Focus on the Upstate 80 - Travelers Rest, SC - 11/19/2017

Focus on the Upstate
Sunday, November 19th

Brandy Hart Amidon’s election as the first female mayor of Travelers Rest pales in comparison to her dedication as a public servant of this small but burgeoning community.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to focus on the upstate a program dedicated to informing you about organizations that serve our community. How you can get involved with him. Here's your host Chris Evans. Good morning and welcome to focus on the upstate my name is Chris Evans today my guess is Brandi hard Amazon. The mayor elect of travelers rest good morning brandy get more press thank you for being here this is awesome thanks for inviting me well it's my pleasure and I should let the audience no we go back a little windy area we have worked in the same off the left were so. I was glad and if I have to admit I would not even aware that you were running for mayor of travelers rest until I had heard the I have one year I heard I edit that's exactly and electoral. So old guys have lent money and we have run the program and and see what cheated thinks about things so thank you for being here. Let me get let me just start with your history introduce yourself to the listeners. Because. Probably like a lot of belittling me a lot of people. Are familiar with the meal room rates of travelers rest so what it's so what led you to it to one run for mayor traveled. Since then arms counsel for eight years the City Council city council for sharper stress on and we have I counseled not including mayors it's kind of large for ours last count. Come though what led me to run for office I'm in the beginning it's a way back in middle school he knew we. It's our ring any got your buttons as our great. Come and mall switches aren't. I'm that somewhere around in my life I had on my bucket list a run for local government not actually knew what that men and I even thought I was gonna win. It was just like current securities there's OK that's one thing I wanna do you skydive you have a guy die ally yes Scott outing wasn't on the list that running for office was. Three guys on them sitting at my husband Hambrecht says and I'm complaining about how. I'm a guy got on the City Council and everybody ran against him in a special election and he doesn't mean why would nobody ran against him this is charmer stress this is also ball law. There should be more people running for office. And my cousins my brain need. Some complain when you are and how are really think about that so that's kinda how the conversation got started Astaro morning council meetings. Get involved and here I am I can contribute here in this is. Really kind of a fascinating story because anybody can do this anybody entire town in near homestead. Could start going to count in council meetings whether City Council county council. And get involved in and really kind of take that grassroots effort that grassroots route to two to get involved rather then. Not that you shouldn't listen to radio listening on the radio I'm getting irritated about yeah. I think what's important psyche don't have to know everything right like the first council mean I went to I don't know what they were doing or where they're gonna talk about her. Com are adding that he much counseled people are so that was like the first step but I don't have to be scared like there's no bare your TU showing up from participating. I'm and I think that's comforting as a resident especially at the local level like if you want some right to complain teen he needed no he that person has and how are you know that he and. Yet she got I mean it's one thing to complain about the federal government to dad dad is not tax and ask all the air Carol every you wanna do but. But on your local multimedia. Pothole paved her cash into the the water and the trash man's I think went your trash ask you know that's that's the kind of the local service that you get from the local municipal out. What specialty is like if if you're having that problem your neighbor I'm probably having the same problems that. That's what's nice usually can communicate back and forth and hey let's figure this problem out together. The idea that this sort of a traditional American idea of the government serving the community. I yet and that's what I like about it on said the city of charters the nonpartisan C don't have to pick a political party. So like even at all accounts meaning have been too we've never had. Some heated debate ever Republican or Democrat carte like it never comes into play because it's all about that person and it doesn't matter from that stamp was like. Well they are TR resident are there visiting charter dressed from their business owner. How can we help make their life better and I think that's comforting to be a part of that conversation. So tell me brandy Howell was actually running for office different from how you imagined it would be in in high school. It is so much talking about yourself. A bridge I'm a natural air tours as your remember from growing working at me and say it takes a lot of energy to like beat extrovert person for a period of time. So it is a lot of personality. People wanna know that they can call you then you're not going to be means human being as that you're gonna listen to woman maybe