Union City Council District 6 candidate Marsha Gossett says that if elected her goals will be to make municipal government more transparent to the taxpayers, beautify the community to make it more attractive to visitors and new businesses, and promote a closer working relationship between the city and the county to facilitate economic development.
In formally announcing her candidacy for the June 5 special election to fill the vacant District 6 council seat, Gossett said that transparency in government will be her first priority if she’s elected to council. She said people in her district want to know about what’s going on in municipal government and are frustrated by a lack of sufficient information about its operations, particularly when it comes to the spending of their tax dollars.
“I want there to be more transparency for the citizens of Union to understand more of where our tax dollars are going,” Gossett said. “I’m hearing from people that there’s been so much going on in our city that 90 percent of the people don’t trust the government. I think if there was more transparency about how our tax dollars are spent it would help alleviate some of the frustration I’m hearing about.”
To achieve that transparency, Gossett said she would like to see more information about the workings of municipal government provided to the media that spells out exactly where tax dollars are going, how they are being spent, and the justification for those expenditures. She said she would like to see more information online about the inner workings of government, including the bidding process by which municipal contracts are awarded.
Gossett has been employed for the past four years as a certified clinical research coordinator with CU Pharmaceutical Research, a position that often requires her to travel to other communities, many of them similar in size to Union. It also affords her the opportunity to work with her counterparts from other communities who come to Union in the performance of their duties. Her traveling to other communities and her interaction with her colleagues who travel here has given her the opportunity to compare Union to other communities and to learn what those from other communities think about Union.
“In the course of performing my job, I travel around the United States and stay in many small communities like Union,” Gossett said. “Those communities are clean and safe and pleasant to stay in and that’s how I want people to feel about Union.
“When people from those communities come here to work with us they don’t stay here overnight,” she said. “They say they don’t feel safe and that there’s nothing to do here, so they go to Spartanburg.”
Gossett pointed out that the decision of those visiting Union to work here during the day but stay elsewhere overnight is costing the community money.
“That’s at least 10 days a month that people with money are not staying here,” Gossett said. “Multiply that times 12 and you see what we’re losing.”
Gossett said she believes Union has the potential to be the kind of community that gives visitors are reason to stay and spend their money here, but that will require an effort to attract businesses that would provide the services visitors want. It will also require an effort to beautify Union so that it will not only be attractive to visitors but also a source of pride for residents.
“We need to attract more retail and entertainment businesses,” Gossett said. “Union can be a wonderful place and has many great people, but we need to do more things like community clean-up. If the city can spend $88,000 on light bulbs on Main Street then it should be able to spend money to make the community more attractive and a source of pride.”
To help attract those new businesses, Gossett called for the city and the county to work more closely to promote economic development in Union.
“We need to work closer with the county to bring more economic development here,” she said.
Gossett also wanted to thank those who have encouraged her to run for council.
“I want to thank those who have contributed to my campaign, including friends, family, my current employer and my previous employer,” Gossett said.
A Jonesville native, Gossett graduated from Jonesville High School in 1993 and from Spartanburg Technical College in 1995. Since then, Gossett has had additional training in the fields of orthopedic surgery and clinical research. After graduating from Spartanburg Tech, Gossett worked for 11 years at Orthopedic Associates before going to work for CU Pharmaceutical Research. Gossett is a member of the Association of Clinical Research Partners and attends Jonesville Baptist Church.