Chris Hampton, 41 who now serves on the Cherokee County Park and Recreation Advisory Board, is facing off with Brian Poole, 37, a funeral home manager who bills himself as a new face with a new agenda, are both seeking the seat.
The two square off in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Hampton, a division sales and marketing manager who has lived in the county for 20 years, said one area critical to Cherokee County is jobs since 78 percent of the residents travel outside the county to work.
“It is important that the board of commissioners continue to be proactive and assisting our Office of Economic Development with the tools and resources to bring in new businesses and to assist the present small business we have here to grow and employ more of Cherokee County citizens,” Hampton said. “I believe one proactive area is the Small Business Incubator Program, it has been very successful in many areas of the country and as we all know, small business is the engine for our economy.”
Poole, who moved to Cherokee in the last 19 months, said the county is not doing enough to attract jobs.
“The two opportunity zones, one in the northeast corner and one is the southwest corner, are great foundations created by our legislative delegation but the county needs to invest in attracting new businesses and communicate to our current companies the opportunities for growth and expansion,” Poole said. “Economic development is a very competitive field and like any business we must fight to get clients (companies) to come to Cherokee County. As commissioner, I would institute a quarterly round table of small and large business owners to brain storm ideas of how to attract new companies and how Cherokee can once again become a business friendly community.”
On the land use plan now in use by the county, Poole said it is broken.
“We have seen a halt to all progress in Cherokee County. We must look at the plan and realize it is a guide but should be taken only as a guide,” Poole said. “Cherokee County is beautiful and people want to come here but with heavy burdens on development and oppressive impact fees we will be one of the last counties to recognize the economic recovery when it finally arrives.”
Hampton said the plan is unique.
“It had a great deal of citizen input and utilizes the “character area” concept to make sure we are flexible and still providing a quality of life for each individual part of Cherokee County,” Hampton said.
Hampton said on the issue of recreation that Cherokee County is beginning to address the needs of the residents with various parks, and recreational facilities.
“I am a firm believer that recreational options for our citizens are an important component for economic growth and quality of life, which in turn attracts corporations and business,” Hampton said.
Poole said he believes the Aquatic Center now under construction by the county should have been delayed.
“In speaking with families, the complaint has been that the Aquatic Center was not the issue at the time of the Parks and Rec bond. It was the need for more ball parks. It is the job of the commissioners to use good judgment,” Poole said.