Blackwell, Williams face off at Winthrop University in West Forum debate

Posted September 27, 2012 10:50 pm | Filed under 2012 Election, Local News

Andrew Kiel |
The two candidates for York County Council’s District 6 seat faced off in what may have very well been the final debate between incumbent Britt Blackwell and challenger Gary Williams Thursday.

The two spoke before an audience at Winthrop’s DiGiorgio Student Center, trading barbs on the effectiveness of the incumbent and the challenger’s intentions if elected. At one point, the two were asked about the effectiveness of incentives for businesses moving into York County.

Blackwell, an Optician, said York County’s competitiveness needs to rival that of Mecklenburg County.

Williams, though, said he supports incentives based on the type of business moving to York County and whether or not the jobs are moving a few miles down the Interstate, or brand new, in the case of BMW in the Upstate.

Williams said the bi-weekly council meetings are downright embarrassing – and the lack of focus and respect among council members is shameful.

Andrew Kiel |
Blackwell said that many of the issues the council has had stem from five new members in the first term.

Both men did find some common ground in the lack of new growth in the western portions of York County.

Blackwell, in his first term as council chairman, says that there’s no infrastructure for large businesses like a Boeing or BMW to claim a stake in York County.

Williams said that council should be working with landowners to help identify large parcels of land where the BMWs of the world can set their eyes on and set up shop.

That one building is a speculative building built by the county’s economic development arm to help lure new business to the county.




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