Former Pembroke city clerk Sharroll Fanslau announced her candidacy for mayor Saturday morning, telling those who attended her formal campaign kickoff “it was time for a fresh start.”
Fanslau, who prior to her remarks said she would keep them “short and sweet,” did just that. Her speech weighed in at just over 5 minutes.
“Most of you know me and know what kind of person I am,” Fanslau said, “realistic, open minded and always willing to listen. Changes are inevitable and you should know that you should have a role in those changes. The best results for our community can only happen with your input and support. We want to keep our community intact, grow responsibly and maintain our small town character by managing that growth to the benefit of all city residents and businesses and not just a few.”
Without mentioning the Hyundai Metaplant America set to begin production in 2025 just down Highway 280 by name, or the rapid growth in both warehouses and industrial growth in North Bryan, Fanslau said her aim “is to help our town grow positively with the changes we all know are on our way soon.
“Growth is important to us, but it needs to be responsible growth in the best interest of all,” she added. “While I realize housing is important to us, we also need to invest in our local services and activities for children, families and seniors.”
Fanslau, a grandmother whose husband Paul is retired Army, said she wants her daughter Miranda, son-in-law Kelly Price, a lieutenant with the Pembroke Police Department, and grandchildren Wesleigh and Evelyn “to continue to call Pembroke their home.”
She promised to develop relationships with state and federal agencies “while developing other partnerships such as Bryan County and others to bring needed resources to Pembroke.”
Fanslau is the second candidate to announce intent to seek the mayor’s seat, roughly two weeks after Pembroke Mayor Pro Tem Tiffany Zeigler held a campaign kickoff downtown.
Longtime Mayor Judy Cook will not seek a sixth term as mayor.
Fanslau, who spent four years as clerk before parting ways with the city for reasons that were never announced, and which at one point prompted a public apology from a former city administrator, noted she has long been involved in the civic life of the town she came to nearly two decades ago to help open a branch office of The Heritage Bank.
“I developed strong relationships with the residents and businesses and grew to love this community and became proud to call it my home,” she said.
Fanslau cited her worked as a director of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, where she said she “assisted bringing activities such as the Spooktacular Run, art exhibits by local artists, and the Spring and Fall markets to all of us. I moved on to the position of city clerk and continued helping people daily as much as possible. I always did my best to serve the residents of Pembroke.”
Fanslau helped establish Keep Pembroke Beautiful and served as secretary and treasurer of the American Legion Flag Committee and the Pembroke Police Auxliary, “which was a passion of mine to aid in assisting our police officers with traffic and multiple festivities held in our city.”
She also noted her training through the Georgia Municipal Association and UGA, saying it will “be of great assistance,” if she’s elected.
Fanslau said positive changes won’t happen overnight, and referenced fast growing communities in the area that have been impacted by decades of rapid growth.
“It will take time and patience and hard work by your city government led by a strong new mayor,” she said. “We need to build on our history and retain the character that some of our neighboring towns have lost. We must work together to keep our city a desirable and welcoming, small rural community that families are proud to call their home and where their needs are met. We need to protect our neighborhoods.”
In wrapping up her remarks, Fanslau said she has “what I believe is a good outlook for our future that I hope we share and the qualifications and best interests of our city at heart. I would be proud to be your next mayor.”
Qualifying for the Nov. 7 municipal election is from Aug. 21-25.
For more information about Fanslau, email Fanslau.For.Mayor@gmail.com. She is accepting contributions through Venmo@Sharroll-Fanslau.
Editor’s note: Individuals who want to announce their candidacies to the Bryan County News are welcome to contact editor Jeff Whitten at firstname.lastname@example.org. The News will accept campaign announcements or cover candidate campaign kickoff events.