PICKENS COUNTY — Pickens County Councilman Tom Ponder has announced that he will not be seeking reelection during the upcoming 2016 elections.
Ponder has been the representative for the Dacusville area, known as District 6, since he took office on Jan. 1, 2009. His last day will be Dec 31, 2016.
“I’m not a politician,” Ponder said during an interview at the conclusion of this month’s Council meeting. “I said I was going to do it one term, then it became two. Three’s enough. I’m done.”
“I think a lot of people just don’t understand the time that’s involved in this (council). I can’t plan a vacation, I can’t go on a trip, everything revolves around ‘the next day’ — not that I begrudge them that. But if you want to do it — and you want to do it right — there’s going to be a lot of time involved. This group here, we’re true public servants,” said Ponder gesturing to his Council colleagues. “We still have to hold down regular jobs in addition to our work here.”
Ponder stated that his decision not to run was cemented once he was approached by Carl Hudson who expressed interest in the councilman’s seat.
“He’s a good guy, he’s not a politician and I have no reason to think that he wouldn’t do a good job,” said Ponder.
When asked if he was endorsing Hudson, Ponder chuckled. “I guess I am,” he said.
Along with Ponder’s District 6 seat, Randy Crenshaw of Pickens District 3, G. Neil Smith of Liberty District 4 and Council Chair Jennifer Willis of Easley District 5 are all up for re-election this year.
“I’ve been doing this for three terms, I’m 65-years-old, I just went through heart surgery and my wife is going to retire shortly,” reasoned Ponder. “It’s just time.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.