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Community activist Sylvia-Corley Drennan running for South Congaree Town Council

South Congaree, SC 03/20/2024 (Paul Kirby) - Longtime South Congaree resident and determined community activist Sylvia Corley-Drennan has decided to run for a seat on South Congaree’s Town Council. Drennan’s husband Jim is currently serving on the council but has decided not to run for re-election as his term is expiring in April. There are 2 seats on the council open and the mayor is up for re-election.  


The Drennans have lived in South Congaree for 53 years. To say that Sylvia’s past record of public service proves that she is qualified to serve is an understatement. She has an associate degree in human services from Midlands Tech, worked as an administrative assistant for Lexington School District Two for 23 years, is the founder of Quilts of Valor Sewing Bee in this area, founded Congaree Cares, a community service committee, served as the Town of South Congaree’s event coordinator, is the vice president of the American Legion Congaree Post 90 auxiliary, is the CEO (ret)of Beautiful Beginnings Bridal Consulting and Directing, and is a member of the Airport High School Educational Foundation Board of Directors. In addition to this, in 2022, she was named the SC State American Legion’s Auxiliary Member of the Year. That same year, she was named a member of Airport High School’s Teach of the Year Wall of Fame, and in 2011, she was named the Lexington Chronicle’s Mother of the Year.


Drennan said during a recent interview that she was ready to see some unity on the town’s council. “All council members have the same power as any other including the mayor. It’s time everyone learns this and allows input from each member.” Drennan said during the time her husband has served on council, it’s been nearly impossible for a council member to get an issue placed on the agenda. It has also been difficult to get a meeting organized even though there are clear cut provisions for doing that. “Jim and I have both been bullied and intimidated during his time of service and no one should have to work under those conditions. A strong council form of government means that the majority of the council is in charge, and everyone needs to be heard. Remember, you may not win every vote but that’s not personal. If you lose a few you should still be friends with your co-workers and be civil to each other outside the council chambers. Consider compromising and bring your issue back amended at another meeting,” Drennan said.


She also believes that intimidation and micromanaging have had a lot to do with the turnover rate at the town hall. “We’ve had four clerks over the past 4 years, we don’t currently have a clerk of court at all, and we just lost one of our biggest assets, our experienced long-time police chief. Losing Chief Josh Shumpert was a tragedy. He had been with our Police Department for 19 years and if we had to pay to train someone else to give them the knowledge he took when he left, there’s no telling what that would cost. It’s just really sad that he’s gone,” Drennon said.


Drennon said that she would like to see the council get along and working closely together. That way, the town could move forward together. “Currently, our town’s government is as bad as the federal government in Washington,” according to Drennan. She said that other communities that do work together around us are laughing at South Congaree’s dysfunction. “We could be doing so much more if we just got along and stopped the bickering and the powerplays. If we did that, we could be a regional leader instead of the region’s jester.”


“I would appreciate everyone’s vote on April 2nd. The choices we make that day will affect our town for years to come.”


If you would like to talk to Drennan about her ideas for the town or just want to ask a question, you can reach her by e-mail at You can also call her at (803) 331-3319.


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