New Darlington Mayor makes history - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gloria Hines brings in transition team

New Darlington Mayor makes history

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The city of Darlington is making history with the city's first female African-American mayor, Gloria Hines. Hines is set to take over the Darlington mayoral office next month. Hines’ vision for the city starts with bringing up standards. She says it's about becoming the pearl of the Pee Dee again.

The runoff election ended in a tie back in November between Hines and Jim Stone. Hines came out on top beating Stone with ten provisional votes. Even with the tie, Hines was confident with her 15 years of experience being on city council, it was her time to lead the city of Darlington.

Hines says to bring up standards, the city needs more people and business in downtown. With poor infrastructure and storm drainage, the only way to fix these problems is with more revenue. Hines says, "What I have to offer, Darlington has nowhere to go but up. I’m a communicator, I can talk with people, I feel where they are coming from. It’s a great communication when there’s people that want to help make me move, and people have to feel wanted and needed. It’s not all about just one, it’s everybody.”

Hines believes in order to make people shop in Darlington, people need to feel pleased by the businesses in downtown. Hines also says it’s time to bring the people Darlington together. She believes the city has been divided for too long. To help with that division, Hines has assembled a transition team made up of business leaders to bring the improvements Darlington needs to city departments.

“I'm hoping that as a council, all of us can come together as a team. I can’t work by myself," Hines said.

Lisa Ralley took over as owner at Jim's Grill, a local hotspot just five months ago. Ralley is expecting change for the future. She says, “I’m hoping when Gloria takes office, she’ll understand new businesses like myself would like to be recognized. It would mean a lot to us that Darlington does care that you’re here.”

Hines ended by saying, “It’s about one Darlington. Its not about this group, this group, it’s about one Darlington.”

The first transition team meeting was held Wednesday night and anything that went on will be brought to city departments next week. Hines will officially take office on January 5.

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