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Businessman Bob Porter runs for South Congaree Town Council

South Congaree, SC 03/18/2024 (Paul Kirby) – Former South Congaree Councilmember Bob Porter has decided he will run against the other candidates vying for a council seat in the upcoming general election. Other candidates in the council race include longtime resident and community activist Sylvia Corley-Drennan, former Councilman Dwyane Prosser, and resident Debbie McIver. There are two seats up for grabs in the April election. Voting will take place on April 2, 2024, with the Town Hall as the only polling site available.


Porter said he is very disappointed in the lack of progress that South Congaree's government over the past few years. “Often when you see an election, you’ll see over and over again the phrase I’m fighting for you,” Porter stated. “I’d rather say that we as a council are working together for you. Perhaps then this council could get something done.”


Porter, who has an MBA from Eastern Carolina University, looks at things in a black and white manner. “Numbers don’t lie, they tell the story of how things are going. If you are always short of money, that says one thing. If, however, you have an excess of funds, that indicates something else. South Congaree should have plenty to pay their bills, some money saved for a rainy day, and money going toward projects that will help achieve a better quality of life for our residents. Since residents of South Congaree have no Municipal Taxes to pay, they are ineligible for a municipal tax rebate. These are numbers I’d like to look over. Perhaps it could explain why we’ve been without a town sign for more than a year. We have a capable man who has lived in this area and worked in that business for years. I understand he’s already made a presentation to the council. He lives right up the road and is well known for his brand of personal service and tech support. Was his price too high? What is the holdup.  Perhaps the numbers could explain that” Porter stated.


Porter said he can provide you with a perfect example. “South Congaree received their Federal Government Stimulus Money after the COVID pandemic some time ago. It’s a sum that is over $800,000. Although it does receive a small amount of interest, it could be doing so much more.” Porter said. “Bringing that money to the table when we want to work with the Joint Water and Sewer Commission to extend sewer lines all the way up Main Street to our western border is key to bringing good growth to that corridor. The Town of Springdale has already used their stimulus for several phases of sewer growth and are working on another. They are not just sitting on it, they are making it work for them,” he concluded.  


Porter said he wants to see the citizens South Congaree enjoyed an increased quality of life. “For that to happening, everyone on this council is going to need to be crystal clear about where we are and where we are going.” He said even though the town’s government spent more than $13,000 on a template to be used by small towns for development of a strategic long-range plan, they still haven’t come up with one they can follow. “We don’t have a strategic long-range plan, we don’t have a valid economic development plan, and we don’t have a business plan. Anyone who has served and let that go for so long should be ashamed when they attend any function like a COG (Council of Government) meeting. They really should be ashamed to meet the citizens who elected them,”


Porter also said that many members of the council base their decisions and spend their time on “knee jerk” reactions and micromanaging the town’s staff. He said some resident might complain about something as trivial as their neighbor’s new bird batch and suddenly, they’ve got to have an emergency called meeting to deal with bird baths. “That’s about how focused some of the members of our current council currently are. No wonder there’s no progress on sewer coming through so we can focus more on economic development.

The Food Lion shoulders a large part of our town’s budget through their business license. If we lose that business and its fees it could really hurt us. Keep in mind that Publix is just a few miles away and a Lowe’s Foods is being constructed at Platt Springs and Old Barnwell Roads. There’s another Food Lion in a newer building that’s just off Emanuel Church Road a few miles away. It should come as no shock if their corporate office made the decision to close the South Congaree store.” Porter said that if that if it did close, “We could see layoffs of some of our police officers or worse. Or course we have had some economic development, but it would be nice to announce a new business coming to town that doesn’t have the word DOLLAR in its name.”  


“I know by now, with me speaking from my heart and mind, that everyone must think I’m furious with all our elected leaders but that’s not necessarily true. As I said before, I do think that if we could stop all the infighting and the chasing of personal agendas, we could grow at the right pace yet still grow. It would be good growth. The four years prior to Mayor Campbell’s first term, there were some real positive changes to our zoning laws. These meetings to work that out certainly weren’t pleasant, but there were some great changes made in zoning, compliance, building inspections, and more. The current council has used the changes to help clean up Main Street and Dunbar Road using the ordinances passed during the last administration,” Porter said. “Imagine what could be done if the town’s council worked that well together all the time. “That’s my goal,” he said, "I want to promote progress through peace!”


Porter and his wife live on Ramblin Road. He owns Premier One Construction, a company that focuses on commercial construction and management in and around Greenville and the upstate. Jennifer Porter is a doctor of chiropractic who has her own practice in the Red Bank area off South Lake Drive. The couple have no children.


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