PICKENS COUNTY — Representative Gary Clary of Pickens was recently honored with the Public Servant of the Year Award at the 2018 ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon.
Clary, a South Carolina native, has served in the Statehouse since 2014 and has a reputation for standing up for conservation issues and citizens’ rights to intervene on environmental issues that will affect them, stated a spokesperson for Upstate Forever (UF).
“In his role as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Clary worked with the Pickens County delegation to introduce and pass a bill to prohibit coal ash from being dumped in unlined landfills, protecting both public health and water quality across the state,” the conservation society stated about his award. “He actively worked with bipartisan allies on the floor of the House to stop the advancement of the Automatic Stay Bill in 2017, which would have limited the ability of citizens to engage in the public permitting process.”
It is a fight that continues this legislative session, they said.
Additionally, Clary led multiple fights on the House floor against a range of bills aimed at limiting property owners’ ability to hold neighboring industry accountable, they said.
During the awards luncheon, speakers lauded Clary as one of the first Upstate legislators to fight against the anti-home rule bill that attempted to limit the ability of local communities to find local solutions to local plastic pollution.
“He has also been a long-standing advocate for land protection through re-authorization of the Conservation Bank,” they said. “Locally, Representative Clary negotiated an agreement between Clemson University and a Clemson neighborhood to relocate a proposed combined heat and power plant away from the neighborhood and closer to the campus it would serve.”
Clary is married to Patricia Brumbach Clary, who retired from the faculty of the Mary Black School of Nursing at USC Upstate. They have two children, Adair Clary Pederson, a public school teacher and Lawson Brumbach Clary, an ordained minister. They also have four grandchildren.
Also honored at the luncheon was Ten at the Top Executive Director Dean Hybl.
“Dean was instrumental in many aspects of the Shaping Our Future work,” said UF. “Not only did Ten at the Top contribute substantial financial and in-kind resources to support the effort, but Dean himself contributed hundreds of hours assisting with the selection of the consultant and recruitment of steering committee members; participating in bi-weekly conference calls regarding the project; and planning and hosting meetings and forums.”
Since becoming the first full-time Executive Director of the fledgling organization in 2010, Dean has helped Ten at the Top earn regional and national recognition for developing connections, fostering collaboration and building regional capacity across communities and stakeholder groups around issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life in the Upstate, they said.
Originally from Keysville, Virginia, Dean is a graduate of James Madison University. He and his wife, Suzy, have two children — Bethany and Nate — and currently reside in Greer.