Debi Krause

Debi Krause

BNJ: Please provide a brief background/biography of yourself.

Krause: I have lived in Statham for 33 years. My husband Rudy and I have been married for 47 years. We both attended school in Augusta, where we met and attended Georgia Southern College.

I have worked in dentistry as a certified dental assistant, membership and program specialist with Northeast Georgia Girl Scouts and recently retired from Barrow Chamber of Commerce as VP of membership services. I now work part-time in marketing for Golden Productions at the Innovation Amphitheater.

I served on the Barrow County Board of Education for the past seven years. I serve on the Ethics Committee for the City of Statham. I currently represent Statham on the Barrow County Historical Society Board and serve on the Barrow Ministry Village Board.

I attend Bethlehem Church. I have one daughter, Valerie Lancaster, who teaches eight-grade math at Westside Middle School and is married to Dr. Shane Lancaster, assistant principal at Bear Creek Middle School. I have two beautiful grandchildren, Rachel and TJ.

BNJ: Why did you decide to run for election, and what in your background makes you the most qualified candidate for this seat?

Krause: I am running for city council to serve my community that has provided me and my family with a wonderful place in which to live. I have attended Statham City Council meetings for over a year and I would like to see the city council work together for the equality of all citizens. In addition, maintaining a transparent government that informs our citizens of the projects that are being met and what projects are needed for sustainable growth within the confines of our budget. Our city has a very small budget in which to work with. The budget can be used as an obstacle or a challenge. I believe we must first focus on our city’s needs and continue to move the city’s audits forward in order to avail us with alternative funding for city enhancements.

My background with the chamber of commerce in economic development will help me contribute smart growth strategies and strategic planning. My background related to the school board will help me with contributing to the budgeting process. I have worked closely with our legislators and the Carl Vinson Institute in Athens. Having these contacts will help me with connecting us to people who can help move our city forward. My contribution on other boards has helped me to respect others' points of view and how they think. I believe my background qualifies me for a seat on the Statham City Council.

BNJ: What should the city’s approach to the continuing growth in population be? How can the city best position itself to handle the inevitable continued growth?

Krause: We have been experiencing growth in Statham. The city has a few subdivisions that were approved prior to the recession, and now they are beginning home construction. Our water and sewer are in high demand and we currently are not in a good situation. We must expand our water capacity. A well is in the works for Statham but we will still need to expand our pond to provide enough water. The water situation will be ongoing until we can catch up with demand. We currently are purchasing water from the county. We will need to work together with our county, cities and legislators to help resolve this crucial issue. We need road improvements, and in certain high-traffic areas roads need to be widened. Funding for our police department needs to continue, which is the city’s No. 1 priority.

Smart growth planning goals should be determined. Plans have been established where development should go now and are available at city hall. We will need to work with DOT with upcoming projects at Highway 211. Policies are needed to preserve open space, recreation, and create tourism. We need to work closely with the county's economic development director to bring in industry that will support our community’s needs, and we need to investigate grants for funding.

BNJ: Aside from growth, what do you consider to be the top three issues the city is facing and will face in the coming years? If elected, how would you work to address those issues?

Krause: Police protection, water and sewer expansion, roads and infrastructure.

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