Republican Primary for Berkeley County Council Dist. 2

Brooks, Sedgwick address the impact of county’s growth, development
Jarrod Brooks and Timothy Sedgwick are running for Berkeley County Council District 2 with the winner replacing outgoing councilman Josh Whitley, who will step down after his third term ends this year.
The candidates shared with The Daniel Island News their vision for Berkeley County, specifically, how they plan to address the county’s needs, and their approach to balancing economic development with conservation.
What are the greatest needs for our district, and what steps will you take to meet those needs?
Jarrod Brooks: Our Berkeley County District 2 needs the continuation of good government principles and leadership on low taxes, supporting small businesses, and directing new growth in community-friendly ways. To me, good government is characterized by: Limited government, balancing growth with quality of life, transparency in decisions and budgeting, efficiency in spending, sonsidering all sides of an issue, actively seeking constituent opinions, finding the best middle ground of ideas, conducting business in a statesman manner. Low taxes are the hallmark of a healthy economy, and we must be vigilant in finding efficiencies in government. Small businesses are the engine that drives local economies. My career has been about helping local owners start their businesses and create jobs. The county must continue to identify ways to make business more efficient, profitable, faster, and easy to comply with as limited regulation as possible. Voters I speak to are rightfully concerned about the impact of new developments on traffic, greenspace, safety, roads, the environment, and conservation. Council has the ability to inform voters of projects that affect them, allow for input, direct growth in thoughtful ways, and incentivize the high-quality developments constituents desire.
Timothy Sedgwick: There are several concerns on the table, such as rural connectivity, utilities, affordable housing, school overcrowding, and teacher retention. However, infrastructure and traffic are the district’s and county’s greatest issues. The county has outgrown its infrastructure at a rapid pace, largely in part due to poor planning and spending. The county has to start taking more of a proactive approach to infrastructure instead of waiting for the growth to happen and then responding. We know where growth is going and how much there will be many years in advance. Funding is achievable as well, not just with penny taxes. There are numerous resources jurisdictions can tap into for infrastructure funding instead of placing that burden solely on taxpayers, just to end up having those taxes go to other things besides infrastructure. Almost my entire career has been spent in infrastructure, utilities, and engineering. I know the means and methods to get these projects expedited from concept to fruition. The relationships I have built across the state from the SCDOT, Army Corps, DHEC, and CZC, along with local jurisdictional contacts, prove to be invaluable in getting these projects completed on time and on or under budget.
How do you see the relationship between development and conservation, and what specific ideas will you bring to council regarding development and conservation?
Jarrod Brooks: Balancing new development with conservation and infrastructure has been a growing concern for me and is one of the reasons I became president of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association and ran for county council. It’s why my campaign materials include my belief, “Preserve our quality of life.” I’ve lived on Daniel Island for 20 years and have seen much change. Much of it was positive for residents. Berkeley County is one of the fastest counties growing in the U.S., and residents have construction fatigue. I recognize there are benefits to development: investment, jobs, convenient businesses, lower taxes, and opportunity for our business base. But these advantages can’t come at the expense of some of the things we value: Lowcountry beauty, access to recreation, safety, and efficient roadways. My approach on council will resemble what residents have already seen in my handling of Holder Properties and Nowell Creek as DINA president. Both properties share the same owners. We researched the impact on our community of the development and the variances requested. We communicated the research to constituents and advocated for the community’s position, which led to Holder adapting the design and the eventual halt of the project. On council, I’ll continue this constituency model to research, inform, and listen. My voting record will allow for guided development in which new projects share costs for their impact on community safety, parking, and roads.
Timothy Sedgwick: Development and conservation need to and can be able to work in harmony. The county has continually placed the blame on developers when, in actuality, the county just hasn’t planned or done enough to harness that growth and use it to its advantage for the communities within it. The real estate/construction/development employment sector has the top three largest employment and the top four highest-paying salaries in the county. The county needs that industry, whether they want to admit it or not. To embody the “Live, work, play” mindset that officials preach during election season, you must know what that means. When master planned, PUD/PD, or development agreements, are agreed upon and executed, the county must ensure there are provisions within those documents to account for open space conservation areas, parks/recreation/amenity areas, density based upon the area, and even go as far as allowing for commercial growth to encourage local businesses to grow within that community. If the area doesn’t allow that type of growth, then that agreement needs to make sure it spells it out. Simply blaming developers for growth in areas that were allowed to grow based upon predetermined agreements is just nonsense. Lastly, I propose a “growth and development impact fee” for every certificate of occupancy (CO) issued in Berkeley County in the area of $1,800 to $2,000. That impact fee will be exclusively for schools, fire, EMS, and police. If an estimated 5,000 COs are issued, that is an account of $10 million in one year’s time. In a matter of a few years, there could be several new schools, fire and EMS stations, and police satellite offices built across the county. 
Describe your leadership experience and style.
Jarrod Brooks: My work is serving on executive teams of franchise systems and leading volunteers for the causes about which I care. I am president of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association, president-elect of SCDTSEA, my industry’s trade association, and chapter advisor to a service organization at my alma mater, the University of South Carolina. One of my responsibilities in managing companies is to look honestly and critically at how we operate and admit transparently to stakeholders areas of weakness in which improvement is needed, how we achieve it, and how we mitigate the risks involved. Most problems don’t require Ivy League degrees to solve but instead a willingness to recognize what’s right to replicate it and what’s wrong to prioritize and fix. I bring executive experience to council using these same tenets of constant process improvement and radical transparency that have created success in my professional life. In terms of managerial approach, I make insightful and principled decisions for long-term value which are driven by conscience, not ego, with highly developed communication, diplomacy, and collaboration skills. If elected on June 11, I’ll invest the next seven months before inauguration, rotating among departments in Berkeley County to learn and make recommendations for the processes, equipment, changes, training, and personnel needed to provide services to citizens with cost delivery and efficiency.
Timothy Sedgwick: My leadership style largely comes from my time in the U.S. Army. To be a good leader, you must be empathetic as well as have a vision and a purpose. In the private sector, I have led teams ranging from a couple people to a few dozen. I have led field crews in construction and utilities, I’ve led small teams at the Charleston County Detention Center, I’ve led large teams enforcing laws at the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, and I’ve led office staff to achieve the vision and mission of our employer. The same goes for public service: public servants should be servant leaders listening to the needs of the community instead of bolstering their personal agendas.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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