Charleston voters will have their choice between two candidates this November for city council. Longtime alderman Jim Sargent will be vacating his seat on the council this year due to a change of address. “I moved from my ward, said Sargent. “I am not eligible to rerun for the position that I was in. I also felt like the people in my new ward were very able bodied and I didn’t want to run against them”. All tolled Sargent has served on the council for 14 years and stated that if either councilperson in his new district; Mary Bohanon or Jeff Hayes were to ever step down he would consider running again but believes that they are doing a good job and has no desire to run against them.
The two candidates for the open seat this Nov. will be Susan Potts and Eric Gartman. Potts, a lifelong Charleston resident, stated that she entered the race due to some issues with the city’s drinking water. “I was concerned about the discoloration for such a long period of time,” said Potts “And am continuing to work on long time solutions”
Potts stated that she has worked in the Charleston School District for more than 30 years, that she has helped work at every election since she was 18 and now feels that it is her civic duty to run for office.
Potts also stated that she would like to see changes as far code enforcement is concerned in the city. “We have an ordinance where people in Charleston have to fill out a complaint against their neighbor when their yard is not mowed and there is trash in their yard,” said Potts. “I am going to propose that the police officers carry a book around and when the grass gets six inches high or there is stuff that needs to go to the dump that the officer will get out and tell these people. Because they are to protect and to serve. And to serve our community would be to clean up some of these places.”
Eric Gartman, 23 year Charleston resident, will be Pott’s opponent. Gartman stated that when the position came open he saw it as an opportunity to work with people that he respects. “I think that the current council does a good job,” said Gartman. “I feel like it is my turn to step up and serve. I want to see what I can do to help those folks.”
Gartman said that he sees finding money to be the biggest challenge facing the city. “All kinds of things need to be done,” said Gartman. “We just have to find a way to pay for it.” Gartman, like Potts, believes that there needs to be some improvement to the city’s drinking water, that code enforcement needs to be addressed and he wants to work to bring more businesses to town.
“If (Potts) wins I will support her,” said Gartman. “I have known her a long time and I like her. The big thing is, that people need to get out and vote. That is your right and you need to exercise it.”