Voting is not only a right but also a privilege.

Twelve percent turnout for our off-year election? Twelve percent out of 23,480 registered Spartanburg municipal voters? Voting is not only a right but also a privilege. Shame on us, Spartanburg!

I urge you to vote for Mayor Junie White in Tuesday’s runoff. There is no doubt that Mr. Todd Horne is a fine young man. However, Junie’s age and experience are powerful combinations. Mr. Horne’s time may come later after he is more immersed in the heart and soul of Spartanburg.

Junie has lived in this county since birth and in the city for many years. After serving four years in the Navy, he came home to start his business. His first Exxon was on Interstate 85, and that is where I met him. We have been good friends for 50 years.

I know of his boundless acts of generosity and his reputation for integrity. He wears his love for this city on his sleeve and hides his light under a bushel when it comes to helping others.

He has championed the forward movement of our city, with commitment to the Northside Development, the enhancement of our downtown, and making it a place to linger rather than just drive through. He encourages police and citizens to work together as one. Crime has declined in the past 17 years. Parks are being rejuvenated and new ones developed. Spartanburg is a healthy place to live both economically and physically. Opportunities abound.

If I had to use only one word to describe Junie, that word would be integrity. The man is overflowing with it in an age when many people have no concept of the word. He is indeed the mayor of the people.

Prudence Scott, Spartanburg

 

Proud of my record

Most people know me as the mayor. When I go to restaurants, events, openings and City Council meetings, people always address me as “Mayor Junie White.” But for years before I became mayor, people knew me as the owner of White's Pine Street Exxon, and my business experience is why I was elected.

When I got into business I was an inexperienced, young man. And while I knew that honesty and dependability were important for success, over the years I’ve grown to understand that what is most important in business is relationships.

I’ve always treated people fairly and with respect, and I’ve always helped them as much as I could. Doing that, I found people would even drive farther to come to my gas station rather than another, because they felt welcome and appreciated and they knew I cared about them.

I have brought these values to my public service with the city of Spartanburg. I believe we have made our city a more welcoming place to residents during my eight years as mayor, I believe our city is more understanding to differing points of view and identity, and I believe we have also made this city a more welcoming and caring place to live.

These principles are at the heart of our city’s recent boom in economic development. We have developed the infrastructure and tax incentives we need to welcome new business. But ultimately people want to bring their business to the city of Spartanburg because we have become a welcoming community that embraces the new while treasuring Spartanburg’s culture.

I am proud of my record on these things. I ask for your vote again on Tuesday in the runoff election. Let’s keep the city of Spartanburg moving forward, with all voices heard.

Junie White, Spartanburg mayor

 

Strong leadership

As a Spartanburg City Councilwoman, my main job is to represent the citizens of my district during City Council meetings. Through this position, I must make sure their needs are being met adequately by city government and their concerns are being recognized.

I always try to do this job to the best of my ability and with the utmost integrity. That is why I feel morally compelled to endorse the mayor in his coming runoff election. To not do so would be both a personal and professional failure.

I strongly believe the continued service of our mayor is necessary to our city's economic development. His leadership in guiding the expansion and progress of important projects and issues in our city has allowed we as City Council members to enhance opportunities for all of our citizens. As the head of that governing body, Junie has served with the wisdom, intelligence and poise that only come from decades of experience in public life and public service.

I remember well Mayor Junie White and I working together to help secure the funding for all city police officers to wear body cameras when on active duty, both for their safety and that of our citizens. Mayor White exhibited a strength in leadership during that process that made me confident that we can continue to make progress as a city.

Recently, Mayor White worked to carry out a promise made by City Council when the Swim Center was closed. Because of his leadership, swim opportunities for citizens will once again become a reality.

Without his leadership, my confidence in our city's progress would waiver. For this reason, I ask you to vote to re-elect Mayor Junie White in his runoff election Tuesday, because this city needs his leadership to continue moving forward.

Rosalyn Henderson Myers, Spartanburg City Council member and S.C. House District 31 representative-elect

 

True public servant

I encourage all city of Spartanburg voters to vote for Mayor Junie White in the runoff election on Tuesday. Thanks to Junie and his past leadership, Spartanburg is a more harmonious place to live where all voices have equal weight to be heard.

Junie has the heart of a true public servant and Spartanburg flourishes on many fronts as a result. He is incredibly humble and has labored to keep Spartanburg unified by listening to all members of the community regardless of their ZIP code or the square footage of their home.

His instincts to work quietly and internally, rather than seek public recognition and accolades, are what make him the effective mayor that he is.

I think of Junie as the Jimmy Stewart character in “It's a Wonderful Life,” and I picture the division and animosity, racial and otherwise, that could exist in Spartanburg today if he had not always made an effort to nurture and encourage all groups of people in our city. Thanks to Junie, Spartanburg is more harmonious, different groups are on the same page now, and we have come much further together as one.

The runoff election for mayor on Tuesday is vitally important for the future of our city. Vote for Junie to help proclaim that we want to be a city moving forward together, not a city where resentment outweighs pride.

I will be voting for Mayor Junie White, a mayor who makes us feel proud, a mayor who believes in and works for ALL the people of Spartanburg.

Lindsay Lavine Webster, Spartanburg

 

Mayoral runoff letters

The deadline for submitting letters pertaining to Tuesday’s mayoral runoff election has passed. Today is the final day the Herald-Journal will publish such letters.