Thursday, April 3, 2014
Jerry Tekac, 48, is running for mayor for the first time. He will challenge incumbent and longtime Mayor Michael Heitzler.
Tekac is serving his sixth year and second term on city council.
Prior to that, he was appointed by the mayor and city council to serve on the planning commission, giving him a total of 14 years of publicly serving the city. He has lived in Goose Creek since 1998.
Why are you a better candidate?
“I believe the vision I have in trying to attract more commercial activity is different than Mike’s vision. It’s going to really enhance our community. I understand growth is coming and I’m embracing the growth with the corresponding commercial growth that comes with that.
“If we don’t have commercial growth, we’re going to have to decrease services or increase taxes, and I’m not for either of those.
“Economic development is what I do for a living (as a senior commercial banker for NBSC). I fully understand the benefit of what that does for the city. I think that makes me different for the city.”
How do you think the campaign has been going?
“I’ve been very pleased with the response we’re getting from speaking to our residents. It has exceeded my expectations. They thanked me for giving them a choice for the first time in 16 years. It’s really a win when a city employee comes up and thanks you. It makes the effort and the time all worthwhile.”
What are your plans once elected?
“Some of my plans are fairly simple. I’ve already spoken to City Administrator (Dennis) Harmon in finding a replacement for the assistant city administrator. I’d like to take that role and add an economic development role. That’s the first thing I would have to do.
“I would also like for the city to consider partnering with a buyer. We acquired that building on Highway 52. We just spent $195,000 on the property and will have it demolished or look into the cost.
“It doesn’t benefit where it’s located to be used as a park or green space or open space. It’s too close to Redbank Road. I’d like to see us get something developed and get something started.”
“I’m looking to establish a quarterly business breakfast with our business leaders. We represent the residents of our city. We also serve the business community. I think that’s something we’ve been lacking. Tell me what were doing right to bring more businesses to our residents.
“I don’t see why we’re not trying to recruit more day-to-day business to our city. It does bring tax relief to our city. Those are the first three things I’d like to do right off the bat.
“It’s always nice to meet and talk to the people you represent. I look forward to the next 10 to 11 days and beyond to try to serve our residents the best I possibly can.
“I think we need to market our golf course much better than we do. It brings so much recognition to our city. We need to be out there promoting and encouraging its use. I don’t think we’ve really tapped the surface on how we can utilize that wonderful course. I’m a member out there. It’s one of the best golf courses around. It’s probably the best city-owned golf course in the state.
“I’ve raised my two kids here. My son is a junior at Stratford. My daughter is at Westview Middle.
“My son was a year old when I bought the house in Goose Creek. This is my home. It’s a great place to live. It’s been a great place to raise my family.
“We have an opportunity to make this a great place to work as well as a great place to live.”
Anything you’d like to add?
“Mike has done a great job with the city. We just have a different vision. I am disappointed we didn’t have a debate.
“The more informed our residents are the better I think they are. Overall I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the people I’ve spoken to. I’m looking forward to the next week and half.”