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Guyton City Council Post 2 candidates speak out regarding taxes, growth
Guyton caboose

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

[Editor’s note: The Herald asked a series of questions to the candidates in the upcoming Nov. 7 elections. Below are their answers to the following questions:

1)     What are two or three specific issues facing the current council that you believe have not been met or dealt with adequately and how do you intend to address those issues if elected?

2)     Do you support TSPLOST? If not, why not? If TSPLOST fails, what alternate revenue sources will you seek to maintain the city’s infrastructure? 

3)     How will you work with the Chamber of Commerce to attract and keep viable and resident-desired businesses (sit-down restaurants, gyms, spas, movie theatres, daycare centers, etc.) within the city?

Candidates’ responses are in alphabetical order.]


Theodore Hamby:

“Our current council has not dealt adequately with the dire situation of the city’s drainage and sewage crisis. They have also provided the citizens with a lackluster police department. 

When I'm elected, I'll tackle the city's drainage and sewage crisis that our current council has neglected. By collaborating with experts and the community, I'll implement infrastructure improvements for flood mitigation and efficient sewage management, prioritizing sustainability and public health to enhance Guyton's resilience.

“Additionally, I'll work to restore trust in the Guyton Police Department through transparency, community engagement, and accountability. Initiatives like body cameras, a civilian oversight board, town hall meetings, and community policing will foster positive relationships between officers and residents, fostering a safer and more united community.

Theodore Hamby
Theodore Hamby
“No, I do not support TSPLOST because the citizens of Guyton are already burdened with sufficient taxation. Given the current high inflation rate, imposing an additional sales tax on our residents, in addition to the taxes they are already grappling with, would be counterproductive. I am confident that TSPLOST will not find favor at the ballot due to these concerns.

“In the event that TSPLOST fails, it's crucial for our city's leadership to explore alternative revenue sources that do not further strain our residents. One viable approach would be to address the long-standing sewage capacity issue that has been neglected by the council. By efficiently resolving this issue, we can not only ensure the health and safety of our community but also create an opportunity for increased revenue. A functional sewage system could facilitate the expansion of homes and businesses, ultimately boosting Guyton's economy and generating a sustainable increase in our tax base.

“In addition to this, we could explore partnerships with local businesses and developers to invest in the city's infrastructure. Collaborations like these can lead to mutually beneficial arrangements, alleviating the burden on our citizens while ensuring the growth and maintenance of our essential services.

In summary, I firmly believe that TSPLOST is not the solution for Guyton's current challenges. By addressing neglected infrastructure issues like sewage capacity and fostering partnerships with the private sector, we can maintain our city's essential services and promote a thriving economy without imposing undue financial strain on our residents.


“Before we can efficiently draw businesses and residents to Guyton, we must prioritize the resolution of drainage and sewage concerns. Unfortunately, the current administration has failed to take action on this crucial matter. It is at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce that we find a collaborative force striving to rectify these challenges. At the forefront of our worries is the sewage capacity, which precariously hovers on the edge of being overwhelmed by an excess of gallons. By partnering with the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, we can work toward sustainable solutions that ensure a thriving community for both businesses and residents. To ensure that Guyton’s greatest days are still ahead of us.”


Hursula Pelote (incumbent):

“I feel that TSPLOST will cover certain equipment that we can buy (for road repairs). That's what I think it helps as well -- all the way around. The roads are the most important because, you know, traveling up and down and seeing our roads in good repair gives the aesthetic (appeal) to our homes -- to our roads, our homes, the upkeep of our city. People seem to be more welcomed and say, ‘Oh, this is a cozy place.’ That's what TSPLOST helps.

“Well in Guyton, we need to find maybe a way to annex some things in but we cannot lose the hometown feel. Everyone that I've spoken with, they want businesses, something new in our city. We have Flaco’s Tacos now, which is great. We have the old Guyton City Hall. And I think (the owners are) thinking about putting something there. So that would be a great business.

Hursula Pelote
Hursula Pelote
“We still have the art studio. And you know, if we get more businesses to come, that'll make that Guyton thrive even more.

“You have to be out there and be seen. You have to always be pushing Guyton and what it has to offer. You got to constantly talk up Guyton. I will constantly be on top of what is going on. Do we have something to offer you where you want to put your business in Guyton?

“I love serving. I served as a teacher. I serve for the children and I like to see things improve. You know, all change is not bad. Change for the good of the citizens and it is a wonderful thing to see them flourish. I just I love it. It's one of those things that I like to see people say, ‘Hey, that was good, what you did.’ We couldn't have done it without you. And then that's a lot about TSPLOST. We cannot do it without our citizens.”