Summarize your background.
My name is Brad McCook. I am married to Suzanne McCook and have a son, Blake, two stepsons Brian and Michael, and a stepdaughter Emily. I am the son of Archie and Beth McCook and the grandson of the late Roy and Betty Beck. I have lived in Banks County for 30 years on the family farm that has been in my family here in Banks County for over 80 years.
I work for the Athens Clarke County Engineering Department as a permit supervisor. I supervise the inspectors of the Land Development section of new construction with duties that include inspection, grading, soil erosion, stormwater, road construction, curb and gutter, as well as sidewalk installation for code compliance. I am certified through the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission for Level 1-B inspector, Level II plan reviewer, and Trainer certified. I also work closely with the local Georgia Environmental Protection Division and GDOT offices. On a daily basis, I work with engineers, developers, contractors as well as the general public in order to facilitate plans and permits to meet local and state codes. I work with several other departments such as Traffic Engineering, Public Works, Public Utilities, SPLOST, the Planning Department, as well as Building Inspection and the Code Enforcement Division.
I have recently served on the Banks County Planning Commission for the last nine and a half years and served as chairman for the last year. I have also served on the Banks County Comprehensive Use Committee.
I am an active member of the Banks County Republican Party.
I am a member of Grove Level Baptist Church for over 25 years where my wife and I actively serve through the youth ministry.
Why are you most qualified for this position?
I have had the privilege of serving on the Banks County Planning Commission for the past nine & a half years. I have worked very closely with the other board members and Planning Department officials in preparation for each monthly meeting. We worked to do what was best for Banks County and its citizens by closely studying the applications and the county codes to ensure quality decisions. I always welcomed citizen input at every meeting and gave everyone a chance to speak in favor or in opposition of an application. As commissioner, I will continue to value citizen input on the decisions that we make that will affect our future and our children's future for years to come.
At my current job, for the past 16 years I have dealt with engineers, developers, and contractors on a daily basis. I will take the knowledge I have learned and apply it to the job of county commissioner. This will help prepare me to work with developers on new potential projects that are making their way to Banks County. Due to my role as Planning Commission Chairman, I am already familiar with the daily operations of the road, utilities, and planning departments, which will serve me well for coordinating with various departments throughout the county.
What do you consider the key issues facing the office you are seeking? If elected, what would be your plans on how to address these issues?
One of the key issues facing Banks County Commissioners is the growth that is coming to Banks County. My campaign slogan has been "Smart Growth." With the construction of the S&K Battery plant that is being built in Commerce, there will undoubtedly be more growth to follow. I have maintained that Banks County is the place that developers are looking to build, and "We" the citizens of Banks County should dictate exactly what that growth should be. As the chairman of the Planning Commission, we heard the need of the citizens for the one and two-bedroom apartments for young professionals and families. We approved a gated apartment complex complete with amenities and lighted sidewalks with controlled ingress and egress.
After this approval for much needed apartments, more developers wanted to build massive two and three-bedroom apartments. After convening with the Sheriff and the fire departments, the added cost in services that these apartments would bring was astronomical, even without including the extra cost of adding 300 to 400 children into our schools.
As Chairman, I proposed a moratorium on multi-family apartments in order to halt excessive growth. With a unanimous vote from the planning commission and overwhelming citizen support, the motion passed and was later approved by the Banks County Commissioners.
We do not need an influx of apartments in Banks County that will assuredly put a drain on our infrastructure and schools. The citizens of Banks County need businesses that will create good-paying jobs. I believe we need to keep business and industrial growth on the I-85 corridor accordingly and work to improve our infrastructure in order to maintain controlled, smart growth.
Public Safety: I will continue my support for the Sheriff’s department and their needs as they face challenges in our growing community. I support the fire department and the continued growth of additional stations and maintaining equipment needs. I will use my experience in writing county codes to help address potential code issues that the Code Enforcement Division may face.
As a husband, a father, a Christian, and a property owner, I will continue to work to preserve our rural areas, wonderful farms, and country life that we all love & cherish here in Banks county.
I would be honored to have your vote as District 4 Commissioner.
Thank you and God bless!