For Irmo Town Council
On the Issues
- Property Rights
No law should be passed that infringes on the right to own, improve, use, and defend one's own property.
The Town of Irmo has a book of ordinances that criminalizes "victimless crimes." These must be repealed.
- Services & Taxes
The sole purpose of government should be to keep its people free. Services should be provided by the private sector through voluntary participation, not through forced coercion or extortion resulting in individuals paying for services that they may not use or want. This mindset that one individual has the right to another individual's resources because "we" voted for it, has got to stop.
- Property Values
Plain and simple, property value is an economic indicator of various moving parts within what should remain a free market. When an investment is made, whether it is in real estate, cars, precious metals or some other commodity, the Town Government does not have the right or the responsibility toward the soundness of the investments an individual makes.
Town governments should not force a subjective opinion about aesthetics on an individual. To do so tramples freedom of expression as protected by the 1st Amendment.
I 100% support just Law Enforcement, and I want them to have the resources to effectively do their jobs, which is to protect individuals from being violated. With that in mind, I want to make sure the laws that are on the books do not have them enforcing unjust laws and wasting precious time and resources.
- Low Income Housing
While I do not support the idea of subsidized housing and wish it did not exist, I cannot change that. That being the case, I do not believe that the Town has a right to restrict the purchase and development of a property for the purpose of renting units to people of low income, at a rate that is profitable to the developer and beneficial to the renter. Yes there are problems that may arise as we add more people to the town and those issues need to thoughtfully be addressed. An effective Council should be able to properly address those issues.
Who IS This Guy?
The answer is not quick, simple, or concise. My elevator pitch keeps me riding past my floor more often than not. I'll try to be brief.
Husband & Father
My wife, Jenni, and I have been married for 5 years this past April. We got together, did the Brady Bunch thing, and brought a mess of kids together who have bonded with each other and with us. Our home is a zoo, with five teenage kids, plus my retired father, two cats, two ferrets, a turtle, and even a pot belly pig named Finn (who thinks he's a dog), …but it's our zoo.
Life is messy sometimes, with all the chaos of middle school and highschool, illnesses my family deals with and all the challenges that brings. Two teenagers driving now is terrifying, but at least it's two more able bodies for grocery store runs. Lord knows they eat enough of the food to go get it now and again.
My clients know me as an educator and a listener. Day in and day out I spend time with my clients…. my friends (as all my clients quickly become), listening to their hopes and dreams, not only cheering them on toward those goals, but helping them hammer out a solid plan to get there. I listen to their fears of outliving their money because they know people are living longer these days. I listen to them worry about their spouses and children if, God forbid, something happens and they die sooner than expected. Some want to make sure that if they get sick and need long term care or some kind of specialist, that there is a plan in place to deal with such a time. My clients have concerns, and I am so very grateful that it is my privilege to provide answers that give them peace of mind.
On top that, I’m proud to say that I work for an organization that offers a platform for the answers we provide and it’s built on a Not-for-Profit model, meaning the motive is not corporate greed or maximizing profit margins. As a company, we give a ton of money back to the community, and they give me personally the freedom to decide how. We quietly give money for college scholarships, recognize hometown heroes, help individuals and small businesses with a hand up when they need it, provide school supplies and start study programs for kids in the community, and so much more. It really is a humbling position to be in, and I am thankful for my career choice.
Scientist and Student
I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Anthropology (the study of mankind), with a focus in Archaeology. That in and of itself does not mean much to anyone but me really, but I love to talk to people about the archaeology digs and the research that I have been lucky enough to be a part of right here in South Carolina. Most people don’t realize how significant our area is, historically, and even prehistorically, with evidence of human habitation going back 30,000 to 50,000 years (and perhaps longer)! It’s one of my favorite subjects to talk about, and lately I’ve been teaming up with Seven Ages Research Associates, whose focus is to build the bridge between what the professional archaeologists are doing and connecting them with the interested public.
Over 10 years ago now, coming from a background as a commercial advertising sales representative in my younger days, I started taking photographs to use in my clients’ ads because I was often disappointed with the stock images my company provided. In order to deliver a better image to the client I worked hard to learn the skill and it eventually morphed into something more artistically driven, with a painterly style, dipping into themes of psychology and philosophy with my portraits and composites, and it’s something I have enjoyed ever since. I have had 3 solo gallery shows now, displaying my work for the public (and even selling a few!), and I have a 4th show at a well-known gallery scheduled in West Columbia in August. I value the work I do and it gives me a bit of a creative outlet.
When my wife and I moved to Irmo from Lexington, about 6 years ago now, we rented a house in New Friarsgate. We enjoyed it and enjoyed our neighbors we had around us. Rent was high for the square footage we had, and we had outgrown it anyway, so three years ago we bought a home in Old Friarsgate. It was about that time I started paying attention to what was going on in town. First one ordinance, then another, then another, all passed by Town Council under the guise of making Irmo better, but was putting more and more of a burden on my neighbors. Aside from a handful of annoying abatement notices on my door, none of the ordinances affected me or my property personally, but I am not the sort of guy who can stand by and watch someone get kicked in the face and not step in. I am a man of principle. I am not always right, and I enjoy debate. I can admit when I am mistaken in my thinking, if I can be shown with logic and sound reason why I am wrong. But when I know I am right, and especially when I see someone else being wronged, I am more than willing to stand up and defend individuals, even when I know my opinion is in the minority.
The Town of Irmo has had a rough go of it for the last 2 to 4 years (maybe longer?). We’ve gotten black eyes in the media for situations that are outright embarrassing. We’ve had opportunists throw salt in wounds. A small town of roughly 12,000 people should not have as much negative attention as we have gotten over the last few years. There are real problems, and most of it is self-inflicted, as a town. Some of the problems will take years of hard work to fix. Some might not be fixed at all. Other problems can be solved with the choices we make in November, on election day.
I’m not saying I’m the answer. I’m saying I’d like to be a small part of the solutions. Whether or not you vote for me this November, I’ll be here to help build community where we need it. I sure would appreciate your help.