Tom Brooks has been named the Town of Saluda’s administrator, following the resignation Randy Cole last week.
Cole had served as Saluda’s administrator since January 2007, and has worked in Saluda for 18 years, coming here to work for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. Brooks and Cole were both in Town Hall on the President’s Day holiday Mon., Feb. 18, coordinating the change-over.
Cole said this was not a spur of the moment thing, and it had been in the works since Saluda hired Brooks as a part-time administrator in Nov. 2012.
Cole now lives in Florence, where he works for the Florence County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, and was commuting to his post in Saluda on Fridays. "The two-hour commute one-way was getting to me," Cole said.
He added, with the new Tomberlin plant coming to town soon, and other possible developments in the works, a full time person is needed in the administrator’s position.
Brooks, who was Saluda County’s Planning Director from May 2008-August 2011, has worked with the S.C. State Housing Finance & Development Authority, as program coordinator, since Sept. 2012.
"Now, I don’t have to look into that sun and drive to Columbia everyday," Brooks said. "I’m five minutes from work."
Brooks lives in Saluda with this wife, Saluda native, the former Margot Brossey, and their four children.
Even with a part-time administrator, the Town of Saluda has done well, Cole said. "We’ve gotten good audit reports, and we haven’t had to raise taxes."
Brooks says he is looking forward to the challenge. One thing he wants to do is communicate with the citizens, possibly through a regular newspaper column.
Brooks graduated from the College of Charleston in 1999, with a Bachelors in Biology.
His first job was with Ellet Brothers in Chapin, where he worked in inventory control. From Sept. 2000-July 2003, he worked for DHEC as a environmental health manager.
From July 2003-March 2006 he was Environmental Management Administrator for Newberry County. Before taking the position with Saluda County, Brooks worked as a planner for Eagle Business Solutions from March 2006-May 2006.
During the time was a business development officer for Spatial Engineering, where he managed all of S.C. and Georgia sales initiatives, he worked part-time for the Town of Saluda in economic development. He continued in that post from Aug. 2011-Nov. 2012, when he was named assistant administrator.
His appointments and certifications include: Certificate of Achievement awarded by SC Economic Development School; State Board of Directors for SC Association of Hazard Mitigation & Certified Floodplain Manager; Board of Directors Upper Savannah Land Trust; Certificate US Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Identification; SC Economic Developers Association member since 2009.