First female mayor seeks next term after 10 years in office
July 20, 2018 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Cayce, S.C. Mayor Elise Partin formally announces her candidacy for re-election for a third full term to the office of Mayor in the upcoming November 6, 2018 election. Mayor Partin has a strong campaign start in fundraising support from both Cayce residents and local and regional businesses.
Elected in 2008, 2010 and again in 2014 – the first female to serve in the office of Mayor in Cayce – Mayor Partin has proven herself as a dedicated leader whose priorities include fiscal responsibility, savvy economic development that preserves Cayce’s small-town feel, and open, accountable communication between citizens and city officials. Read more about Mayor Partin’s work at https://www.elisepartin.com.
Under Partin’s leadership, Cayce has been recognized as one of the top 10 most tax-friendly places to retire in South Carolina by SmartAsset.com and as the number one city in South Carolina for recent graduates and millennials by Nerdwallet.com.
Rejuvenated by Partin’s forward-thinking leadership and bolstered by a council and city staff who share these priorities, the City of Cayce has undergone a transformation since 2008 and is now recognized as one of the region’s most up-and-coming small cities, marked by low expenses and high quality of life for residents. A thoughtful approach to growth shows respect for Cayce’s history and sense of community.
City services have continued to be modernized and made more cost-effective. Currently, 75% of the city’s water lines are being upgraded, constituting a massive public works project, the result of a low-interest loan attained by Mayor Partin and city staff thanks to the city’s excellent credit. The waterline replacement project will be completed this fall on time and on budget.
Citizens’ input has been given even more weight by City Council due to moving the public comment section to the beginning of council meetings, which allows council to incorporate feedback into decision-making. Fiscal responsibility remained a top priority as Cayce moved out of debt, creating reserves for emergency services, created foundations to support city services without tax-payer funds and procured several grants and partnerships to off-set city expenditures.
Cayce tourism has seen an increased focus, as well. Visitation to the Cayce Riverwalk continues to increase, public art by local artisans adorn the riverfront trails, and new partnerships are being formed with national organizations for the 12,000 Year History Park. New annual, signature events such as Soiree on State have been created with great success, and the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center continues to bring visitors year-round for tournaments. View Partin’s full bio here: https://www.elisepartin.com.
Partin is the President of the Municipal Association of South Carolina and serves on the Executive Committee of the Central Midlands Council of Governments. She is on the Advisory Board for the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities and serves on the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission of Lexington County, the board of the Lexington County Development Corporation, and the board of the River Alliance. She is also board Vice President at EngenuitySC, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the competitiveness of the Midlands region of S.C.
The City of Cayce has achieved numerous successes since Mayor Partin took office in 2008, including the following:
• Brought in new users of city services such as Planet Fitness, Concord Park and Congaree Bluff neighborhoods, as well as the Tremont and other new high-end (not student) apartments; this new development has led to water and sewer bills remaining low for all residents and businesses.
• Supported construction of the new Brookland-Cayce High School arena, scheduled for completion in Fall 2018, replacing the dilapidated, high-crime Motel 6.
• Implemented the Knox Abbott Drive Pedestrian Safety and Traffic Calming initiative as well as the waterline replacement plan, scheduled for completion by Fall 2018, to be under construction at the same time to best use resources and lessen inconvenience for citizens.
• Encouraged revitalization at site ravaged by a three-day fire that is now home to what will be the largest production brewery in the Midlands, Steel Hands Brewery.
• Launched the annual art/music festival – Soiree on State – designed to reinvigorate underutilized commercial areas through pop-up art experiences, live music and more in a family-friendly street festival environment. A number of new businesses have already opened on State St., helping to create a growing arts district in the city.
• Reversed a deficit and created reserves that can be used for disasters or emergencies through council policies including cost controls, budgetary maintenance and proper management of operations, bringing the fund balance up from negative $22,000 to a healthy positive position.
• Lowered residents’ homeowner’s insurance by improving Cayce’s ISO rating with updated public safety equipment and lowered residents’ flood insurance by joining FEMA’s Community Rating System.
