first dose. However, the window has been extended to 42 days. They will not administer the dose early because it won’t be effective. For second dose walk-in appointments, you just bring your vaccine card to the K-Mart and let them know you’re there for your second dose. Just check the website first to ensure they’re doing walk-ins. They will continue to do walk-ins as vaccine is available. https://lp.prismahealth.org/prisma-health-vaccination-sites/
Excited to join the League of Women Voters Greenville for this online forum! 2021 is a year for municipal elections (like city council), and March is Women’s History Month.In honor of both these things, the LWV is hosting a virtual panel discussion featuring women holding local municipal office. I’ll be joined by Councilwoman Kelly Byers from TR as well as Councilwomen Lillian Brock-Flemming and Dorothy Dowe from the Greenville City Council. The forum will be moderated by the always amazing Deb Sofield.ETA register to attend here: http://ow.ly/TV7U30rxcHo
Tonight Council unanimously approved the design for the second mural project in downtown Simpsonville. Special thanks to County Councilman Butch Kirven Mr. Hunter Howard, and Simpsonville Arts Foundation, Inc for their donations toward this project. Other funding is provided from A-Tax funds. The second mural will be located on the wall beside Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Cafe near Danny’s Fixin’ and Fillin’. The design incorporates elements of the city’s new branding, a nod to the state flag, and invokes a sense of nostalgia appropriate to our downtown area. Work should start October 19th weather permitting, so stop by and watch Ms. Hennesy’s progress. Then, prepare to take your car to our new drive-in for a photo shoot later this fall. #SimplyHome