can't fix other promised at least like you were Karen and consider it. I'm so it's a lot of you out there it's not like he's just well here's my position or whatever like it's it's the people I respect. Com and then be at the just actual campaigning like I I sometimes I feel like. Feel like your sales person which I'm not there yet that I don't wanna be like a Manning's Iranian arms or for me like that still so light like he wanted to be able to have. I like high school again and not as it doesn't it's not a personality. Competition that the same town my personality plays intuit share. I am my pat has always been like just one on one like I EG an Emmy and I nay year and then we have this reputation between each other and it's not quite. Eating your asking something from restrained her telling them somethings have. Well and see it seems like you've done pretty well that's because as our caller on the numbers in front of me but it is something like 60% of the vote on him yet and it's her dress that's just that's still a small number 330. Something people. I think senate voted for I think. Have a little over 2500 registered voters Hamachi you guys know like your time on ten the 20% actually show up and it was like nothing specials on the ballot it was just mayor and four of our council members isn't really gauge showing for that. That number of people but yeah I was and did turn out. So you had to pet how did reach out again that sort of traditional. Image of his the politician knocking on doors and and I have and I use the keyword and not a duck. I don't necessarily you don't think of yourself I tell. Feel like a politician that I do feel more like a servant from my standpoint yeah servant we use the term pious I love that one no gas so. Again that that sort of traditional image of knocking on doors and meeting people face to face and talking to them about the issues in in their life and and relating to them from a community point of view. Colleague working with people saying mean and people probably different suggestions as hard that's a great suggestion how can make it happen. Comment I think that gives you is this personal relationship feel like our next time something comes up I'm gonna get a crest Jernigan Jennifer there that person is. I am and I think that's yet there was some definite door knocking. On this and I'll post cartoon all the general campaign things but it's more about. I'm sure the people that I work with and then GAAP market brain he she get things done or does Islam this is my experience working on her. I'm so I think that's way more powerful than conducting yards on which is important. But at the same time the sun don't wanna race of people actually show up and inventory. So keeping in mind that he has the election is over now you are yeah I guess what was it that you think they'll put you over the edge every your opponent. I think it's personality I think people want somebody on the a lot of glass and what does the mayor days to even. Even a regular here people don't always do their alma and we have what's called a week counsels at have a city administrator that runs all the data today. Com and then you have sort like board of directors that comes and it might help Scott impact and said that the mayor is that. You chairman of the board and satire on being that leader being the current compassionate. Hey let's listen let's take all this and I think that reputation helped set me apart in just a hi this is somebody that I wanna work women trust and I mean you know that we can get something done and more together well and that Brett. Mutation whether intentionally or not is something that you built. Basically your whole life you were born here and in Greenville and welding in traveler's rest Steve lived in traveler dress your whole life or ever talk about growing up in travelers Reston and how things have changed. How is totally different when renewing your younger I think we're more of like I'm Dejan click redneck charmer dressed he run I think it was have a negative. Alms is punchline on that was up I mean like I mean her relatives that still my front of me because I grabbed her dress. At the same time very proud people of the devil dog Hugh we are and I'm not small towns feel sad. Yeah we didn't have anything like maybe your brag about nicer restaurants or something to do in Travers stress that we still are very proud of where we. Or relive and senate over town like we have some small winds you know I remember when birds he came to charter as it was a big deal I know. I was a kid yeah quick order here and you're dressed today is there's small things that kind of laid up. But doing justice they like you're getting cheerfully as accurately and that we just got to flexible. I would I huge smile appeared to you also feel like we officially Iraq now that chick filet is as inter strap yeah but but like back and I can when I was a teenager there was nothing to do. But what Waffle House I think that was that you and I are like a teenager. I'm years and say now Odyssey like. The trail to Greenville hospital swan our trail big catalyst for Trout are stressed and then to see families on the trail on her stopping their eating and or ice cream place is an all these family things that you can do your place to take your girl for a port for an out on today coming out