New mayor to take over Swansea after 18 years under Spires
Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – For the first time in the Town of Swansea in 18 years, there’s a new mayor. Ray Spires was defeated after a long hard fight that saw accusations fly between several prominent citizens and businessmen in the local print paper. In the end, Jerald Sanders, a sitting councilmember was elected as the town’s new mayor. Jerald Sanders garnered enough votes to defeat Spires by a margin of 110 votes to 39. Michael Luongo, also a newcomer who was trying to unseat Spires, came in second with 58 votes.
Spires’ term had been marred by hard times for the little town. They owe a huge debt to the State of SC for fees that were in arears. That happened under Spires tenure, although he said that the issue was the fault of the past police chief. They have been making payments on that debt for some time. Additionally, a recent investigation ended in the firing of a utilities employee and possible criminal charges for that individual. That mess has yet to be fully sorted out.
Although Spires says that he had righted the ship, many accused him of being the root of the problem. So far, nothing had ever stuck when thrown at him. Another public servant said recently about Swansea, "Ray's always had a lot of smoke down there, but it's never turned into much of a fire!" That may change now that there’s a new sheriff in town with full access to the contents of the town hall’s filing cabinets and nooks and crannies. In that case, only time will tell.
Spires said during a recent appearance on Good Morning Lexington County that his council was the problem; they were inept, lazy, and looked to him for everything, taking on no responsibility for themselves. In the end, the citizens of the town made their voices heard loud and clear, and they collectively screamed," It’s time for a change!”