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Long won’t seek a third term

Posted: May 30, 2014 1:55 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Camden City Councilman Walter Long will not seek a third term this November.

“I’m honored to have served the city of Camden for the past eight years,” Long said in a press release. “It was a difficult decision not to run for re-election. I love Camden and it has truly been a privilege to serve and to have had a leadership role in its future.”

Voters first elected Long to office in November 2006. He has served with three different mayors and three different city managers.

During his tenure, Long proposed, and ultimately obtained passage of, legislation to eliminate smoking from restaurants and businesses within the city limits. He also proposed the city’s current ordinance outlawing distracted driving (a/k/a, texting while driving). Camden was the second city in the state to ban texting while driving. Numerous cities have since followed suit and the state legislature is considering a statewide ban on texting while driving.

During his first year in office, Long proposed the city’s current façade grant program which has been very successful in providing incentives to property owners and has helped revitalize store fronts and rear entrances to businesses in Camden.

“I felt very strongly that if government is asking businesses to improve their property and asking that it look a certain way, then government needs to be involved in providing an incentive,” Long said.

He said he feels his most important role as a council member has been to propose, and or, support infrastructure projects throughout the city.

“It’s essential to promote an environment that will help attract new businesses, support existing businesses, and attract new residents to our town,” Long said.

Projects of note during his tenure include undergrounding of utilities and new lighting on the DeKalb Street, Dusty Bend, and Historic Camden corridors;  redevelopment of the city parking lot, now known as the Town Green, as well as the redevelopment of the Rutledge Street and Commerce Alley parking lots; the acquisition and ultimate demolition of the old Maxway building; and construction of the city’s new state of the art wastewater treatment facility.

 “I want to thank my friends and family, especially my wife, Staci, for being very supportive of me during my time on council,” Long said. “I hope that my time in office has made a positive impact in Camden. “

Long is a senior vice president at First Palmetto Bank. He and his wife have three children.

At the end of April, Councilman Willard Polk also announced he would not seek reelection to council. With both he and Long stepping down from council at the end of their terms, that means those seats will be filled by new council members. The filing period for the two city council seats ends July 15. Prospective candidates must turn in a petition by that deadline to the city clerk containing the signatures of 5 percent of the city’s registered voters.

City voters will go to the polls during the general election on Nov. 4.

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