wasn't really an option it always lands here. Eat your greens or rash or something like that sent. Just as big transformation. Even like a jury exterior on Saturday morning. Tina has a line of people waiting you know for breakfast like that still shot yeah that that's happening in sharper dressed of the sidewall pizza you have to wait thirty minutes to get into your. We like to sort Phil's southern I comment like 830 and we had to wait thirty minutes now hi this is a good problem to have you know like it's it's yet to Angelina have people. One billion wire apt. And that leads into another question and wanted to ask you is is the the sort of business community you're we've talked about the personal community is feeling community a traveler dress. Talk a little bit about the business opportunities the places around here have been in the news Greer famously has has courted a lot of international business and and and and kind of big businesses but it seems to me like it and correct me if I'm wrong. It seems to me like traveled dressed as a focus more on smaller businesses and and sort of mom and pop type. And leases for what's really nice is we have this I'm perfect hybrid so you've got main street where you want the small business and said that's we have all like all the businesses just name. But small but like really get quality to everyone has popped up they do something really well like farmhouse target they do that really well. Sod all said that his guys. Just now actually falling into this main street small town feel. Confident the same time you do wanna check flight so we did. Did one quarter Kenya Steve Bryant said hey you've got this morning Cherie Dell and there are only a couple miles down the right date that you can be can be successful here. What's nice is we have that T 76. How way that kind gives us that natural balance he want that small town filming street. And I have all the small businesses the Ding you kind of warrant. Ever went through you wanna talk about how are you want about Wal-Mart and sand. How we can kind of do a little bit of bias between into not just like we're just gonna stay focused on small businesses we can we can do better which is early nine. Well and speaking of how things have changed over the years traveler dress I think for a long time you're talking about that sort of redneck reputation yeah it also had the reputation of being. The place that she went through when you were going to Asheville. Yeah I think her older. Later her tagline for the city was on the way up like back in the day so I on the way and just some of the better races. I guess I'm like that's that's not us that all but yet you did it was to cut through to get to somewhere out since and now we have things he can actually stop in and dealing. Still be hanging destination room yeah don't have I mean people staying in air B&Bs in charge dress which is still like hilarious to me that people like come. And hang concrete ovals I mean we're sure our product of the success of Greenville. Which has been really damning is still shocks me that somebody would come to Greenville, South Carolina take a week vacation you could we always run away to be cheering in the mountains or whatever and the fact that we Tony get a little bit of that in her dress was really did. Well in Greeneville recently has been no showing up on a lot of side to best cities and Eric Larry last seen on things like that best opportunities for learn from vacations invest get a ways and it's at things like that. How long does it before we see traveled dressed actually on one of those lists. How will be the small town yeah it type arms I guess dec declarations or certifications and awards or whatever I think we'll continue to have that and that's usually converting thing. I'll more people to step up and and one of diet but I think we'll continue to see acting the seeds seem more continue getting in better. Did I ever thing that Craig's would work in child or dressed know her. Our burn off theater there's a dreary up there you have only got her furry. He is just. It did that did that anticipate that net would have set it began my track ET and guys are nuts that your antenna at crate free and you think it's gonna do well. They do it so let's us think we're gonna see that type seed. Continue to increase meg good quality that you come to expect from some place like green and. I think it's interesting because it kind of speaks to that pass. Passion your talking about earlier you know that that passion that you had for your hometown news at people people would at a wrote you had a reputation and and you wanted to push back against that. If you do something really well you start making that reputation for yourself. Greeneville is it is kind of famous especially downtown Greenville that are well known for having a lot of restaurant destinations a lot of eating destinations. And it sounds like a traveler dress to start to kind of follow that same path and and become a place to go get something to eat. Yep yep I think the next stage is our time thinking about forward looking for char stresses is the retail seeing them go along with that San. Yeah I am a CPA my day job so I understand the money peace and a work with a lot of small businesses and it's hard. He can't have a retail shop didn't he knew Marquette didn't Harry can't