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      Goose Creek mayor faces opposition for first time in 16 years

      By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com

      GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) - On April 8, the people of Goose Creek will head to the polls for the mayoral election. This is the first time in 16 years that the current mayor has faced any opposition.

      For the last 36 years, Michael Heitzler has been the mayor of Goose Creek.

      "This town is my life's work. It's not mine alone, it's always been the teamwork, but I have had the privilege and the honor of leading that team," said Heitzler.

      He believes his biggest accomplishment is turning the city into a community that people are proud to live in. And if re-elected, he already has stuff on his to do list.

      "We need fire departments and we can build fire departments, but we need to put firefighters in all those departments too and that is going to be a real challenge," said Heitzler. "We have paraded some very nice incubators for business. We have two very significant incubators now waiting for the businesses to arrive, one at Carnes Crossroads and one is the old downtown Goose Creek."

      But one city councilman, Jerry Tekac, believes that Goose Creek needs a change and wants to become the next mayor.

      "My vision and Mike's vision are totally opposite so I feel it's important we give our residents a choice," said Tekac.

      And like most areas in the Lowcountry, the 12th largest city in the state is dealing with growth.

      "You can either embrace the commercial development and residential development or we can continue to stay how we are," said Tekac.

      And that is where the candidates differ.

      "The difference is green space, open space. He wants a quaint bedroom community and I would prefer to have this community be one that is self-sustaining where I don't have to drive an hour to go to downtown Charleston like I do," said Tekac.

      Two men with one goal, and it's up to the voters if Goose Creek will go with the status quo or out with the old and in with the new.

      The election is Tuesday, April 8. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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