Two candidates vie for Denmark City Council
Written by Jerry Durgan   

Evert Comer III, John D. Fogle, Calvin Odom, and Johnnie Ruth Rosa filed for the unexpired term on Denmark City Council of Rufus Jamison who resigned in March. However, Rosa withdrew her candidacy April 27 and Evert Comer III withdrew his bid for candidacy May 3, leaving only Odom and Fogle in the running.

Calvin Odom

Calvin Odom filed for the vacated Denmark City Council position, a graduate of the Denmark-Olar High School class of 1976, and Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, class of 1980, with a degree in English and a Business and Spanish minor.

“I am married to Dianne Sider Odom and we have three lovely grown children, two sons and a wonderful daughter. I worked as a Senior Procedure writer at Westinghouse Savannah River Company for over sixteen years, as a GED Instructor at the Bamberg Job Corps for three years, as a Mental Retardation Specialist at the Bamberg County DSNB for five years, and I am presently serving as an Adjunct English Instructor at Denmark Technical College.

“I am running for city council because our city council is in dire need of having someone on council that is in tune with the problems that are permeating/running rampant in our community” he said.

“I have been an integral part of the Denmark community all of my life, and I love this community. It saddens me to see all of the violent crimes and other activities that are attributed to the youths of our community. I truly believe that a lot of these violent youth issues are solvable with someone like me who has implemented programs in the past that gave our youths other options other than resorting to violent activities.

“I have spent most of my adult years working with young people in some capacity to improve their status in life in the Denmark community over the years.

“I trust that if I am elected that I will be able to immediately gain the confidence of the citizens of Denmark because I have always tried to keep in touch with the pulse of this community, especially the youthful part of this community.

John Fogle

John D. Fogle is the second candidate vying for a seat on Denmark City Council to fill the vacant seat after Rev. Rufus Jamison resigned in March.

Fogle, after several years absence from Denmark, returned to his home town following his retirement as a long-haul truck driver. A retired Coast Guardsman after twenty years of service, truck driver after more than fifteen years, and after more than four years as a truck driving instructor at O-C Tech, in Orangeburg. He says, “I’m now fully retired. My time is my own so I have all of the time in the world to devote to being an excellent councilman for the city of Denmark.”

As a Coast Guardsman, Fogle has lived in “most of the states in the nation.” As a long haul trucker “I’ve traveled through all of the rest.”

A graduate of Denmark High School, he has as number of credit hours, though he hasn’t graduated, from the University of Georgia.

“I’m here,” he explained, “to do what I can for the city. Denmark needs more transparency in government. I’ve noticed that often the whole story is not told. There needs to be better follow-up and follow-through by council members. I’m troubled by the extent of violent crimes in the community. It’s both outrageous and embarrassing for a town this size. I’m troubled by the problems and the DHEC fines we’ve been experiencing with our potable water and sanitation. For example,” he noted, “at the last meeting of City Council a contract was let to clean our water towers without going into the bidding practice, which, I think, is always required by taxpayer-based organizations. They didn’t do that. We were told that it was a ‘sole-source bid’ that excluded any other firm capable of cleaning our water tanks. Sole source or not, at least a quorum of council members should have been at bid openings and at bid awards. I’m also concerned about fines (DHEC) the city had to pay out of taxpayer pockets,” Fogle commented. “If an agency of State government mandates that the city do something to rectify a problem, then Council’s responsibility is to assure that that task is done, done on time, and done on budget.”

The special election to fill Jamison’s seat on Council will be held June 12.