Lake City mayoral hopeful has list of goals
LAKE CITY, S.C. – Gloria C. Tisdale is seeking the Lake City mayor’s seat again this year, running against incumbent Lovith Anderson Jr. and Yamekia Robinson. And Tisdale is not new to local government.
The former councilwoman served Lake City residents for 16 years and ran for mayor four years ago. She has entered the mayor’s race this year with a list of goals she would like to accomplish, if elected, ranging from establishing more youth activities to seeking alternate funding for city projects.
Tisdale, a Lake City native, said she felt she was ineffective when she was on the city council because of the form of government: strong mayor and weak council. She said there were some things she felt needed attention, and she could only accomplish them as mayor.
One of those things is the need for more grant funds.
“I’d like to see Lake City government reach out for grants, to be more actively involved in seeking grants,” Tisdale said. “I think that Lake City is missing out on a lot of things. And a lot of times when certain projects come up, then the expense of it falls back on the citizens.”
Tisdale said if the city had someone who could actively seek grants and apply for them, that would lift some of the burden off residents.
The number of abandoned houses in the city is another situation that needs attention, Tisdale said, because of the health and safety risks associated with them.
“Some of them, you can’t even see anymore, the trees and the grass have grown all around, she said. “But it’s still there, and that risk is still there. And we need to start being more actively involved in getting those places torn down. They’re an eyesore for the community, as well as a health risk.”
There are some houses in Lake City that can be rehabilitated, Tisdale said. When the economy crashed about 10 years ago, she said, a lot of people lost their homes.
“And when you have a community of renters, it doesn’t do anything to promote the town,” Tisdale said. “People take pride in ownership, and having their own home is an accomplishment. It’s what everybody wants. Everybody wants to own their own home and we definitely need to provide that for them so they can be a part of Lake City and feel like they’re doing their fair share as far as the town is concerned.”
Tisdale said she is all in for affordable housing as it has been a hot topic in Lake City, but she also supports restoring homes.
“We have houses that can probably be rehabilitated and people can buy into that,” Tisdale said.” Right now, we’re talking about houses to be built, affordable houses. What about the houses we have in town that we can rehab and people can do that as well?”
In addition to addressing the need for more youth activities and alternate funding for city projects, Tisdale said, one of her top priorities as mayor would be to establish a neighborhood council. That neighborhood council would be composed of community members and serve as an advisory board for the mayor and council.
“We could get people in the community on an advisory board just to advise the mayor and council on situations that may be happening in their community,” Tisadale said.
The neighborhood council would also be a way to open the lines of communication between the mayor, council and the community.
While downtown Lake City is booming, Tisdale said, she does not see anything happening in the communities. She said it seems as if the rest of the city has been forgotten.
“We’re supposed to be there to make their (all residents) lives better,” Tisdale said. “And I don’t see that being done.”
Ensuring the entire city receives attention is something that can be done, but it just takes determination, she said.
In addition to serving on the Lake City City Council for 16 years, Tisdale worked in the public school system for 31 years and holds offices on local boards including the Committee for Educational Excellence, the Ronald E. McNair Jr. Committee and the Greater Lake City Lions Club.
“I have always worked for the improvement of Lake City,” Tisdale said. “I am dedicated and committed to improving the lives of the people in Lake City. I believe that my past experience has given me the opportunity to understand the complexities of how things work, how things can be done and the hard work and dedication it takes to move my ideas forward.”