From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
For the first time in more than 15 years, Goose Creek mayor Michael Heitzler has a challenger.
Councilman Jerry Tekac is running for mayor. Tekac is quick to say Heitzler has done a good job in many areas, "Obviously over the last three decades Mike has done a wonderful job with the staff, the city, making the city a great place to live."
Tekac says the city also needs to be a great place to work. He wants to attract more business to the city. "If you look at the numbers that we have, we are the 12th biggest city in the state. Most people don't realize that. We're right behind Spartanburg. We have 4200 homes coming in Carnes Crossroads. The issue is, how we going to pay for the service they are going to use?"
Tekac says without more business growth, bad choices may be on the horizon. "It's my belief, and a lot of people's belief that if you don't have corresponding growth, and I'm not talking big box stores, I'm not talking North Charleston or downtown Charleston, but if you don't have corresponding commercial growth, there are only two other things you can do: decrease services or raise taxes. And I'm not in favor of either one of those two."
Steve Tsafos is the owner or Royal Lanes bowling alley. He supports Tekac. "I just feel like it's been stagnant over the years with attracting new business development, and I think Jerry has some good ideas, a good plan to try make all that happen."
Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler says Tekac's plan is news to him. "I'm stunned that he says he's going to do things that I haven't heard before, for the six years he been on city council. I guess he's had a revelation (of) what he wants to do now, but I haven't heard him talking about economic development for the past six years."
He also says he has been attracting business. Heitzler says the new Fender Mender on Highway 52 is an example of businesses that he has attracted. Jonathon Best is the manager for the Fender Mender. He lives in Goose Creek and says Mayor Heitzler is on the right track. "I mean, as you can see, this is the building here. He made it very easy for us to come, and he was very instrumental in making the process easy for us to come to Goose Creek."
Mayor Heitzler says he also wants more business, but only those who will enhance the city. "We are advocates of conscientious commercial development. Not just getting someone to come here, come build here and to bring jobs and the tax base, but conscientious development."
Two visions for a city with a big future. Tekac says it's up to the voters now. "I feel like it's important now to go out and spread the vision, his vision and my vision, and let the voters decide."
The Goose Creek municipal election takes place April the 8th. In addition to the mayor's race, five candidates are running to fill 3 seats on city council.
Photo Credit: Christian Carollo Shutterstock