Since this article is about transparency, it is right and proper for me to make the reader aware that Lexington Town Councilman Ron Williams is a friend and a neighbor.
When Lexington Councilman Ron Williams told me he was thinking of running for Mayor, I was surprised and confused . It isn’t like him to do something just for the heck of it and I can’t see him do it for ego or self promotion.
“Well, I don’t like the way the Mayor is running the council.”
Huh? What are you talking about?
“I can’t go into specifics.”
Ron. My friend. That ain’t a campaign platform. What has he done?
“I can’t say.”
“I can’t say because a lot of the stuff he does and says happens in executive session.”
“We can’t talk about what goes on in executive session.”
“It’s the law.”
And he didn’t tell me.
Oh, he would occasionally grumble about something, but he would do it without any details. Every once in a while he would ask if I had heard about something going on in town or ask for an opinion. I could tell there was more to the questions than friendly curiosity.
And with that, I was off to find out what was going on in Town Hall that prompted Ron Williams to spend time, money and, potentially, his reputation, to run for Mayor when he was already on the Town Council.
Lexington is enjoying an economic boom. Navigating the challenges to smartly accommodate growth and take advantage if it without burdening taxpayers is critical. Lexington is doing that thanks to the Town Council and even the previous mayor as well as Town Administrator, Britt Poole, and his superb staff.
It should be reasonable to also credit the Mayor with the town’s success. But my research and conversations with people in the Town and county led me to the unfortunate revelation that Steve MacDougall, Mayor of my adopted home, is not the person to BE mayor. It became evident that he doesn’t have the temperment, character or integrity to lead.
Without a leader who is trustworthy, honest and and shares a vision and values with the Council AND the citizens, that economic boom will be squandered and the Town of Lexington doomed
As the economy grows – along with population, traffic, infrastructure needs and problems yet to be identified – Lexington needs an intellectually muscular, responsive, honest and broad-minded Town Council and Mayor.
Recent events and revelations and even his own words, have proven that the current Mayor is neither qualified nor fit to continue to hold the office.
Ron and I have talked about a lot of things from the serious to the goofy, and in those conversations I’ve learned alot about the guy and where his heart is. So, I encouraged my friend to run for Mayor. Had I not found out about the underlying leadership problems in Lexington, I would NOT have supported the idea. In fact, I would have tried to keep Ron from doing something that, in my opinion would have embarrassed him and damaged his brand. Running for office for one’s ego or political resume is not something I support. Public office is for service, not glory, prestige or personal gain.
Neither is Ron.
An accomplished man of community service, Ron knows, practices and teaches teamwork and decision-making. He has worked with the Boy Scoys for over 20 years, coached youth soccer, is on the Woodcreek Ho,eowners Association Board and, with his wife, Catherine, a kindergarten teacher, serves in various capacities at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Ron also volunteers at Lexington Elementary School and earlier this year was chosen Palmetto State School Counselor Association (PSSCA) School Counselor Advocate of the Year Award. He is clearly a public servant, whether he is Mayor, Councilman, Scout leader, or church and school volunteer.
Ron Wiliams doesn’t deserve to be Mayor. No one deserves public office.
But I honestly believe Lexington deserves to have Ron Williams as Mayor.