Todd Harrelson, acting mayor and mayor pro-tem, is urging registered voters to come to the polls on Tuesday, June 11, to vote in the run-off election between Mike Suggs and himself. Harrelson and Suggs were one vote shy of a tie; Harrelson received 183 votes and Suggs received 182 votes in the Tuesday, May 22, election for mayor. The Election Committee, Venson Powers and Melzetta Gore, made the official announcement on Thursday, May 30, at 10:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Building.
Harrelson stated that his vision for Loris is to grow by bringing in more businesses and continue the progress made. He said, “We have accomplished so much and I want to see the improvements continue.”
The list of improvements ranges from repaving the streets and cleaning up the city to be more attractive for visitors driving through on their way to the beach. He also wants to continue the improvements at the Loris Recreation Center. He has thanked Thomas Cocke, recreation director, for his initiative and knowledge that the city needs to bring new beginnings to the department. And with the Hydrology Study completed and the recommendations made to improve the drainage in the city can and will be implemented as costs permit, repairing and replacing water pipes through the city is a priority.
He said, “The city works as a team and needs to remain a team.. He also feels that being available for residents to voice their concerns is one of great importance to him. He began “Meet with the Mayor” at local restaurants to have a cup of coffee to listen to residents’ concerns about how the city is progressing, asking questions and giving him suggestions to take into consideration. He said that he hopes the meetings will continue even if he does not win the election, he feels the value of the people’s voice is progress for the future of Loris.
Harrelson is a businessman with 25 plus years of experience running his companies. He feels his sitting in office is a service to the people of Loris, and having won the seat on council in December 2017, he feels he has done just that. When Mayor Henry L. Nichols was in office, Harrelson being mayor pro-tem, has officiated over many of the city council meetings in Nichols’ absence. He also feels he learned from Nichols and is continuing learning more of the steps required to run the city.
The biggest part of Harrelson’s life is being a Christian and sharing with others biblical stories or if asked, to pray for people he meets on the street. He had an accident in 2013 where he lost the lower portion of his leg, he gives all the glory to God as he says He severed his leg, there was not much bleeding but he managed to use his belt as a tourniquet and make his way to the tractor where his cell phone was to call for help. He continues to use his prothesis to teach others in the same situation that life doesn’t end with the loss of a limb, it begins a new adventure and explores the greatness of the support from family and friends who help an individual to overcome their feeling of loss and despair.
Harrelson says he will run again in November 2019 and will prepare for that election once the Tuesday election determines who will be the mayor of Loris. Win or lose, he believes there is a purpose for all events in life.