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Scully announces campaign for Camden mayor

Posted: July 10, 2012 4:41 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Tony Scully, former TV script writer and author of “The Voices of Camden,” has announced a run against incumbent Camden Mayor Jeffrey Graham. Scully says he has the backing of a newly formed “Business Advisory Alliance” and others who say the city’s hospitality tax has yet to positively impact Camden’s hospitality industry.

Community volunteer Tony Scully is announcing his candidacy for mayor of Camden in the Nov. 6 election. Scully, married to theatre and film actress Joy Claussen Scully, says he will campaign to bring people together again in an open government focusing on economic recovery.

“I am running for mayor because we need to restore and welcome public participation in city government,” Scully said. “We’ll launch a better process for progress -- one that welcomes the voices of Camden into the decisions that shape our future.

“Many people tell me their voices are being ignored and, as a result, the city is missing the boat -- the economic recovery boat. Who better than the local businesses who have survived this downturn to recommend the best ways the city should invest in boosting our economy?”

Scully announced that local business owners are volunteering to serve on what he is calling his “Business Advisory Alliance.” He said more than 25 business leaders have already joined the alliance chaired by Jonathan Bazinet, owner of Sam Kendall’s, and Creighton Miles, owner of TenEleven Galleria.

According to Bazinet, “The business community is upset with the improper use of the hospitality tax. Council has had almost three years of collecting the tax and little to none of it has been invested to promote Camden and its businesses. The hospitality industry in this city has been completely ignored.”

Honorary chairpersons of Scully’s broad-based campaign volunteers are the Rev. William “Chip” Summers and Don Terrell. Scully said former Camden City Councilman Tony Boykin is acting as his campaign treasurer.

“Our first focus needs to be economic recovery,” Scully said. “There is so much incredible talent in this town. We will recognize and appreciate the value of business leaders in re-shaping Camden as the new star attraction in our state. We want to advertise Camden as one of the best places to visit in South Carolina.

“The city has a serious responsibility to deliver what other successful towns in South Carolina are already doing -- working with businesses to develop plans that help them grow and create new jobs. We cannot create a sound economy by simply annexing neighborhoods or by wastefully spending millions of dollars of our hospitality tax on only one non-revenue producing venture like an unrealistically large YMCA. And, yes, we must look at recreation facilities -- but we should re-visit those plans made years ago and get it right this time so we can afford to build and maintain them.”

Scully said he will usher in a new era of working together with county government to reduce costs and deliver more efficient uses of city tax revenue.

“I want to work with county council to build a strong partnership that improves both our tourism and our recreation. I believe that if we pull together towards common goals, we’ll create a better Camden and Kershaw County. That’s why I’m running for office -- because our best days are still ahead of us. We feel privileged to be a part of this great community and volunteer whenever and wherever we can,” Scully said.

Scully works with youth at the Continuous Learning Center and chairs the White House initiative targeting childhood obesity, “Let’s Move Cities and Towns” for Camden and Kershaw County. Last year, in addition to bringing the children’s health program, The OrganWise Guys, to the Kershaw County school district, he co-founded Camden’s Mini-Olympics.

Scully’s wife, Joy, volunteers at the Community Medical Clinic is a member of the board of directors of the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County.

Scully says he was particularly encouraged by the progressive outlook and practical enthusiasm of the many people who signed his petition for candidacy.

“I wanted to continue meeting voters, but I finally stopped when I had almost 500 signatures -- and now I look forward to walking through every neighborhood I can to learn more,” he said.

A native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Gonzaga High School (“four blocks from the Capitol”), Boston College, and the Yale School of Drama, Scully wrote for Broadway and off-Broadway. In Los Angeles, he wrote TV scripts and consulted on production. He directed Return to Innocence, a charitable foundation for the prevention of childhood and multi-generational abuse. He also served on the board for the Vocal Arts Foundation in New York City, American Irish Historical Society in Los Angeles, Camden’s Upton Trio, the Columbia Children’s Theatre, and presently is a trustee of Historic Camden.

Scully recently edited and contributed to the book, “The Voices of Camden,” to benefit the Fine Arts Center, now on sale at the Fine Arts Center.

“My extended family reflect every political persuasion. I learned at a young age to respect and welcome the opinions and feelings of everyone; and on all sides I was taught that God is love,” Scully said. “I believe that if we pull together for the common good, we can create an even more prosperous, happier city. That’s why I’m running for office.”


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