BNJ: Please provide a brief background/biography of yourself.
Patterson: I’ve been married for 33 years and have two daughters and five grandchildren with one more on the way. I have lived in Barrow County for 11 years with last four being in Statham. I attend Bethlehem Church.
I have a degree in Business Management from Kennesaw State University with a minor in Marketing. I have worked 33 years in the insurance industry and am currently employed as a regional small group account manager with Anthem BCBS.
I have served on several finance committees, including Rivers Hill Church. I have served the last two years on the Statham tree/beautification and holiday committees.
BNJ: Why did you decide to run for election, and what in your background makes you the most qualified candidate for this seat?
Patterson: I want to bring my many years of experience dealing with individuals and businesses to Statham in order to work with the council and mayor to move Statham forward.
In my 33 years in the insurance industry, I have helped numerous individuals, families and business owners to figure out what they need and then find a solution that best fits that need.
I have also helped families in solving issues that they may encounter with insurance carriers and worked to help solve that problem.
With this experience, I can bring a willingness to work for all citizens and to help develop a vision for Statham that will benefit all.
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?
Patterson: Because of the current water and sewage system issues facing Statham we need to have smart, controlled growth. Obviously the one hurdle keeping Statham from moving forward is the completion of past years’ audits.
Our current sewage system right now cannot handle any type of rapid growth, and without the grant money we cannot move forward on fixing this.
The best way the city can handle future growth is to hopefully have the audits completed in the near future and start to receive grant money so that these major issues can be fixed. We also need to look to become water-independent so that the money Statham is spending to purchase water from Winder can be reinvested in our community so that the infrastructure we do have can be maintained and improved, which includes upgrading our parks. Statham has many young growing families and we desperately need to upgrade our parks for their enjoyment. Also, for the safety of our families, we need to look to add on additional sidewalks so that more surrounding neighborhoods have a safe route to downtown.
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?
Patterson: Number one would be water and sewage. I would continue to work with the council and mayor to encourage the continued goal to become water-independent.
Number two would be crime. Crime is slowly increasing and we need to continue to support and grow our police department. We need to provide our police with the best available equipment. I would continue to work with the mayor and police to eventually have our police available 24/7. Our citizens’ safety is vital to our community.
Number three would be infrastructure as far as the downtown business area. We need to maintain it in order to keep our current businesses and to attract new ones here. I would work to develop a long-term vision for Statham that would include attainable goals and to create plans to meet those goals. As the saying goes, a city always needs a vision, and to achieve that vision you need goals. And to meet those goals, you need a plan.
As my dad always said, the true character of an individual is not what they do when people are looking, it is what they do when people are not.