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Filing begins for Surfside Beach election

Filing begins today and ends Friday for three open seats on the Surfside Beach Town Council.

The seats filled by Doug Samples, Sammy Truett and Joe Martin are all up for grabs, but only Samples will run to retain his spot, guaranteeing there will be two new faces on the council after April's election.

Samples, who has served almost eight years on the council, said he is planning to run again because he thinks it's important to serve the people of Surfside Beach.

"I'm for improving - but not changing - our community," Samples said. "I think transparency, good government, fiscal responsibility remain very important priorities for me and the town."

Some of the council's accomplishments he is most proud of include improved public safety, the pay-as-you go approach to spending and budgeting projects.

"I think maintaining a high-quality place to live is very important and must continue to be pursued," Samples said.

Truett said he wants to spend more time with his family. He has two young children.

"It's something I've been thinking about for awhile," Truett said. "I did some soul searching over the weekend. I've been serving for almost a decade, it's time for me to step away for a while."

Truett said he wants to be there for his children now and not have regrets later.

"I want to be at every baseball game and every volleyball game, and not have to leave early," he said. "It's hard to walk away. I've loved what I've done. My family comes first [but] I'll miss it, I'm sure."

He said he believed the town would find a worthy replacement.

"There are a lot of good, qualified people out there," Truett said.

Martin said he won't run again because, "Two terms are enough. I'm a firm believer in term limits."

Surfside Beach will have a general election for all three open Town Council seats April 6. Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. This is a nonpartisan election and no reference to party affiliation will be placed on the ballot.

The three council seats each come with a four-year term that begins May 11. Candidates must be registered voters and residents of Surfside Beach. Proof is required.

Filing can be done at Surfside Beach Town Hall, 115 U.S. 17 N. Candidates can file between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by appointment with the town clerk. The filing fee is $25.

For more information, call Town Clerk Sharon Pinnell at 913-6333.