Dear Hartsville,

I am honored and humbled for this opportunity to speak to you, the people of Hartsville, as your mayor.

I’m proud to represent you. We all share a love for our City, a small town with a big, big heart.

Part of my orientation with the City included reviewing our Mission Statement, which serves as a compact reminder of what we at the City work so hard for:

The mission of the City government of Hartsville shall be to innovatively use all of our resources to create the premier small city in the southeast. This shall be achieved by creating an environment that fosters community collaboration, business entrepreneurship, excellent public service, and an unsurpassed quality of life for our citizens.

Two words in particular stood out: “premier“ and “unsurpassed.”

We don’t work as hard as we do to be good — we aim to be great. To be the best.

Collaboration through unity, growth through entrepreneurship, and excellent public service can combine with community involvement, the spirit of volunteerism, and a passion to make a distinctive and attractive sense of place to advance the quality of life of Hartsville and its people.

Using superlatives like “premier” or “best” in our mission means that we’re never finished. We always can, and always will, try to be better in pursuit of those goals.

The work that has gone into these efforts over the last few decades has yielded something remarkable: two All America City awards, the first in 1996, the second in 2016. We don’t do the work for the awards, but the national recognition of these awards, tells us that we’re doing something right — something remarkable.

However, the campaign journey taught me that not all of us feel like Hartsville deserved those awards. Some of us feel like our communities within Hartsville aren’t represented by those awards. That reminds me that we still have work to do.

So, work we will.

I’m honored and humbled to serve you as your Mayor. I promise you that I will always try to make the best decision for the people of Hartsville, and always strive to serve with integrity and honor. I will always work to make Hartsville better than it has to be.