Family: wife Carol and a son and daughter, city resident since 1976
Education: A.B. Degree from Erskine College, 1976, with a Major in History and Political Science and a Minor in Business, J.D. Degree, 1980, Woodrow Wilson Law School
Currently owner of Sigman-Mills Furniture Company Inc.
Web site: www.electmayormills.com
For Randy Mills, who has been in office of mayor since 1998 and been on the council since 1989, serving in public office for such a long period of time requires passion.
"The primary reason most of us run is you want to make a difference," Mills said. "In this job, you’ve got to have the passion. You have to come without any agenda. We’ve got so many projects mid-stream. I think this is a critical juncture in our community."
Among those projects are the long-term planning and development of a revitalized Olde Town and corridor along West Avenue.
"Plus we’ve got a great team there," he added. "Our team has made incredible progress in the last 12 years. Every objective we have set out, from investing the money in the historic district to putting a land use plan in place," he said, has seen progress.
On his Web site, Mills describes his four top issues as financial accountability as one of his four top issues, along with public safety, land use planning and economic development.
"When you look at our council, all of us are small business men. We really forecasted in ‘06 that there would be a downturn. We didn’t realize it was going to be three years long," said Mills. "We started stocking money in reserves, locking in interest rates, whatever they might have been to prepare us for what was coming down the pike. We still rolled back taxes the last two years. Even though it didn’t mean maybe $25 on a house, it would do that much more to help."
Mills is also a proponent of land use planning and "smart growth" he said. "Job growth and population growth are two different things… If you’re growing 20 percent a year, but you don’t have the infrastructure to keep up with that growth, you (wear out) the infrastructure," he said. He pointed out that the council has taken a number of steps to "ensure smart growth and good growth," such as limiting the number of multi-family unit permits.
"To maintain the quality of life you’ve really got to have the master plan and a council working together."
As for economic growth by bringing jobs in, "we’re working as hard as we’ve ever worked," he said. "The cooperation between city and county and joint effort of CREDC, and Glen Sears as well as Charles Walker, we’ve got a great team." - M.K.