Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – Chapin area resident Charli Wessinger is running for Lexington County Council District 6. That seat will be open after Councilmember Erin Long Bergeron decided not to run for re-election after changes in her personal life made her unavailable to serve. District 6 encompasses Chapin and portions of Irmo and Lexington. Former County Councilmember Johnny Jeffcoat has also filed to run.
Wessinger grew up in Chapin and is a graduate of Chapin High School. She is also a graduate of Newberry College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre. Later, she attained a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University. She has worked in higher education over 23 years and serves on the Newberry College Alumni Board of Managers. She’s also served on the Greater Chapin Community Foundation Board of Advisers from 2013-2019.
After their father’s death, she and her sister took over Bear Creek Christmas Tree Farm near Chapin. She also runs her late father's Honey bee hives and is a certified beekeeper. Wessinger has two children, two grandchildren, and many family pets. She loves art, nature, enjoying Lake Murray, and photography as hobbies.
Wessinger calls herself a “Concerned citizen.” She decided to run to safeguard the traditions and culture of the community. She believes those can only be preserved through sustainable growth and conventional practices. In a letter introducing herself to the citizens of District 6, she said, “Our duty is to preserve and protect our landscape and community assets for our future generations.”
Wessinger said the past several years, she has assisted in rezoning initiatives in the unincorporated areas around Chapin. She says she has been successful in working with others to bring about positive change. She told the League of Women Voters if elected, she plans to collaborate with county agencies on traffic and roads issues which the county has jurisdiction over. “Zoning plays a large role in the development of more neighborhoods,” she told the League. She continued saying development, “Contributes traffic issues and the need for additional schools.” If elected, she would promote stricter ordinances on zoning regarding development. (Note: See all her answers to the League of Women Voters here)
She is against clear cutting land that destroys the tree canopy, especially if it’s done in the name of development and profits for developers. She believes in stricter storm water drainage and development guidelines like minimum lot sizes. She thinks this will allow room to park cars for each home and provide the necessary room for emergency vehicles if needed.
Wessinger says between 1994 and 2007 she lived in cities across the southeast. These include Raleigh, Charlotte, Charleston, Hilton Head, and Orlando, Florida. She believes this helped her develop a good perspective. It truly helped her realize the importance of home and community. She says the knowledge she gained from other cities enhanced her desire to shape the future of the community now.
In closing her letter of introduction, Wessinger said, “I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve you and our community. I will be using social media to advise the community about my campaign. Most importantly, I need and appreciate your support in letting your friends, family and neighbors know that I am here to work for you.”