pay Iran selling. You shirts to clothes and that type things so. I mean I understand like the hardship of that will be your passionate about it you do that well. And I think the place like turner dress would be perfect so one act patsy that retail seeing increase of got a lot of really cool shots I'm prowess on main. He's feathers on pace running they do really well from the retail standpoint it'd be nice to have other complement to that as well throughout charmer stress. So that's kind of leads into one of the questions that I have for you is. What do you see for the future we talk about the past him and how traveler dress has changed from you know when we were kids to the present. What EC for the next 20304050. Years church. Yeah last twenty or 304050 years sound like a long time but I. A bunt I had every decision we made it does affect their future which is kind of overwhelming. Well and I have been made to understand that there is no actual term limit on the may leadership of this very arrest so conceivably you could be an actually an eighty year Italian girl may never know. That's good at. So EC Trout just going. Yeah I say oops apart as it is I think because I have this unique perspective of living there. All my life I went to school in north Greenville south stuck around is that. He wanna see us continue gray like I want to complain about parking and the fact that people are still coming in a charmer dress and and they can't find a place apart so how can we fix that problem. But at the same time that balance of what it is still feel like TR many still feel like you're in a small town home. A part of that is him main street has done so well also when I first came in office there was an article in the chargers monitor. About think it was ninety something percent of the buildings on main street were antique. Nash is heartbreaking to throwing buildings that have been there for every old post office there. Shop and and historical interest just don't know yeah. And now we can I don't have any place for need business to come on main street which is a good problem to have yet and so part of it has been how can we. Make sure that we give. Businesses homeowners another opportunity. To be in the middle term dressed in non B brought on main street. Says this past summer we worked on a plan for I'm pleased at how way which is kind of natural extension of main street. Did lucky conceptual master plan of what it you look like I mean isn't likeable as a walk global. What kind of apartments her homes are town homes and beyond that stays. What kind businesses can be down there are some kind of dreamed up a plan of what that could look like. I'm now that's a ways out now we get a fair how to pay for it. And charter dresses really fiscally responsible which have always been really proud of which is one of those first things at that I wanted to be involved in. Come and sit kind of how we've done it is just dreamed it up. You figured out what we might want in the future and then I'm thought of how we campaigned for and that piece mailed it. So probably didn't phase is ever period of time but that will give main street and natural extension. CE one people to still have other. Buildings that they can get what you want some might say Al Libyan charge dressed and then come and visit their higher there's no buildings you see there's never played a learning all home. Something that I'll give play people another option in a place to call home. Well it sounds like you've got some plans for that sort of thing it could talk a little bit more about the the nature of planning and a place like travel interest greed you have that. That sort of small. Talent feeling you know that of that main street area as he said this this getting filled up at the moment. But you've also got a lot of rural areas what else is in store for the planning travelers are. There's a couple things that go along with that Al one and is that people you live in tear filled very invested whether you're in the rural area or your main street. And so when something happens on main street I think they still feel like hey I mean they should have a voice and that. C want them to continue to fill connected back communicating. And then another big piece of that is spurs off the trail have been big deals a lot of housing developments that we have. I'm merely and in some of those that they have this direct access to hop on the trail and then which leads right through. Anwar downtown charter stress. You know a centrist think as you mentioned swan river trail a couple of times tonight and I remember the beginning of that project. And it actually kind of originated in travelers dress I don't know from. Necessary from the from the city government they're but it was a conversion of railroad in two a walking and biking trail get and that's where it started when it's at travelers rest. And there's been a lot of talk about extending its it it's gone further sells data basically started as a trail from traveler dress to Greenville news. And it's been extended past Greeneville would you mentioned spurs off of that. Talk a little bit of bounce any plans to extend that maybe in the other guy I know there's not a whole lot of the other direction. And they do you actually have obviously been really turn it up to Marietta really Karbala gap we have I think