Elliott offers financial insight, accountability
Editor’s note: Bill Bruehl and John Elliott are running for the District 1 Oconee County Council seat
By Caitlin Herrington
South Carolina native John Elliott just celebrated his 59th birthday and hopes to find another cause for celebration in November after the District 1 election for Oconee County Council.
Elliott is the Republican candidate on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Citadel and a master’s degree in accounting from Clemson University, and maintains the combination of his education and citizen involvement make him the best addition to council.
“There are gaps in the way the current county council majority exercises its financial responsibilities,” Elliott said. “These gaps will ultimately lead to a financial crisis that can only be resolved through significant long-term financing or significant future tax increases.”
Having audited financial records for government agencies and school districts as a certified public accountant, Elliott said his strengths in business and financial management will provide leadership to the county’s “budgetary process and issues of fiscal responsibility and accountability.”
Elliott also plans to encourage involvement from his fellow District 1 residents in local government and the community.
“I am a champion of citizen involvement in both government and community,” he said. “I have been an active participant in my own community life, serving in such capacities as church deacon and financial committee chairman, Sertoma Club president and volunteering with the Gateway to Spartanburg project.”
Involvement in government will make it easier for their voices to be heard as the county grows, a fact Elliott said must be acknowledged and plans made.
“If we don’t take action now to shape this growth, our main corridors, especially the (U.S. Highway) 123 corridor, will end up congested like Easley, Simpsonville and Clemson,” Elliott said. “The lake overlay provides vital protections for all lake residents and must be preserved.”
Working with the council members, planning commission and community development, Elliott emphasizes long-term planning to manage the growth of Oconee County. As a CPA, he also has a focus on financial stability.
“I have spent 37 years in accounting and finance, becoming an industry leader in effective and efficient business management and financial responsibility,” Elliott said. “My broad experience at the highest levels of large industry has also given me an abiding respect for solidly-grounded management structures and managerial interaction, leading to a firm belief in adhering to established channels for executive and staff relationships.”
Those relationships are the key to a council that can function in the best interest of its citizens — even when members disagree.
“There is inadequate leadership and governance by the county council majority,” he said. “I will work with the other council members and the county administrator to strengthen our leadership, bringing to bear my expertise in directing different types of organizations and in building teams through teamwork.”
He and his wife, Marsha, have two daughters who both graduated from the College of Charleston. In his spare time, he enjoys boating in the waters of the nearby lakes.
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