Tuesday, Nov. 3, is the day the two candidates for the Mayor of Cheraw will learn what the voters want. Incumbent Andy Ingram and his opponent Anthony Waymyers both feel they are the man for the job.
Ingram, a native of Cheraw, has served as mayor for 18 years. He has also run his own business for many years. He joined Ingram Insurance and Real Estate in 1976. Waymyers has lived in the area for 15 years. He is a career specialist at Long Middle School, Pastor of Grace Temple Fellowship and he also owns a mobile catering business.
Although they grew up in different areas, have different backgrounds and may not see eye to eye on some issues, they both say they have the good of the town and its citizens at heart.
“What sets me apart from my opponent is experience and qualifications. If you are going to hire someone for a job, you want the best qualified and experienced person possible. My opponent has no experience in running a town and he is not qualified. He has no clue what it takes to be Mayor or how much time it requires,” said Ingram.
Ingram’s contacts on the state and federal level have benefited the town with positive development of projects they have been involved in.
If re-elected he plans to continue his work with local industries, encouraging them to expand in the town.
He also plans to encourage his staff to go after grant money that will help them to grow financially towards establishing special projects.
“We have been successful in receiving $4 million in grants within the last four years,” he said.
Waymeyers doesn’t have the same view of receiving grants to do things in the town. He wants to close some of the gaps in the town. His slogan is Bridging the Gap, Every Voice Matters.
“I actually talked with the mayor about some of the concerns I had before I decided to run and he didn’t see what I saw so, I decided to run and try to close some of the gaps,” said Waymyers. “I don’t think you should have to wait on a special project to help a community that is still paying taxes like everybody else.”
He wants to close the social, racial, educational and gender gaps in the communities and are separating the town.
He feels that not every part of time is treated the same. “Certain sides of town get treated better than others.”
Waymyers’ campaign has been grassroots and he has been going door to door and speaking with the people.
Ingram says his campaign focus is to run on his record and let the people of Cheraw know what he has accomplished over the past four years. Cheraw has been moving in a positive way. He admits there is more work to be done and areas that can be improved and plans to do so. He is proud of his record.
Despite not having experience running a town, Waymyers says his compassion for everybody sets him apart from Ingram. That and his fear of God.
“I am not a cliquish person,” he said. Being a career specialist at Long Middle School as well as a pastor should show that. He is for all people.
But Ingram feels that his career maybe be a disadvantage.
“Due to my opponent’s employment with the school system, he is unavailable to the general public during business hours and cannot receive phone calls or visits pertaining to town business. Andy Ingram is available to the citizens of Cheraw 24/7,” he said.
Waymyers on the other hand feels seeing first hand the lifestyles his students and their parents live will help him get things in Cheraw. He hears the students talk about how they don’t have anything to do in the town and how their families have to go other places to enjoy social events.
He wants voters to know that he is not planning to stop all the festivals and activities that the town has enjoyed for years just because they involve drinking and he is not going to fire a big group of people.
Yes he is a pastor, which demonstrates his ability to lead and make big decisions, but that will not skew his work for Cheraw.
“Because of my position people think that I will not support festivals because they have drinking, which is not fair to me. But I do think because I fear God that sets me apart and I have compassion for everybody.”
If he wins another term Ingram plans to continue working within a balanced budget and keep Cheraw financially sound. They operate on a $9.5 million budget annually. It is a big business he explained and he is capable of running it.
“Cheraw needs someone with experience,” he added.
If Waymyers wins he says one of the first things he wants to do is make the town hall more accessible, because certain citizens don’t feel comfortable going to the town hall.
“If you call in, I want your calls to be treated genuinely. If someone calls in and says there is a pot hole in my road and they are on a certain side of town, I want you to get that same treatment if you live on the side of town I live on,” he said.
Voters will cast their vote at their respective polling places on Tuesday, Nov. 3.