• Procured an energy grant for replacing city building lighting with more energy-efficient bulbs, reducing energy costs and city expenses and saved municipal dollars by procuring a DHEC Office of Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling grant for concrete trash/recycling containers at Cayce Riverwalk.
• Established the Cayce Beautification Foundation to direct enhancement projects such as two welcome signs at city gateways and public art on the Cayce Riverwalk without using taxpayer dollars.
• Implemented a repair and replacement plan for all capital assets to ensure staff has what is needed to provide superior service to citizens and prevent repeated repairs, reinforcing the city’s commitment to smart and strategic use of taxpayers’ dollars.
Opened Communication between City and Residents
• Moved the public comment period to the beginning of Cayce City Council meetings, ensuring citizens’ views are included during council decision-making.
• Implemented monthly “Meet the Mayor” forum to hear from citizens prior to every council meeting so the mayor can share your thoughts and concerns.
• Established monthly Neighborhood Leaders meetings with neighborhood representatives to ensure that your voice is heard.
• Implemented new system to communicate urgent news to citizens, incorporating Facebook, Twitter and CodeRed as well as traditional means such as flyers and mailed newsletters.
o Example: When the water main burst in Winter 2014, the city used Facebook and its website to alert citizens and spread word that water. would be available at City Hall. Over 600 cases of water were distributed.
• Energized City of Cayce website for more effective communication and online bill payment services, saving citizens time and money.
Improvements in City Services
• Hired a Customer Services Manager for utility billing and full time IT Director to increase workplace efficiency and boost customer service for better billing and use of taxpayer dollars as well as expanded city’s phone and high speed data capabilities to enhance citizens’ access, creating fewer hassles and saving residents time.
• Implemented the $28 million waterline replacement project on time and on budget with low rates because of the city’s strong credit rating, saving taxpayer dollars and ensuring safe drinking water for generations to come; includes a new water tank and fire hydrants to help with fire protection.
• Improved city sewer service and increased economic development opportunities through construction of a state-of-the-art 25 MGD (millions of gallons per day) wastewater treatment plant.
• Made residential sanitation self-sufficient and kept it from privatizing.
• Invested in dispatch technology to ensure good communication in an emergency, updated public safety vehicles and gear, and procured new bunker gear and breathing equipment for the Fire Department, saving thousands of dollars on maintenance repairs and increasing safety for all by maintaining an average response time of 4 minutes for Public Safety calls.
Increased Quality of Life for Cayce Residents
• Won grant to put sidewalks on Julius Felder Drive, to improve Cayce Riverwalk Park lights, call boxes, handicapped accessible ramp and parking lot on Old State Road, and for new lighting, sidewalks and landscaping on State Street, in addition to tearing down unsafe structures and improving alleyways.
• Partnered with the Cayce West Columbia Jaycees for summer field days to encourage children to play in parks, helping them make memories about fun activities in their town.
• Established new and unique recreational opportunities such as a concrete Ping Pong table and a Gaga ball pit as part of a concerted effort to encourage the next generation to keep their homes in Cayce.
• Implemented a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan.
• Created a demolition program for unsafe structures, increasing safety while using little to no taxpayer dollars.
About Mayor Elise Partin Elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014, Elise Partin is Cayce, S.C.'s first female mayor. Mayor Partin prioritizes fiscal responsibility, community needs and economic development, with a focus on empowering citizens, providing strong leadership, fostering open communication and enhancing quality of life in Cayce. Mayor Partin serves on several influential boards in the Midlands and works as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, the University of South Carolina. For more information on Mayor Partin, visit www.elisepartin.com.
About The City of Cayce, S.C.
The City of Cayce, S.C., is located on the banks of the Congaree River in the heart of the Midlands of South Carolina, just across from the state capital of Columbia. An area with a documented 12,000-year history, the city has several public events, venues, and parks; the beautiful Cayce Riverwalk Park offers more than 46 acres of river park area and 2.5 miles of scenic walkways. Cayce has a Council-Manager form of government; City Council meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm at City Hall. For more information, visit www.cityofcayce-sc.gov.