Alston announces candidacy for Darlington City Council
I, Joan Alston, am announcing my candidacy for City Council at-large.
I’m originally from Darlington; however, at the age of 11, I left due to a death in the family. I returned to our city at the age of 57, and worked for CareSouth Carolina for six years as an HIV counselor. Now, at 64 and retired, I am coming forward to help improve my hometown and return the brilliance to the “Pearl of the Pee Dee”.
I wanted to become involved in Darlington politics at such a late age because of what I see for our city.
Darlington is a Pearl; it has been so since I was a small girl. I was always enamored by the Square- it’s shape, and oh, my, the stores! B.C. Moore and Coggeshalls, and let’s not forget the drug store and the banks. Yes, those were the days. Darlington appeared to be up and coming.
Fast-forward to today, and some say Darlington is finished.
I totally disagree.
Darlington, to me, just needs a new vision, a breath of fresh air.
Let me give credit to the Mayor and all the Council members for their hard work to keep our town from falling into complete disrepair. However, it is time to change the guard, and for members to pass the torch to new blood. I would like to be part of that group receiving the torch, to step up into that post.
I have asked myself, how can I help this Pearl to be her full beauty again? First, improve the appearance of city, especially the downtown Square. Make it family-friendly with restaurants, outdoor dining, an ice-cream parlor, antique shops, and an art gallery. We must be able to negotiate with businesses to come to Darlington with incentives and the like.
Walmart and Taco Bell are coming. Let’s get a movie theater, a small hotel, an Applebee’s, and a strip mall. To do this, we have to meet with other city leaders that have successfully grown, such as Greenville, Camden, and others. Lastly, we must think outside the box. There is nothing we cannot do as a community that stands together. We cannot be divided. United we stand.