Meet the County Council District 4 candidates

  • Friday, June 6, 2014

Berkeley County Council District 4 seat has no incumbent, and three Republican candidates are vying for the partyís nomination June 10. District 4 is comprised of Sangaree, Tramway, College Park, and portions of Tall Pines. Cathy Davis currently holds the seat but decided not to seek reelection.

Aldo Napoli

Napoli is a Lowcountry native and a married father of three. Napoli works at DuPont and Mellow Mushroom. He also has his own film company.

Why are you running?

Iím running because I felt like thereís some disconnect between our local government and the actual community. County council should be our closest government allies. Iím a relatively normal guy; I work in a factory. I think Iím a good representative of what people in my district are. Iíll be more than happy to fill that role on council.

If elected, what is your No. 1 priority?

Iíd like to get better communication between different departments and the council. Thereís a breakdown in communications.

There is a significant political divide on county council. Does it need to be fixed?

Before I ran, I didnít know really how bad the split was. People are always saying, ďWhat side are you on?Ē And, I think, Americans in general are getting tired of the polarization in politics. If I vote with one side or another, it has to do with what my constituents want. Iím going to look at everything individually. These arenít bad people but we need to start honestly working together and not assume that if itís from the other side that itís bad. Iím willing to work with whomever on whatever.

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, how will you handle that growth?

Itís definitely good to bring more people to the area, with that comes more money to local businesses. But we have to take care of the people who have been in the county for 30-40 years. We canít just focus on the shiny new Nexton. Growth is definitely a good thing. But we got to make sure weíre taking care of these other guys too. Sometimes youíve got to look back to move forward.

Your district has the Sangaree schools, which have been plagued by traffic problems for decades. How can that be fixed?

The resolution urging SCDOT action passed by council was a great first step. We should be putting pressure on the people who should take ownership of it ó thatís a DOT thing. As a last resort, we can use the one cent sales tax but I would rather see the state take care of it. Something definitely does need to be done and we need to get the right people in. Iím not a road and bridge engineer so Iím not sure what the most cost effective option would be.

Is there anything youíd like to add?

Thereís three parts to being a good councilman: one is being out in the community. Second part of it is budgets and taxes. If it doesnít feel right to me, I will pick up the phone and call. The third part is political involvement. We have so many different political groups around here. You should be involved and know how the majority of people feel.

Tommy Newell

Newell is a Charleston native and father of three. He graduated from Stratford High school in 1989 and started his own business in 1998.

Why are you running?

Two reasons. One, people in this district were having a hard time getting answers from the council representative. And, two, I would sit here and get upset by watching MSNBC and I said the only way I can change this is to get involved. Itís the way they feel that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same rights as me, and that people on welfare are victims of rich Republicans. You have to learn about politics some how, and thatís the first level of politics in my understanding.

If elected, what is your No. 1 priority?

The divide thatís in Moncks Corner, thatís on council. You have five against three now. You have to tell them they need to put their big boy pants on and pull their heads out of the sand and stop acting like a bunch of knuckle heads. The county is so diverse: you have the Daniel Island area, which is high income, the people there are upper class; then you have the middle class in Goose Creek and Ladson; and then you have a lower middle class out from that. You have to come together as a team and say, ďWhat can we do to take care of everybody?Ē

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, how will you handle that growth?

Iím hoping for responsible growth. Iím hoping houses arenít built right on top of each other. The developments need to take into consideration everything around them. I would talk with the developers, talk with the planning board and make sure if they want certain places zoned that they understand or try to pass an ordinance around these developments. Iím all for growth and development, but I donít want it to look like a tent city either.

Your district has the Sangaree schools, which have been plagued by traffic problems for decades. How can that be fixed?

I was with other residents of Sangaree to meet with Berkeley County Rep. Joe Daning. I think that an elevated crosswalk across Royle Road will give the children an avenue to have safe passage. That said, the supervisor possibly might add that project to the local option sales tax.

Anything youíd like to add?

Iím having fun out on the campaign trail. Itís good to catch up with people Iíve known for 20-30 years.

Jim Royce

Royce is a former school board member from 1986-1998. He currently teaches in the biology department at Trident Technical College.

Why are you running?

I have experience working on the school board, and I have experience working with large budgets and experience with construction projects. The county is going to be involved in a lot of road construction, and I have the background and knowledge to be able to contribute to that. I also have time to help out with our community needs.

If elected, what is your No. 1 priority?

Iíd like to be considered the law and order candidate. Iím really interested in seeing that our sheriffís office gets better funding. I want to continue seeing that the sheriff is properly funded.

There is a significant political divide on county council. Does it need to be fixed?

Diversity of ideas is what our whole society runs on. Itís not like one side is right and one side is wrong. Itís healthy for debate.

Berkeley County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, how will you handle that growth?

Iíd like to see an improvement in the infrastructure and the roads. We have a one-cent sales tax thatís being collected to improve the roads and itís coming up for a vote again. Iím very much in support of that, but what Iíd like to see is that we have the projects listed in the order that they are going to be completed in. I would hope that all of our districts are going to be represented in the one cent sales tax referendum. We should spread the road building around. Everywhere in the county there are needs.

Your district has the Sangaree schools, which have been plagued by traffic problems for decades. How can that be fixed?

Thatís been an item of concern. No. 1, I think a stoplight needs to be put at Sangaree Parkway and Royle Road. I know there has been talk about some sort of bridge going across there. I canít see that being a solution because they are walking in all directions. There are police that control traffic at Stratford High and other places and that works. So there has to be people out there controlling the traffic. Iím in support of a stoplight and increased personnel out there.

Anything youíd like to add?

I like to think that Iím pro-business and that we really need to build the businesses in Berkeley County and bring jobs in. We do that by reducing the impact fees that we are charging these poor folks.

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