Former Richmond Hill city councilman Harold Fowler formally announced Wednesday his intentions to run for mayor of Richmond Hill later this year.
This is on the heels of two other announcements regarding the mayoral race. Last week, longtime mayor Richard Davis announced he will not seek another term while councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Floyd Hilliard announced his candidacy.
Fowler has a decade of experience in city government. He was a Richmond Hill city councilman from 1995 to 2005. He vacated his seat to run against Davis in the last mayoral race, which he lost.
"Some of the things I ran for have not transpired, so I think we need to go in a little bit of a different direction," he said.
Fowler said among the things he wanted to see are "a close working relationship with the county commissioners and the school board. We need to combine a lot of our services to save tax payers money."
For example, Fowler said Richmond Hill and South Bryan County should have the same zoning ordinances and Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
"There is a lot that can be accomplished if you gained the cooperation of city and county government - and that has not happened," he said.In addition, Fowler said he would also like to implement an architectural design ordinance for commercial development. He said he would also like to see bicycle paths that cover the lengths of Hwy. 144 and Hwy. 17.
Fowler said he was disappointed in the recent decision of the mayor and council to table the tree ordinance. He said it could be designed in a way to where it wouldn’t be a hardship on developers but there needs to something in place for ongoing residential development.
He said the density currently allowed for residential development should be decreased so that houses won’t be as close in proximity to each other. He said a change to meet the county’s limits, which allows fewer homes per acre, would be worth looking into.
"I think I could do a great job for the city. I think my leadership style would make city hall a friendlier place to deal with." Fowler said. "I don’t foresee any mudslinging in this election. There will surely be some debating of the issues, but I’m certainly not going to attack Floyd’s integrity. I didn’t do it with Richard, and I’m not to do it in this election."
Fowler currently works as an apprentice specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to that, he was a supervisor with a national electrical company.
He said his work experience has gained him leadership and planning skills that would help him guide the city, if given the opportunity.