District 3 Jackson County Commissioner Bruce Yates made his official announcement to a crowd last Thursday at the Hoschton Depot in West Jackson.
On Thursday, he described that seven years ago, he had made a commitment to improve the quality of life of Jackson County citizens, building a platform that contains three elements: to control growth, extend infrastructure of economic development and to provide equal access to recreational facilities.
Addressing the crowd as “we” rather than “I”, Yates explained that, “back in 2006, the way we dealt with (controlling growth) was (that) we worked with the citizens on the comprehensive plan,” said Yates.
To extend infrastructure of economic development, “we” developed roads, he explained. Previous planning with the county’s recreational board to offer equal access to recreational facilities started with a 10-year plan that emphasized Hoschton Park, he added.
Yates said that in 2010, after he was re-elected to office, Jackson County leaders made a commitment again in District 3 to improve the quality of life of its citizens once again.
“Our platform focused on efficient, effective use of thee tax dollar, economic development and equal access to programs and facilities,” he said. “Of course, concerning what we have accomplished with tax dollars, we did help with sale of heavy equipment and the number of CI inmates that decreased the amount of expenditures we had there.”
Yates explained that as a result, 2,400 new jobs were created throughout the county and the tax digest was increased over $600,000 million.
From 2010, in West Jackson, Hoschton Park became a reality, Braselton Park was in development, a new EMS station was in the works, West Jackson Park was remodeled and a new traffic light was installed on Hwy. 124 and Hwy. 332, he added.
He said, countywide, the county saw the historic courthouse exterior reservation in Jefferson, the construction of a new jail, fire facility, Airport Road expansion and the construction of East Jackson Park.
“These are projects that we have supported and (have) been a part of,” said Yates. “We have accomplished some of the goals if not all. In 2014, we have once again emphasized that we are going to continue our economic and efficient use of the tax dollars and we are going to work on promoting economic development, new jobs and add to the tax digest and try to do that in a balanced way in commercial, industrial and agriculture… We just want to keep moving forward…”
Yates was elected to the District 3 Jackson County Commission seat in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Professionally, he served 43 years as a teacher and administrator in Alabama and Georgia. The last 28 years in the Jackson County Schools retiring at the end of the 2011 school year. As a civil servant, he has voluntarily served as a Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) president, a local professional association president, Home Owners Association (HOA) president, Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, as a council member for the Town of Braselton and as an advisory board member of the Jackson County Recreation Board.
Yates has lived in Jackson County for 20 years. He and his wife, Beth, live in the West Jackson area and have three grown children.
The Republican primary is set for May 20.