Simple Civics: Greenville County

Bright and early this morning, Mark Steenback of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County and I joined Nathaniel and Katy to record an episode of the Simple Civics: Greenville County podcast. We talked about mutually beneficial partnerships between local governments and non-profits. We’re better together! Through collaboration, we create positive change that supports the social and economic well-being of our community. This is exactly the kind of partnership I was talking about when I campaigned for #OneSimpsonville back in 2015. Now that vision is reality as evidenced by our partnership with Habitat. And we really are better together. Stay tuned for details on when our episode goes live!

Alder Park Walking Trail Celebration

Sent some notes to some of our Westwood neighbors to let them know about our upcoming celebration of the new walking trail at Alder Park. It’s Saturday, Jan. 8th at 3 PM. We’re going to walk together (it’s about 1/3 mile loop), and we’ll have some post-walk refreshments. If you haven’t been out to Alder Park lately, come check out the new walking trail, as well as all of the other improvements made over the last year. Happy new year.

Here’s to 2022!

What a year for Simpsonville, y’all! In reflecting on all of the great things that have happened in our city this year, I realize just how much we’ve accomplished–so much it’s nearly impossible to summarize it all in a Facebook post (so I’m not going to try today). And we have so many more great things planned for 2022: Milltown Players is coming to the Arts Center; we’ll finish the Woodside Park neighborhood; we’ll see real progress on that downtown Master Plan we’ve been working on (including much-needed traffic improvements downtown!)…and SO much more!

Y’all, it’s a great time to call this city #SimplyHome, and I am looking forward to yet another great year for Simpsonville and to continue working with my fellow City Councilmembers and staff to provide first-rate services to our citizens; stay fiscally responsible (with a keen awareness of how decisions impact taxpayers); promote economic opportunity; support neighborhood vitality; and commit to the community and cultural programs and services that help our city thrive and improve your quality of life. Here’s to 2022!

MTP in 2022

In 2022 our Simpsonville Arts Center will be home to the Mill Town Players! For less than the cost of a matinee at the local cinema, you’ll have access to quality and affordable live theater right here in the heart of Simpsonville.

This is one of many projects we’ve undertaken to enhance quality of life for our residents. Plus, MTP has a demonstrated ability to draw visitors from across the upstate. When people visit Simpsonville for entertainment, they also dine at our local restaurants; they might shop in our stores. This is good for our local economy, and it can bring in tax dollars from others that can help further enhance the quality of life for those who live here.

The Arts Center was our vision for the future back in 2015. In 2022, it will be our reality. When I ran for office, I quoted Henry Ford on several occasions: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Since 2017, this Council has proven me and Henry right. I hope that over the next two years, we continue, to borrow a phrase from our City Administrator, “rowing in the same direction.” That’s how we avoid the mistakes of our predecessors and continue to promote economic opportunity; support neighborhood vitality; and commit to community and cultural programs and services while remaining fiscally responsible and providing first-rate services. It’s what Simpsonville deserves. #SimplyHome

Check out this article in the Post & Courier about our planned purchase of a new fire truck.

“Councilwoman Jenn Hulehan said during the Oct. 26 meeting she appreciated that city staff was being proactive about keeping its equipment up to date and in good condition.”

“I’m pleased to get this kind of information in advance, because that hasn’t always been the case since I’ve been on council, and it’s exactly why we put the capital reserve account in place,” she said. “We need to be able to very quickly address situations like this instead of wrapping things up in duct tape and hoping for the best.”

I’m not exaggerating when I say that about duct tape and hope. When I came into office, I discovered that’s exactly what our Council had the city doing. Our poor public works trucks were literally being held together with duct tape and even that was no longer holding up. There was no long-term planning happening. No plan for when the duct tape failed. No capital reserve fund or capital plan! We’ve made significant progress since then, which is why we are able to make financially prudent decisions like this one when they not only need to be made but can save us money–your taxpayer money.

Habitat Women Build

It was an honor to speak at the wall-raising ceremony (<– click for video) for the Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County Women Build here in Simpsonville’s Ward 3! Women Build. What do they build? Women build houses and homes and families and communities and neighborhoods. They build businesses and corporations and financial institutions. Women build this city, this country, the world. Women build each other up. Women build the future. Together. Let’s do this. #SimplyHome

Arts Center Progress

We’re making progress on the Arts Center too! As a reminder, a lease agreement with Mill Town Players has been approved and we plan to have a full season of shows next year! In the meantime, the contractor has until October 27 to complete the renovation project. In addition the City has been working with Duke Energy to get a pad-mounted transformer installed to get underground power to the rear of the building to clean up
the power lines. Interior walls are being installed to create a new lobby area and separation from the auditorium. Interior finishes will be coming soon! #PromisesMade #PromisesKept

New in Downtown

What’s new in downtown Simpsonville? Well, Sully’s Steamers should be open this January! Across the tracks, CocoBon Chocolatier and Run In will be joining Kaffeine Coffee Shop And Roastery, SmoQued BBQ, 1885 Taproom, & Sidewall Pizza Company at Burdette Central. CocoBon hopes to serving us their chocolate treats by Thanksgiving! And with all that other good food, it’s a good thing Run In plans to open the first week of October, so I can get some new shoes to walk it all off this fall! #SimplyHome

Tater Shed Restoration

The Tater Shed restoration project has begun! As a reminder, P+F Construction was 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 flooring will 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. #SimplyHistoric #SimplyConnected #SimplyHome