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Camden Councilwoman Laurie Parks announces bid for mayor

Parks Says city must continue with downtown revitalization while maintaining small town way-of-life

Posted: March 31, 2016 4:27 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2016 1:00 a.m.
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Laurie Parks

Camden City Councilwoman Laurie Parks has announced she is running for mayor of the city of Camden.

"A strong community leader, Laurie Parks is known in the Camden community for her passion and drive to move the city forward," a press release announcing Park’s candidacy stated.

Parks’ involvement and leadership is on local and national levels. Recently, she received the Bronze Certificate Leadership Fellow Award from the National League of Cities (NLC) at their Annual Congressional City Conference in Washington D.C. Parks serves on the NLC’s Steering Committee for Community, Economic Development Committee as well as the Youth, Education and Families Committee, representing the state of South Carolina. She is also a member of the NLC’s Women in Municipal Government and a graduate of Leadership South Carolina. Parks is a graduate of Palmetto Leadership of Kershaw County. She went on to chair this program and received the Nettles Award from the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce for outstanding community service. Parks is a 2015 graduate of Camden’s first Citizen’s Planning College and a 2015 graduate of the city’s historic preservation class. Currently, Parks is participating in the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative Program, The Riley Institute, through Furman University.

"Parks is also a strong advocate for the young people - the future - of our community," the press release stated.

She serves as the chair of Junior Leadership of Kershaw County, on the board of Kershaw County Special Olympics, past chair of the Foster Care Review Board of Kershaw and Richland Counties (awarded State Board of the Year in 2012), Camden Kiwanis Club Board Member, Camden Community Theatre Board of the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center and a Board Member of IMPACT Kershaw County. In 2015, the Girl Scouts of South Carolina selected her as a "Woman of Distinction."

During her time on Camden City Council, Parks was involved in the transformation of downtown Camden, the renovation of the City Arena and the creation of the park where the Maxway Building stood. She was involved in the hiring of the Arnett Muldrow Consulting Firm, and worked as a member of the Technical Committee for the rebranding of the city of Camden. As a member of the committee, Parks worked to develop a Tourism Study and Marketing Strategy that brought several new businesses into the city. She has pushed for initiatives to enhance tourism; including hiring a new Director of Tourism; as an industry for the community while reinforcing the quality of life for Camden residents. Parks worked on the steering committee to update Camden’s historic design guidelines to make them on-line and user-friendly. She also worked on and eventually passed "The Bailey Bill" a tax incentive program for the renovation of historic properties.

"It is important that local governments recognize that they exist to provide services to all of the their citizens. Historically, our city was a destination city. We have worked to preserve our history and small town way-of-life; yet also make it a place that people want to visit, live and watch future generations flourish. This race is about the city of Camden; a beautiful city that I am so proud to call home. With your help and support, I would be honored to serve as your next mayor. I look forward to earning your vote," Councilwoman Parks said.

Parks attended the University of Georgia and is married to Westley Parks. They have two children Caroline, married to Jon, and Connor and 1 granddaughter, Collins. They are active members of Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church. In 2012 she ran for Camden City Council and received the most votes of all four candidates according to the press release.

To find out more about Councilwoman Laurie Parks, visit http://www.laurieparks.com and follow the campaign on social media.

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