Thursday, April 3, 2014
Mark Phillips, 65, has been on Goose Creek City Council for 20 years. He is up for re-election this year.
“I want to continue the successes the city’s had,” Phillips said. “I’ve had a lot of experience and I want to offer that continuity and experience in the future. We’ve got a lot of things going.
“We’re in the midst of building the fire stations and water system improvements.
“I think I’ve got the professional experience and experience on city council to be valuable to the people of Goose Creek.”
Phillips said it’s important that the city work as a team, build consensus, and plan strategically.
“We don’t always have to agree on stuff but have to come to some agreement of where we’re going. We’ve been able to do that. We always emphasize basic services as being important to the city. That’s where the fire station and water system comes in,” he said.
The city also is working on economic development after the improvements to downtown. Phillips said council is working with a consultant to do economic studies to receive input as to what direction the city should move and what opportunities are out there.
Phillips said, after the new fire station headquarters is built in a year and a half, he’d like to see the current headquarters sit incubate some development.
“I know everybody wants a restaurant, or some development that would encourage more development downtown, a high-quality office space or some retail. A restaurant would be the first priority.”
The hospitality bill will be used toward recreation and tourism projects. Although council hasn’t decided what to do with the money yet, Phillips said he would like to see the recreation center expand. “That’s money that’s going to be coming in. There’s things we can do long term. I’d like us to see us use some of the park property.”
The city owns about 15 acres in a wooded area across from the Casey Center. There is other property near the public works building that could be turned into a park.
“I’d like to see us developing one or two of those properties. We haven’t been able to more forward because of other priorities.”
The Casey Center likely will be torn down in the next two years. Phillips would like to see that property turned into a park or improved tennis facilities, he said.
Phillips has lived in Goose Creek for 25 years. He is a civil engineer.
“In the last 10 years I’ve been working on construction sites and construction quality management. I’ve got a lot of building experience.”
In the time he’s been on council, there have been infrastructure improvements to the public works center, the recreation center, fire stations and the municipal center. He said he’d like to see that continue.
“It’s important for the city to keep moving forward in the direction it keeps going. I know there’s a lot of talk of attracting more business. I’m for that too. We need to have balanced growth.
“Our vision for the city is to be a better place to live work and play. The working part: we need more places for people to work, jobs in the city. Business will come once the infrastructure is there.
“We’ve got to have good roads, water, sewer, fire and police protection, good schools. All that adds up in the decision making process when businesses come here.
“We’re doing our part to create that environment. We don’t want to have to raise taxes to do it. We’re moving responsibly. The new fire stations are going to be a great improvement to our public safety in the area.
“I’ve been out walking, talking to people and they’re pretty satisfied in Goose Creek. Every once in a while restaurants come up, but that’s been going for years.”