I had the great opportunity to have coffees last week with two Councilman candidates, Van Hunter (post 3) and Darryl Petermann (post 4).
Marilyn Hodges didn’t have time to talk to me (although she knocked on my door) and I didn’t hear from the others. This is not to take exception with their position, or to suggest how I myself will vote, but even Jack Kingston returns emails.
I’m not saying…I’m just saying…
At any rate, I had the best time talking with these guys. I appreciate their time and their respect for me as a voter and a resident.
In 1985, Richmond Hill gained another resident. Van Hunter, father of 4, grandfather of 3 and an Army veteran, decided Richmond Hill was the place for him. 22 years later, he would tell you he made the right move.
He gets excited when you ask him about his family. Two children serving in the military, 2 still live here in the Hill, and he drops his grandson off at school. Sounds like he wouldn’t give that taxi driver job to anybody.
City Councilman is another job he wants. Pretty bad it seems – this is his third run at the seat.
Van believes there needs be to be changes on the council. With all the big growth happening in Richmond Hill, Van thinks it important to have a voice on the council that will disagree with what he feels is Mayor Davis’ manner of “stacking and pack” current development.
“Lessen the density, more active green space, and hold developers accountable.” These are the big issues according to Van. He thinks the putting the planned convention center in the park is a bad idea due to overcrowding and limited green space. Maybe a larger area down Hwy 17S would be a better location.
“There’s no effort to support small business.” Van thinks that there is so much emphasis placed on development that those who are already here get overlooked.
Van will tell you the council needs somebody on the council that will not be the Mayor’s “yes man.” He will tell you the council needs a consistency, a conscious, and a backbone. Van will tell you he is all those things.
At a little eatery in Savannah, Darryl Petermann, retired detective, thought he was going to have to break up a fight. He had spent enough time in law enforcement to know to stay calm. He was not sure if the four men were truly angry or joking loudly. He would wait until the waitress came back. If she had to deal with any trouble, he would take care of that. Then he heard an odd noise and turned around to look again. The four men had joined hands around the table, bowed their heads, and had joined together to bless their food.
This moment stayed with Darryl as this Manhattan, New Yorker was making a decision to move with his beloved. Richmond Hill was that place. Darryl and his wife owned a small business in Pooler. They have been married 40 years and have worked together for 25 of those.
Recently retired, Darryl has turned his attention to running for City Council. Living here for 8 years, Darryl loves what he calls Richmond Hill’s “Small town charm.” Darryl believes the growth is poorly planned and headed in the wrong direction.
Darryl thinks that industrial development is the way to go. He believes it is the best use of land outside of the city limits, will provide great job opportunity, can attract civilian contractors for the military, and eliminates many of the issues he feels are problems with the current form of growth.
Want to read more? Darryl is the only candidate (as far as I know) with his own website. He built the site himself, writes, his own articles, and plans to keep it running if elected.
*The Bryan County News (Ross Blair) has an article previewing all the candidates. You can find that by clicking here.