they've got funding for maybe a little piece seven on all the way up too much in downtown Marietta. But that has been huge catalyst for us to 5% before there wasn't really anything to do in charge right here. We check that. We were traveling with a weary from an NC Greenville first then they literally have a right and then I'm bill I'm actually from Travers stressed and like our camera heard that Ann and Nancy I've ever heard sirens adventures. And I like yeah I've heard that because they're just such good marketers and they've been around in a long time they're such equality. Now that was all they all have to do that anymore to people have that natural connection but the trail gave you something to do. Like cafe at Williams hardware. Needs to endorsement Carol. Is beautiful people and they saw that opportunity for the trail coming out like hey these guys are probably gonna need. Some water amino snack or something. Amen and people starting common their like hey they're gonna need a diskette in elegant need to sit down and how neat yeah something to. Am I think the trail gave those people an opportunity to kind of step up and be a trend setter. And say hey restaurant would work. Right here in this old Ian Williams hardware. So I think it'll continue to do that even from Marietta which would do nothing to benefit traveler dress. It almost seems like travelers rest is sort of a textbook example of how to become a destination. Yeah and just how to take advantage of the assets senator. And you we embraced the trail like I still remember a conversation Acura green high you have all these specials that come mentality and somebody said. All bikers don't bike around with a debit card and they don't spend money. And like that is not sure Elaine do you stand honey they have a debit card somewhere and I get a Florida likely that. Has other money yet they debit card hidden in there. And said that was why those like you misconceptions like hey and maybe an umpire it and they come back and they bring her family and so I think other cities can learn not to let what is their ascent we have. Watering turner dress they don't necessarily have. Some major near downtown green all falls park that major attractions that I gave us something that we can pull off and then start to do really well. Just in the last couple minutes here talked to the upstate audience that's listening in May not be familiar with travelers rest what does the upstate need to know about traveler dress that they don't already. I think you need to come visit if you have an if you haven't been in a long time like it's a totally different atmosphere and Allen and still the same like great people you still go instead shopping you still know two or three people or your kids who want. Which happens a lot but just come out and visit us and see what else is near. I mean I think sometimes she's the gift to get it somewhere else to get something gagging in here on the day Ater. Meaning you wanna go rally your husband he thinks you have to travel somewhere else and you just have to come to Trevor stress. We have things to do and we have I'm TrailBlazer parked which has been a big. Catalyst for us it has an aunt that theater we have Thursday night to not tell ever harvest festival we got bluegrass and stayed trucks and on to see so many people come out on Thursday night. And charmer dressings have a good time and be with other people and meet strangers and and have that Q media atmosphere. Is really amazing to see and I think I would just say come on out and visit us and and try something out incumbents can Nomar. And the chick filet ear and I think ours is the best scene there and then the other chick filet and and just experience that you life. Yeah have a horse that could have a. And that that brings up a good point there's one thing that you can do is just come to travelers rest and see where you wind up. But if people wanted play in a little bit more is era is her way to find out more about how illusionist you a web cider. We've got a city web site we have a greater chamber of commerce for Travers dress that has all the businesses. Yes I think if you just Q school. You charge us like so many things popped up on the Mac daddy and we have traveler dress here dot com is a really get one and Lacey manages that. Web site and it just tells liked the stories of charge dress so it's not like I need can be at this restaurant it's. Hey these are people who own the stress try and here's why they're so wonderful and says she gives you a good snapshot of of the people light people are awesome but the business owners who aren't always residents of turner dress are as equally as awesome and they love and they care for their people and and the people that they serve sat I think those would be some some good giggle tips for for coming at TR. The mayor elect of travelers rest brandy hard im done I get your official term starts in January in January so congratulations and your election in. Andy your upcoming term. Brady heart and on mayor elect to travelers rest has been my guess they think you very much for being haven't even as the great it's been my pleasure. I'm Chris Evans and this has been focused on the upstate. You've been listening to focus on the upstate with Chris Evans if you would like more information on today's topic email Chris. C Evans