BNJ: What makes you unique as a candidate for county commissioner? How will you stand out should you be voted into office?
McCullers: A unique candidate brings to the table insight of the operations of government. I have worked for over 35 years as a public servant in the fire service. I’ve seen both sides. There are many customers we serve daily in our community. Our citizens or visitors in Barrow County, being external and the employees, or internal customers. Being an employee for years, I have a great understanding of concerns, issues, and challenges faced, but also working with elected officials during my career to solve problems that are the best results for all customers. I was born in Barrow County, graduated from Winder-Barrow High School, but also began my fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in Auburn. The facts related to an issue are important to me. Listening to everyone’s concerns prior to providing feedback or voting on an item, provides better understanding of who and how this effects our community.
BNJ: What do you believe is the county’s role in government?
McCullers: The county’s role in government is to provide essential services to those living, working, or entertaining in Barrow County. These essential services are public safety, infrastructure (roads, water, sewer), and parks. Listening to citizens and employees is paramount when quality of life challenges are presented. People want to feel safe where they go all while traveling on safe roadways.
BNJ: If there is an issue that comes before you that is fully in compliance with all relevant codes and ordinances/comprehensive plan/future land use map/etc., but multiple members of the public speak out against it, how would you make your decision?
McCullers: If a project or development is fully compliant with all items, it could create possible litigation if not approved. I would be sure to listen to the citizens concerns, confirm all pertinent information and compliance. Understanding of their concerns and explaining to them why I made a specific decision or vote for transparency.
BNJ: What is your opinion on growth in the area? What would be your approach to "smart growth?”
McCullers: Barrow County’s growth is concerning to me. We have areas in the county that are experiencing growth, but roads are substandard, which would require significant upgrades due to the projected traffic. Quality Growth, based on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan needs to be closely monitored to assess the impact of projects or developments on our fire department, sheriff’s department, roads, and schools. If Barrow County is shouldering the brunt of upgrades, we need to consider a developers’ involvement to offset the funding. Tax dollars must be utilized fiscally responsible to maximize the citizens funds.
BNJ: Would you be in support of a moratorium on building permits should the board decide it necessary? Why or why not?
McCullers: With the current situation in place, a pause in rezoning and/or permits would give county personnel an opportunity to process projects and developments in progress. The growth in the greater Atlanta area has come to Barrow County. I know there is momentum, but I would support moratoriums, first with rezoning, then permitting. Of course, I want to hear all the facts and information related to these items, to make an educated decision
BNJ: If you were given a $15 million grant to spend as county commissioner, what would you spend it on?
McCullers: The $15 million grant would be spent to improve services. A needs assessment would provide ideas. Capital projects needing funds to complete or start. We still have citizens that live over 5 miles from a fire station, a common concern, I have heard many times on the campaign trail, road paving. Unfortunately, $15 million won’t go very far, with current costs associated with building or paving.