About this Blog

Dick Smith, a Foreign Service Officer retired from the U.S. Department of State moved to Aiken in 1999 and soon became concerned about the fast rate of growth that was threatening the small town charm and quality of life in Aiken. Marianne Pecoraro moved to Aiken from San Francisco in 2000, and likewise soon became concerned that Aiken was changing rapidly and without adequate planning. Both became active in Smart Growth Aiken.

In 2001 Dick, with encouragement from Smart Growth Aiken board members, decided he could make his best contribution to our community by serving on the Aiken City Council. Dick won his seat in November 2001, with Marianne as his campaign manager. In 2005, Dick was elected to his second term which expired in November 2009. Dick did not run for a third term because he believes in term limits. Reggie Ebner ran for the District 4 seat in 2009 and was elected with 84% of the vote.

Soon after he was elected to City Council in 2001, Dick created the Aiken Journal  newsletter email to stay in touch with his constituents. Marianne frequently collaborated in its writing.Click the Archives 2002-2007 tab to read original articles. The success of the newsletter and the email list grew to the point where they wanted to reach out to more of Aiken's concerned citizens and to cover issues of importance throughout Aiken County as well as the City of Aiken.* So, they built an online weblog version of the Aiken Journal. There have been many contributors to the blog since its inception. The list includes  Miles Hall, Jim Wetzel, Dr. Rose O Hayes and Dick Dewar.