Long-time councilman Tom Lohr decides against re-election bid | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 22, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm
A familiar name was not on the list of candidates for the Walterboro governmental posts for the November ballot.
Walterboro City Councilman Tom Lohr will not seek re-election to a third term on council.
Lohr said that there were a multitude of things that lead him to decide not to run for another four-year term on city council.
The major reason for his decision, Lohr said, is his health. “I have been having some back problems and have surgery scheduled for later this month. I just need to get myself in a little better shape physically to be able to do some things that I was able to do physically three or four years ago,” Lohr said.
He added that his wife, Patti, has had some health issues in the past, “but we are getting good reports.”
“I can’t say I have been overworked (as a council member); in the back of my mind, I think I would have run as good a race as I had in the past,” he added.
Lohr stressed that his decision was not based on any the work of council. “There are no council conflicts; we get along pretty well.”
A some of the credit for making job easier, Lohr said, goes “to our two Jeffs,” former City Manager Jeff Lord and current City Manager Jeff Molinari.
“But the biggest thing is we have got an absolutely great group of workers,” Lohr said. Mayor Bill Young, Lohr said, “always says those kind of people make us look good.”
The council accomplishment he is most proud of, Lohr said, doesn’t name a specific issue or particular project, although he is proud of his role in the council’s efforts to improve the quality of life for Walterboro residents and to enhance the prospect of the city attracting more business and more residents.
He is most proud of how council functions, how it performs its duties, “the ability of our council.”
Although the council members can have differing opinions on the issues and questions brought to them, Lohr said, “ our council knew what they had to do. They had to listen to each other.”
That give and take in the discussion of the topic at hand, he said, meant when it was “time to vote, there were few (decisions) that were not unanimous.”
Lohr suggests that the legislators in Columbia and Washington D.C., could take a lesson from Walterboro City Council.
“The state and federal people could learn a lot by listening and being a great deal more respectful of each others’ opinions,” Lohr said. “I get real frustrated reading what going on at the state and federal levels. It’s sad.”
Lohr said as a rookie on city council, he strived to be an attentive listener.
“I loved to listen to what everyone had to say,” Lohr said. “I would let the others speak first, listen to everything everyone else had to say. Sometimes that would change my mind, sometimes it would solidify my mind.”
In his first years on city council, Lohr said, “I was slow to speak.” As he became more comfortable with the process, Lohr he offered his thoughts on the issue more frequently. “A lot of people picked at me, said when you got started, we could not get you to stop. I took that good naturedly and I think in a lot of cases, they were exactly on target.”