Politics take center stage on Folly Beach

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- The political season this year is heating up before the sands on Folly Beach as mayoral candidates squared off in a public forum.

Mayor Tim Goodwin and Toni Connor-Rooks both have leadership experience with Folly Beach government.{} But each has differing views on the past, present, and future of the place they call home.

"That sand being pumped on the beach is probably the biggest accomplishment," said Goodwin.

He knows the coast is Folly Beach's bread and butter. That's why he considers renourishment efforts as one of his most important endeavors.{}

But he says his love for the job goes beyond the ocean.

"What stands me apart is I do this and have done it for the last 12 years for basically minimum pay. You know, we do it because we love the city," said Goodwin.

"I've never claimed to be a politician. I'm a public servant. And I would like to continue to be a public servant, but this time being the mayor," said Rooks.

She served as the city's administrator for 17 years before leaving her post. She sees problems along Central Avenue, including the city's law enforcement.

"There's a lot of complaints about public safety. In fact, we have lost 25 people in the last three years -- 25 full-time public safety officers," said Rooks.

She wants to do a better job of retaining officers. Rooks also wants to improve the city's connection with nearby governments.

"I would like to see our relations rebuilt with the county and with other governmental entities that have deteriorated in the last years," said Rooks.

With one more week of campaigning, both candidates are ready to move forward.

"Win, lose, or draw I will be here at Folly Beach and I will continue to work for the betterment of Folly Beach," said Rooks.

"Just tell everybody to get out and vote on April 1 and I'd appreciate your vote," said Goodwin.

Goodwin says there's about $4 million in the city's reserve fund, but Rooks says there should be an extra $1.5 million in it.

Both candidates can agree on something: there's a lot of work that goes with the job that only pays $800 a month.