•Please give a summary of your background — your education, your work experience and your ties to the Madison County community: I am a 1994 graduate of Southern College of Technology (now, Kennesaw State University, College of Engineering) with a BS in civil engineering technology.
I am a registered professional engineer in the state of Georgia, with over 25 years of experience in the program/project management, civil engineering, and construction fields. I work or have worked with state and local governments, industrial, commercial and residential clients. Since 2000, I have worked as a program/project manager and engineer with Jacobs, an architectural, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance professional consulting firm providing program/project management and engineering services for both public and private clients. For the past 13 years, I have been assigned to the Athens-Clarke County SPLOST management team overseeing numerous local government capital projects.
My wife, Rhonda, and I have lived in the Colbert area for over 20 years; we have two sons, Gabriel and Colt. Rhonda has taught in the Madison County School System at Comer Elementary School for 28 years. Throughout the years, we have been active with and/or are still involved in many community functions and organizations such as: Scouting, 4-H, youth recreation sports, Madison County Middle/High School tennis boosters and the Gideons. We are active members of Moon’s Grove Baptist Church where I also serve as a deacon and treasurer.
I also currently serve on the Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority and a recent new member of the Madison County Rotary Club.
•Can you name one area that you feel is underfunded in the county budget versus one area where you might consider cuts? Is there anything you can propose that might save money?
In my opinion, infrastructure capital is a desperate area that needs additional funding. Road conditions and water/sewer capacities are what I see and others that I have talked to have concerns about.
I have not identified a specific area of the budget that I would currently target for cuts; however, I do feel we need to continuously review all departments to reveal any non-captured efficiencies and any programs that are outdated or irrelevant.
•Please discuss your feelings about how Madison County can maintain its agriculture base while also boosting commercial development.
Agriculture, of course, is a main component of Madison County and should be for many years to come. And if we want to maintain an agrarian community base, we have to encourage and seek out agrarian based business to locate here. This includes industrial and commercial industries that our local community resources can supply too and not just be customers receiving from. However, it takes planning and a commitment of resources to work the plan.
•If you are elected, what is one proposal you would put before the county commission for consideration? Why?
We need to hire an economic development staff. We need to actively recruit businesses by staff that have the proper skill set to seek, recruit, negotiate and sell Madison County and our services. These type of industrial and commercial business are critical in expanding tax digest revenues with the minimal services provided by the local government.
•What are two issues that concern you most about the Madison County government? And what actions would you propose to address them?
As stated before, I think infrastructure capital and investment is most concerning and the lack of targeted recruitment of complementary industrial/commercial businesses for our community.
I’d recommend a proposal for setting up an economic development team and a proposal to have regularly scheduled infrastructure planning and implementation strategies with the county/IDA/local municipalities to work towards short term and long terms goals.