WINNSBORO — Two candidates are vying for the Town of Winnsboro City Council District Two seat in the upcoming April 2 election. The candidates will participate in a forum March 21 at the Winnsboro Woman’s Club. The public is invited to attend.
The district two candidates are Sonya Kennedey and Stan Klaus. The election April 2 will also include Winnsboro Mayor and City Council District 4.
Each of the city council candidates completed a survey for The Herald Independent to share more about why they want to become council members. Stan Klaus will be profiled in the March 19 edition of The Herald Independent , District 4 candidate Pam Smith will be profiled March 22 while Town Councilman Jack Wilkes will be profiled March 26. Today’s profile is of Sonya Kennedy.
Name: SONYA KENNEDY
Date of birth: June 10, 1960
Marital status/family: Divorced – Live with my mother Viola D. Kennedy. Three “furry” babies: Ghana Kennedy 13 years, Makz Well Smart, 11, and Winz Lo Smart, deceased (2/13/13 at age 8)
Education: B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Tuskegee University
Current Employment: Health Teacher – Fairfield County Schools
Prior political experience: None
Winnsboro Town Council
1. Briefly discuss your background and qualifications for the office you are seeking. I was born and raised in Winnsboro and love this town. I have lived and worked as an educator in the school system for the past 7 1/2 years. Being in education I understand many of the issues that face our schools and our students. As someone new to politics, I believe I can bring some fresh perspectives to our Town Council. I will work hard to develop relationships with community organizations. I have served on the Planning Commission for the past two years in which we updated the Town’s Zoning Ordinance and served as secretary this past year. Because of the passion have for this town, I feel that I have the qualities in a candidate that will serve the Town of Winnsboro. I will communicate, be accessible to the residents, and put the needs of the residents of the Town of Winnsboro first.
2. Why are you running for City Council? As I stated, I am a native of Winnsboro and moved back home in 2005. I love Winnsboro. It seems as though the surrounding counties are making changes for the better and I would like the same for us. I have been home for almost eight years and Winnsboro seems to be stagnant. If council represents the voice of the community, then I want to be part of that voice that makes better strides towards finding out what are our resident’s concerns. I want to do as much as I can to try to get the community to be aware of what’s going on. We cannot build our city until we empower our own citizens. I want to become more involved and make a difference here in Fairfield County. I believe the best way to do that is to become a part of the decision-making process.
3. What would you do to foster economic development in the town? Our town needs to hire an economic development manager to aid in the process of developing our town. I would like to think that a healthy town can lift the economic health and quality of life in a town such as ours. Having a healthy town shows pride.
4. How would you improve the situation in the town? I am very proud to say that this is my home town. First of all, we need to clean up our town, make parking more accessible, take ownership, and be proud of our town. Our downtown has so many possibilities. We have to strictly enforce the zoning codes for both businesses and residents and build upon that.
5. In your opinion, what are the biggest issues facing the town? The biggest issue to me is the lack of growth in Winnsboro. We have lost businesses since I have moved back home. Being from here, it’s painful to ride or even run around town and see all the vacant buildings. I would work with council and the chamber of commerce to foster an environment where businesses can come in and fill those vacant places. We have to research for programs that are designed to bring businesses to our town. We need to keep our local dollars here. Also, to resolve our current water issues, we need to work with the other water companies to develop a joint water authority.
6. What do you feel is the most important aspect of this position? The most important aspect of this position is being able to listen to all views from council members, listening to the citizens we serve, making the right decisions by putting our citizens first, and voting your conscience.
7. What will your number one priority be if you are elected? My number one priority would be to improve the quality of life for our residents by ensuring that this town is cleaned up. We need to take pride and ownership in our town. I also would like to see the water issues resolved as well. We need to explore every possible way to conserve and lower the cost of water.
8. What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Journeys - a 31 day walk through the book of Psalms by Dr. J. Stephen Chitty. When I feel that I am slipping away from God, reading Psalms seem to draw me nearer to Him.