Rincon residents have one female candidate running for city council as Ann Daniel has thrown in her hat for one of the three seats available.
Daniel is not one who sits on the bench happily oblivious to what is going on around her. She has attended city council meetings regularly since moving to Rincon in 1999.
Daniel, 53, was later recommended to the planning and zoning board, now planning and appeals, by a few of the councilmen. She served about two years and had no prior experience in planning or zoning.
“I went through the book and I read and I learned,” she said.
Despite her involvement and interest in local politics, the decision to run for city council was not easy. Someone suggested she run, but she declined.
“And then after I thought about it awhile I said, ‘Well, you know, I stopped working in February, I go to the meetings anyway,’” she said.
Her husband, Raymond, nudged her even more. Yet Daniel admitted she had her doubts considering that many people don’t know who she is.
“But you have the concern and that’s what counts,” her husband countered. “He said go for it, if you win, you win. If you don’t, you don’t … you’re still gonna be sitting there every Monday night anyway.”
She thought it over for a couple of weeks and finally agreed with everyone else.
Her background should help in her run and seat, if she wins.
For 10 years she was an administrator at Memorial Hospital, managing five different departments. Prior to that, she worked at St. Joseph’s/Candler for 12 years.
She moved to Rincon from Savannah in 1999 after making several visits to the town.
“I had been coming out here for years looking around and loved the small feel of the city,” Daniel said.
Yet she supports Rincon’s growth.
“I think every community has to grow or it becomes really, really stagnant,” she said. “Growing is good, but it does need to be managed.”
She explains this is achieved with ordinances and location. She’s a big proponent of making developers add green space into their designs.
Daniel wants more businesses to come to Rincon.
“I think we have to be open to new enterprises and new businesses,” she said. “That’s what makes it more of a hometown feel, you know, when you can live here, buy here, worship here.”
Adding more recreational opportunities to the city is also a priority to her. Her focus is on the senior population and the youth.
“I think as we’re growing and aging and with our youth as well, we could do a better job of like senior centers, we don’t have and some youth recreation centers, which we don’t have,” she said.
While at St.Joseph’s/Candler she developed SmartSenior, a senior organization. At Memorial Hospital, she started a similar initiative called Generation One. Both programs are thriving in Savannah.
“My background is with seniors,” Daniel said. “I’ve been working in the senior market for over 21 years.”
However, the needs of the younger residents are not lost on her, either.
“It’s vital that they have a place that they can go and have activities and social interaction, so we need to really focus on them,” she said about seniors. “But we also need to focus equally as hard on our youth.”
She wants them to not only have recreational outlets as kids but as they grow up as well, with things such as movie theaters eliminating the need for them to travel out of the county for leisure activities.
“It’s such a prime opportunity right now to think about all those things that we don’t have and as we’re going forward let’s start incorporating some of that into our city, as we build it,” Daniel said.
Daniel follows behind former city councilwoman Gussie Nease, who served from 2002-2005.
“I’m highly supporting Mrs. Daniel,” Nease said, citing Daniel’s work experience as a being a big asset to the council.
Daniel, too, noted that her leadership experience is one reason why she would be an effective council member.