Guyton native and incumbent councilwoman Dr. Brenda Lovett is preparing to fight for her seat in this year’s election.
“For the past four years, I became involved in projects that we had and I wanted to continue to represent the citizens of Guyton on the city council,” said Lovett, 59, about why she decided to run again.
She began her career in public service around 1998 when she joined the newly-formed planning and zoning board as an alternate member. She later became the group’s secretary and kept the council informed of the board’s recommendations.
When former councilwoman Karen Cantaline resigned, Lovett was appointed to replace her.
She finished Cantaline’s term and then ran unopposed. This is the first time she will face competition as Ulysses Eaton and C.D. Dean III are running against her.
According to Lovett, the city has a number of projects under way or planned that she wants to be a part of. There is the sidewalk project, which will run from Samuel Smalls Avenue down Magnolia Street, Rails to Trails, renovation of the Guyton Civic Center, road resurfacing, recreation expansion and of course, water and sewer.
Lovett said the council is focused on the city’s future.
“Right now we have a vision as to the direction we want to see the growth go in,” she said.
In keeping with that vision, the council has decided to establish a city manager position.
“That would be a strong asset to the city of Guyton,” Lovett said.
The council is conducting interviews now. According to Lovett, they have received some very qualified candidates.
This is just one position on a team working on behalf of the residents of the small town. Lovett stressed that it’s this team effort that matters.
“It’s not anything about me, it’s about the team effort that we have so that we can get the services that the citizens need in Guyton,” she noted. “Whatever we do we’re not thinking about what is good for the city council, we’re thinking about what is best for the citizens that live here.”
Like other candidates, Lovett supports the city’s growth, yet wants to manage it properly so that Guyton does not lose its character. Preserving its historical quality in particular is important to her.
She acknowledged that the council needs to prepare and plan for all the residential growth and council members welcome commercial development.
“We would love to see somebody come into Guyton and come with a business that would attract some employment, but right now Guyton is not just drawing any attention,” Lovett said.
Guyton is one of the last cities to see any growth, she added.
The former teacher and Sand Hill Elementary principal holds a B.S. from Savannah State University, an M.S. from Armstrong Atlantic University, an education specialist degree from Georgia Southern University and a PhD from South Carolina State University.
She still maintains a hand in education, working as a substitute teacher at Effingham County High School. In addition, she serves on the ECHS council and is one of the mentors in the school’s new mentoring program.
The passion for education passed on to her children. One daughter, Ramona, is an assistant principal and another, Mimi, is a teacher.
Lovett’s public service doesn’t end at being a councilwoman. She is also on the county’s governmental affairs board and represents Guyton on the county’s wastewater treatment committee.
Her signs already dot Guyton along with those of the other candidates. However, she does not plan to stop there with her campaigning. She has other plans in store that she hopes will rev up voters.
“If they don’t vote for me, I just hope they get out and vote because that’s the only voice you have. If you don’t, then what can you complain about?” asked Lovett. “But I hope they vote for me,” she added with a laugh.