Record 12 running for Boykins Council

Published 8:16 am Friday, April 30, 2010

BOYKINS—Boykins Town Councilwoman Carolyn Modlin was surprised to learn there are 12 candidates for five seats on the Town Council for the Tuesday, May 4, election.

“I’ve lived here for years and can well remember when it was difficult to find people that wanted to run for town office,” Modlin said.

Boykins Mayor R. Spier Edwards, who is unopposed in his re-election bid, called the election historic.

“To my knowledge—and some of the older people in our town that are a lot older than I am—I have never known 12 people to run for five seats,” Edwards said. “It’s just kind of unheard of, in our town anyway.”

Town Council candidate Gary Baugham said a few people concerned there wouldn’t be enough candidates had approached him.

“So I was shocked when it came out in the paper and it was actually 12,” Baughman said. “I think it’s a good thing.”

Both Edwards and Modlin said the town’s mandatory trash ordinance, which caused a flare-up last year, is likely what pushed some candidates to run.

“For some of those that decided to run, that, I’m sure, had a place in it,” said Modlin, who was appointed to the council last year and is running in her first election.

Edwards cautioned that candidates should be thinking about the big picture.

“We need to have people on the council that see the needs of all the citizens and not just their personal concerns,” he said.

Town Council candidate Maggie Ahkey said the number of people running for office was not a surprise, especially considering the garbage ordinance and other issues in town.

“Everybody’s frustrated,” Ahkey said. “They’re tired of the same nonsense.”

She said it’s time for some “fresh blood” and new ideas on the council.

“It’s time to stop just thinking about the clique and think about the whole community,” Ahkey said.

Incumbents Modlin, Linda Beatty, Amy Gautier and Mike Gadsby will face off against Ahkey, Baugham, Daniel Boone, Sam Drewry, Freddy Felts, Alton Overby, J.C. Owen and David Stiglitz.

Southampton County Registrar Leona Davis said Boykins is the only town in the county with only five seats on its Town Council; the rest have six. Town voters can pick five candidates, and the top five vote-getters will be named to the council.

Boone, a Town Council candidate, said the number of candidates is “a good showing.”

“At least they’ve got a choice this time,” he said of the town’s voters.

Council members are paid $50 a month and the mayor $100.