CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston mayoral candidate John Tecklenburg says he wants to be mayor "because I love this place that much."
Tecklenburg, a commercial realtor is one of six people hoping to succeed the retiring Joe Riley.
Tecklenburg has never run for political office, but says his business background qualifies him to lead the city for the next four years.
He lives West of the Ashley and wants to revitalize that part of the city.
"We need a face lift and put some of these older, tired commercial properties back to use," Tecklenburg said.
Tecklenburg served as the city's economic development director from the mid to late 1990's.
He supervised the city's 'Streetscape' beautification project on Upper King Street.
The project included new sidewalks, curbing, street lights and underground power lines.
As mayor, he plans to focus on economic development in other parts of the city.
"That's the kind of thing I see we need West Ashley, particularly along Sam Rittenberg. I call it strategic economic development. That's what I plan to do," Tecklenburg said.
The candidate also wants to take a hard look at the city's zoning laws after the Sgt. Jasper apartments development controversy.
Tecklenburg opposes the plan, saying it's just too much.
"As Wendy's would say, they were supersizing."
He says the biggest complaint he's getting from voters is traffic congestion.
Tecklenburg says there's no direct funding source that comes to the city for building new roads and bridges.
He's calling for an overhaul of the public transit system.
"It's really not a viable alternative for most folks to use CARTA or existing system. It needs to be elevated, a quantum leap in quality and service," Tecklenburg said.
Tecklenburg said if elected, he wants to create a central city service desk where citizens can call one number to ask for services.
"I want Charleston to be the number one place to live," he said.