WINNSBORO — The April 2 municipal election in Winnsboro will decide the outcome for three seats: District 2, District 4 and the mayor’s seat.
District 2 candidates are Sonya Kennedy and Stan Klaus, and the three mayoral candidates are incumbent Mayor Roger A. Gaddy, Town Councilmen Bill Haslett and resident Michael L. Davis. All five have been previously profiled in The Herald Independent.
Incumbent District 4 Councilman Jack Wilkes will be profiled March 26.
Today’s profile is of District 4 challenger Pam Smith.
Name: Pamela Loftin Smith
Date of birth: May 16, 1951
Marital status/family: Married to Ronald P Smith with one son, Ronald Bradley Smith
Education: Attended USC, and many took educational courses over the years in insurance, business and personal development.
Current Employment: Retired from both Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company and Gulf Coast Business Concepts.
Prior political experience: I do not have any political experience. I am a newbie at politics and do not have additional aspirations other than city council. I feel strongly compelled at this time to be a vocal representative for the citizens of my community by serving on city council.
1. Briefly discuss your background and qualifications for the office you are seeking. I worked in Colonial Life & Accident’s corporate office for 17 years in many positions including, liaison for our office in Canada working with the Canadian Government ensuring we followed all laws and policies to do business in that country. After moving to Florida in 1987 I became a sales representative/manager with responsibilities including developing new accounts, working with insureds on their needs while adhering to all state insurance department requirements. I was also part owner and Secretary/Treasurer of Gulf Coast Business Concepts being responsible for all aspects of personnel including; hiring employees, payroll, worker’s comp, and tax reporting.
2. Why are you running for City Council? In business and in life we must “inspect” what we“expect”and this will give me the opportunity and resources to do that. My education, work experience and life experiences to rely on, as well as contacts in higher government, and memberships in state and national organizations will be a great benefit. I would like to see the inevitable changes which occur to be thought out and planned. Changes happen and we need to actively work to make those changes ones we want and can appreciate. I will be a vocal “Voice” for all citizens.
3. What would you do to foster economic development in the town? We need to expand on our infrastructure so we can attract new business. I strongly believe a town our size should plan and work toward our infrastructure needs in an organized manner which will make a significant impact on our growth. We need to support current and new businesses and make Congress St. and the rest of our town safe, clean and inviting.
4. How would you improve the situation in the town? I feel we are at a critical crossroad in the future of our town. We have a rich history and need to maintain that history while planning to enrich our future. It is imperative for us to research and network to secure and welcome small businesses. Through being proactive in marketing and by making proactive decisions (rather than retroactive) we will move in the right direction. We can gain a wealth of knowledge through contacts and a little work. We also need to show more appreciation to those employees of the town who work hard to do their jobs. Some town employees really go beyond what is required and they deserve recognition.
5. In your opinion, what are the biggest issues facing the town? The answer is simple - water, commerce and quality of life. There are resources available to help in all these areas.
6. What do you feel is the most important aspect of this position? The most important aspect of this position is to work to maintain an affordable tax load for the residents of Winnsboro while providing needed services to everyone. There are grants and other government funding available if we constructively work to secure them. This position needs to be vocal and active with all agencies. Through my statewide and national memberships, relationships and experiences I could help market our town which can benefit us in meeting many of our needs. We need to take advantage of all opportunities.
7. What will your number one priority be if you are elected? Foremost on my priority list will be to see cash flow, assets and debts of the town and look at the flow chart and to see all responsibilities of the town. Recently I went in circles never finding answers as to who was responsible for street signs. I have seen emergency vehicles unable to find folks in need because signs were vandalized and not replaced. In addition, we need to communicate more frequently with the residents and be available to answer questions or give direction when needed. Communication and availability is key.
8. What is your favorite book and why? Of course my first thought was to say the Bible is my favorite book; however, the Bible is more a way of life, a guide to what we all should do to thank Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins, a and a reference when we need guidance. After saying all that, I would say my favorite book is “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. This book teaches about “perspective” and deals with many of life’s biggest questions and at the same time was an absolute delight to read.
9. If you are not a native of Fairfield County and/or Winnsboro, where are you from originally and when did you move here? I am privileged and proud to be a native of Winnsboro. Both my Loftin grandparents and parents lived here and I was born here and will die here. I did move to Columbia when I was 18 to go to USC and to work. My husband and I moved to Tampa, Florida in 1987 which gave me vast knowledge of life in both large and small towns. I happily returned 12 years ago. Through time in Florida and extensive travel, I learned much which is valuable in so many ways especially in representing my community on Town Council.