LAKE CITY, S.C. – Stephany Snowden said she intends to become the Dawn Staley for local government. She started as Lake City’s city administrator on Feb. 1 and intends to inspire and guide the city’s government, much like how Staley guided the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team to a national championship.
“Dawn is a friend,” Snowden said. “She actually has become an ambassador of basketball. I intend to become the Dawn Staley for local government. She started out slow and little and mighty, and then, bam. She was on the scene.”
Snowden comes to Lake City from Columbia, where she most recently was a Richland County Sheriff’s Department major and served as part of Sheriff Leon Lott’s command staff. She has previously worked as a journalist in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand regions, was fourth in command for Richland County government and managed millions of dollars for Lexington County’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) federal program.
Snowden said one of her biggest tasks in Lake City will be to help the city, council and mayor encourage new growth and development while balancing the needs of the people who exist there.
“I care about affordable housing from a policy standpoint,” Snowden said. “I care that we need to actually do that, and I have a background in that. I care about making sure that every inch of this city is safe. It doesn’t matter what neighborhood you live in, what your income is — folk ought not have to be dodging bullets. And I care about creating opportunity for our young people and the people that are here, not handouts.”
Lake City already has good employees and council members, according to Snowden. And there are other good things taking place in the city such as ArtFields and the new Florence Darlington Technical College campus being built. Snowden said she sees it as her job to kick things to another level.
One of her jobs is making sure that the city is attracting and maintaining quality police officers. Snowden said she and Lake City Police Chief Kipp Coker see eye-to-eye on that.
“I think she’s going to be a great asset to the community ,” Coker said of Snowden. ” She’s bringing a lot of good ideas . She is community-oriented and will serve the citizens of Lake City well. I look forward to working with her.”
Snowden said she wants officers to understand they have to have a community focus, and the No. 1 job is to protect life and safety.
“You’re going to see things you’ve never seen from law enforcement initiatives, to community engagement and letting people know how their tax dollars are being spent,” Snowden said. “That’ll be what I’ll be doing in the latter part of this year.”
During the first part of the year, Snowden said her goal is to get out and meet people, do an assessment and make sure the city is providing the basic services.
Lake City Mayor Lovith Anderson Jr. said he believes the council made a good decision in hiring Snowden as the new city administrator. The city has been without an administrator since September, when former administrator Shawn Bell resigned.
“We are confident that she (Snowden) will lead the city to higher levels of success,” Anderson said.