County Council Primary: Gunn Running on "Common Sense"
Challenger facing incumbent Bob Call in GOP Primary June 12.
With a life outside of politics, County Council candidate Ken Gunn bases a lot of his campaign on common sense.
The candidate will be challenging incumbent Councilman Bob Call in the June 12 GOP Primary in County Council District 3. No Democrat will be on the ballot in November.
Claiming that Call's voting record is "not taxpayer friendly," Gunn said his message to voters has been focused on four points that directly impact the citizens of Berkeley County.
Providing some swift tax relief to county residents is at the top of the list, according to Gunn. The county can take some revenue from a voter-approved 1-cent sales tax and put it toward residential property tax bills. "That's why people voted for it," Gunn said. The money is currently used for capital spending.
Gunn also wants to see the county's Goose Creek satellite office for the treasurer and the auditor reopened. The county closed the office last year.
Gunn said the $50,000 in manpower savings isn't a good enough argument when you consider how many county residents are now driving up to Moncks Corner to do their business.
"They have to keep the building open, anyway," Gunn said. "Berkeley County is the size of Rhode Island — it's a convenience the county should provide."
Gunn said the County Council needs to be more accountable to voters, making meeting agendas easier to decipher and opening up meetings with public comment periods on any topic so that residents don't have to wait to have their voices heard. He also wants to have meetings broadcast live and pushed back to a later time to provide more input.
With fee in lieu of taxes, industries receive a long-term fee agreement as opposed to the year-to-year fluctuations possible in a property tax bill. But Gunn said that also puts the school district at a disadvantage when it isn't including in the fee deal.
"Again, they're taking advantage and using it differently than it was intended," Gunn said, claiming up to $22 million could be going to the district's coffers.
"And the school district is facing a bond referendum in November (for school construction and renovation). I'm a common sense person. When you look at it, it doesn't make sense."
In the end, Gunn said the county should be like managing your own checkbook at home.
"I have not done everything through my life perfectly, but we managed our household to where we are comfortable," he said. "That was by not buying things that we didn't need and managing our funds and our lifestyle correctly."
To learn more about Gunn, visit his website at kengunn.com.
This is the first of two candidate interviews. An interview with incumbent County Councilman Bob Call will be available Tuesday morning.