Cohen will not seek re-election for Darlington City Council
Darlington City Councilwoman Dyan Cohen announced she will not be running for re-election to a city council seat when filing opens in August.
Cohen, who is completing her third term on the council, said it’s time to give others a chance to serve.
“I thank my supporters, the unbeatable staff at the City of Darlington, and my fellow council members for helping me play a role in the city’s progress and serving the residents of our city.“ Cohen said. “It’s time to hold the door wide open for new talent to take its seat at the council table. The city benefits most when it has the highest number of capable, engaged people working for it.”
While she plans to remain civically active, Cohen said, “it’s clear there are many people who also have a ‘fire in the belly’ to see the City of Darlington continue to get stronger, more attractive, and more efficient.”
“I see much more interest and activism here now than there was 12 years ago, which is a good thing,” she said. “I think social media has helped the process. It also seems more groups are engaged in boosting the city’s well-being, perhaps energized by the improvements of recent years.”
“The current council, that’s existed these last 12 years built upon the foundation laid by generations of city leaders. We inherited a strong code of ordinances, a strong organizational structure, and the benefits of forward-thinking moves that laid foundations for future economic development,” Cohen said Among these moves were installing sewer lines at the by-pass and adding streetscapes to Darlington’s downtown area. Both these actions were done during the city’s previous council, chaired by Mayor Ronnie Ward.
“With these foundations to build upon, these recent years have seen private and public interests working to vastly improve at least 10 buildings of historic value to the city, and welcome new retail with the coming of Wal-Mart and related establishments at the by-pass,” Cohen said.
Residents are getting increased value, with improvements in fiscal accountability and transparency, transportation, recreation, and a water and sewer system that has been turned around in the last 10 years, said Cohen. “Residents now live in a leaner, more united city with strong public safety. Our collective goal has been to benefit as many residents as possible.” added Cohen, who said she is glad to have played a part in these measures.
The city was able to make significant gains in its water and sewer infrastructure in recent years, and Cohen credits the city’s staff and its experts, as well as government grants. With the city’s aging water and sewer infrastructure, however, continued improvements are needed, she said.
The city’s appearance continues to need improving, Cohen said. “An attractive environment contributes to one’s sense of well being and is important in improving the quality of life here,” she said. “I am grateful for park and garden improvements and hope efforts at increasing attractiveness across-the-board will increase.”
Cohen, a former college instructor and journalist, said active citizen participation is key as the city moves forward.
“In this upcoming election season,” she said, “I encourage all voters to learn as much as possible about the candidates and what they can offer, and to learn more about their local government.”
“It’s very important we have talent and commitment on our council,” she said. “Responsibilities of the job are far-reaching. The city benefits when its members study the issues as much as possible. The city’s well-being depends on trustworthy, capable, and engaged council members.”
She thanks her family, especially husband Dr. Alex Cohen, for the unflagging support that’s made her service possible.