Baccus announces candidacy for Darlington City Council

Darlington native Sheila Baccus, a professional tax preparer and an independent entrepreneur, is seeking an at large seat on Darlington City Council in the upcoming November municipal elections. A conscientious citizen who has attended City Council meetings consistently for the past three years, Baccus said, “Moving from just observing to seeking an active role in helping to shape Darlington’s future is what I desire at this point in my life.”

Sheila baccus pix

Baccus believes she has an opportunity and a responsibility to continue the legacy established by the first Black American, also a woman, elected to an at large seat on Darlington City Council.

“Retired Alderman Rena Martin paved the way for me to be aware and in position to contribute to our City’s future good health,” says Baccus. “Alderman Martin was from the same neighborhood where I grew up and where I continue to reside today,” said Baccus who serves on the City’s southeast Darlington Revitalization Committee.

Martin entered politics after successfully leading a 1980s petition campaign that achieved annexation for the southeast Darlington community into the city.
“She voluntarily championed the infrastructure needs of her low lying neighborhood that was plagued with septic tank problems.” said Baccus; she cites Martin’s “action-ism” and incumbent Alderman Gloria Hines resolve to be “right-minded and her persistence to do things right” as motivations for her interest in wanting to help make a difference also. Hines is an announced candidate to become the first Black American Mayor of Darlington.

“I want to also contribute in a way that will inspire the next generation to want to get involved,” says Baccus, and is “Concerned for the betterment of Darlington as a whole, and my candidacy for Alderman at Large is offered for this reason.”

A 1980 graduate of Darlington’s historic Mayo High School, Baccus attended Atlanta College of Business from 1980 to 1982. After college, Baccus gained employment with Florence’s Webster, Rogers, West, Berry and Grady CPA. She was at the firm for the next 10 years and worked another five plus years for McLeod Regional Medical Center in the payroll and accounting department. Baccus has been employed with HR Block in Florence for the past 21 years, serving as a manager for the past eight.

In addition to her experience working for strong, respected, successful and established companies, Baccus has always nurtured an entrepreneurial spirit, and furthered that interest by becoming an independent entrepreneur. This entrepreneurial instinct came at an early age. Baccus, a self-starter, taught herself how to screen print, and never looked back. She also nurtured the spirit of volunteerism at a youthful age, getting her feet wet by volunteering as a stagehand at J.C. Daniel Center for the Performing Arts (JCDCPA) in Uptown Darlington. “It was amazing to see thousands of kids, teachers and parents from Counties and school districts all around us fill the 940 seat J. C. Daniel Center consistently to experience ‘live’ professional touring theatre companies.”

Like Hines, who also volunteered at JCDCPA on a consistent basis, they both witnessed first-hand how the economic development potential of this valuable community resource proved it could be the catalyst for growth that the late Mary Demetrious predicted it would be if pursued and supported. “But Darlington leadership chose to not share in that vision.”

Baccus was also invited to become part of a cooperative venture proposing to establish a downtown small business incubator which was met with disinterest by a city committee whose purpose was to assist in and promote economic development. “This is an area where my insight can be informative and useful,” says Baccus. “I don’t have all the answers, but I do know the problems, and as a team working in unison, we can fix the problems. This is why I offer my candidacy.”

Author: Duane Childers

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