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Parks aims for Camden City Council seat

Posted: August 7, 2012 5:40 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Laurie M. Parks officially announced her candidacy recently for Camden City Council. She is seeking election to one of the two open seats in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“I am excited to offer my candidacy for city council and look forward to serving my fellow residents of Camden. I promise to serve with integrity and am committed to a grassroots effort to get local government back in touch with the citizens of Camden,” Parks said.

She said her background in community involvement and experience with leadership organizations gives her an awareness of the problems and issues facing Camden.

“We need to come together as a community if we are to grow and move forward. People should come first, not politics,” she said.

Parks is a 1999 graduate of Palmetto Leadership Kershaw County and graduated from Leadership South Carolina in 2002. She is the current chair of the Camden’s Historic Landmarks Commission and a past vice-chair of the Kershaw County Human Relations Commission. She also serves on the S.C. Foster Care Review Board as a representative for Kershaw and Richland counties.

“I want to see Camden continue to grow and prosper, but in order to do that we need to work together. A house divided will fall,” Parks said. “I believe I have the skills to help Camden overcome some of the obstacles it is now facing while maintaining the historic heritage and quality of life that our citizens hold so dearly.”

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Parks attended the University of Georgia. She and her husband, Westley, moved to Camden in 1998 and reside on Lyttleton Street. Westley is vice president of NEFF Rental. They have three children: daughter Caroline (currently working on her masters in Special Education at Francis Marion University) married to Jon Watts (a police officer for the city of Florence); daughter Sarah, recent graduate of the University of North Florida; and son Connor, who currently attends Central Carolina Technical College.

Parks is an active member of Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church and serves as chair of its membership committee. She is the 2007 recipient of the William F. Nettles Award from the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce for outstanding service. She is the past co-chair of Palmetto Leadership Kershaw County, as well as the current chair of Junior Leadership Kershaw County and sits on the boards of both the Camden Kiwanis Club and Historic Camden Foundation.

Parks is also active in the Kershaw County Special Olympics; United Way of Kershaw County; Kershaw County Cares; Food For The Soul; and the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, where she is a former board member of Camden Community Theatre. She is also a past board member of the Girl Scout Council of the Congaree Area and Kershaw County Community in Schools.

“I look forward to campaigning during the next few months and getting to meet as many people as possible,” Parks said. “I also welcome the opportunity to hear from folks about what is important to them so I can represent them in the best way possible.”

Parks said supporters can contact her through her website, www.laurieparks.com, or on Facebook as Laurie Parks - Candidate for Camden City Council.

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