By Stefanie Bainum
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) – Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler calls himself a problem solver.
"Solving people problems is a challenge to me and my favorite thing to do is solve people problems," Heitzler said.
That may be why Heitzler has served as mayor to his Goose Creek neighbors since 1978.
"I don't know if there is anything people don't know about me. I think they are just kind and they just don't repeat it," Heitzler said.
An avid history buff, the mayor says he looks to the past to plan for the future.
"It was a very divisive town and it was an unsafe town in many, many ways and so our first theme was calm it down get it safe and we did that," he said.
By tightening Goose Creek's economic belt, Heitzler says the city is debt free and has not had to raise property taxes for its citizens in 33 years. Goose Creek is home to 42 ethnic communities and more than 30 churches, according to Heitzler. The city has been ranked as one of the best places to raise a family by Bloomberg Weekly for several years in a row.
"If you want to get a bang for your buck and you want to get a historic and safe community Goose Creek, S.C., is the place to come."
The former school principal says he no longer watches TV but still gets his entertainment elsewhere.
"I have been studying the history of Goose Creek for over 40 years and so I see things," Heitzler said. "I see ghosts and spirits in the forest, and in the fields, and in the waterways that other people don't see."
Even with its ghosts, it's a city Hietzler says he loves and always had one simple goal for: "To make Goose Creek better than you found it."
"I think that is the most exciting thing any human being could do to leave something better than you found it," he said.