Summerville voters disappointed mayoral candidate doesn't show

VIDEO: Summerville voters disappointed mayoral candidate doesn't show

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - More than 100 people showed up for Tuesday's Summerville mayor forum, hoping to hear from both candidates.
They were shocked when only one candidate showed up, current Mayor Bill Collins.

"I hoped that the other candidate would be here so we'd get the opportunity to see him," said Jane Orenstein, who's lived in Summerville for 17 years.

"I hope they agree to a similar type of forum so the general population has an opportunity to hear from both candidates," said Judith Dossett, 20-year resident of Summerville.

Even without his competition, Mayor Bill Collins addressed the room and started by discussing an issue at the front and center of many people's minds, growth.

"It was growth that brought me here and it's growth that we're talking about now," said Mayor Collins. "And, I believe it's growth that makes you go forward."

According to the town, from 2010 to 2014, Summerville grew by more than 10%, moving from the 14th largest city in the state to the 7th.

Mayor Collins talked about managing that growth and embracing it, how to make Summerville more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, as well as things like small businesses.

"There is no way our business will not flourish in the future," said Mayor Collins.

Alongside incumbent town councilman Terry Jenkins, also up for re-election, Mayor Collins answered questions that had been submitted to the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce.

Among the things brought up, the vision for the planned boutique hotel. It's a $30 million private project, something Mayor Collins supports.

Many others are hoping to see soon.

"I hope to see that hotel built," said Orenstein.

In just a few weeks, voters will choose between Mayor Bill Collins and Wiley Johnson.
They just wished Tuesday evening they could have heard from both candidates about their vision for a place they call home.

"Summerville has opportunity," said Dossett.

Town Council candidate Christine Czarnik also chose not to attend the forum.
A debate is scheduled for October 21. 
The mayoral election is set for November 3.

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