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Sprague decides against third City Council term

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After serving two terms as an at-large representative on the Greenville City Council, Gaye Sprague has decided to focus her attention on her business.

On Tuesday, Sprague announced she would not seek a third term on the council.

“I went into this as a way of serving the community so I never really thought of it as a really long-term commitment,” Sprague said. “I just wanted to do my best and serve then let others carry on.

Gaye Sprague (Photo provided)“I think part of it is the economy is so good and my work is good and three years ago was when my work really started to pick up.”

Greenville Mayor Knox White said Sprague has been an asset on the city council during her eight years.

“Gaye brings considerable professional and personal skills to the council,” White said. “She loves our city and wants it to grow the right way.”

Sprague — who is currently vice mayor pro tem on the council — is principal of Sprague and Sprague Consulting Engineers with her husband Joel and used her civil engineering experience to advocate for infrastructure improvements across the city. In 2015, Sprague helped spearhead a study of 20 high-traffic intersections across the city.

Now, the city and S.C. Department of Transportation are working on some of the solutions suggested in the report, specifically along the retail corridor of Woodruff Road where the state is undertaking the 85/385 improvement project.

“It takes a while to get things done, but I do think we have a great staff that will continue to think about efficiency and city management that continues to look at community safety,” Sprague said.

She said Greenville had a “deep talent pool” and she was “confident” a new council member would bring a new set of perspectives to the council. But, in terms of pressing for infrastructure enhancements, Sprague said the citizens of Greenville will keep pushing for those improvements.

“It will be up to us as citizens to keep voicing our thoughts and support for programs like the traffic study,” Sprague said. “Certainly, the public has a huge focus on Woodruff Road and the DOT projects that are happening. Of course, that helps keep our elected officials focused.”

The election for her at-large seat will begin with a primary in June followed by the general election in November. Terms for District 2 councilwoman Lillian Brock Fleming and District 4 councilman David Sudduth also expire in 2017. Neither have announced their intentions on seeking re-election.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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