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Brannen touts experience in bid for 2nd term

Brannen touts experience in bid for 2nd term

Brannen touts experience in bid for 2nd term

Statesboro Mayor Joe Brannen

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series profiling the four candidates for the Statesboro mayor’s office.

In more than a decade’s time, Statesboro Mayor Joe Brannen has given a lot of himself to the city.

During the next four years, he hopes for an opportunity to give just a little more.

The longtime Statesboro City Councilman and mayor for one term is seeking re-election to office. He will be part of a four-candidate race to be settled in a city election, Tuesday, Nov. 5. Early voting began Monday.

“I have enjoyed being the mayor for the last four years. I feel the city has made great strides and accomplishments, and I want to continue to work to make Statesboro a better place to live,” Brannen said. “I have a very good knowledge of the city and what it takes to be a mayor. I want to work for every citizen, and have always been open and available. I love this city and want to serve it for another four years.”

In a crowded field, Brannen, 74, is the only candidate who can say he has served in public office.

A resident of Statesboro for 47 years — after moving from Portal — he served on Statesboro City Council for a decade before being elected to the mayor post in 2009.

Brannen believes his experience at the helm that makes him the most qualified option for Statesboro voters.

“I served on the City Council for 11 years and have served as mayor for four more. I have a good financial background and understand what it takes to run a city.  I have worked with Georgia Southern University and partnered with them to bring the City Campus to downtown Statesboro,” he said. “I work well with Bulloch County commissioners. I understand that what is good for the county is also good for the city; and I am retired, and have plenty of time to devote to being the mayor of Statesboro.”

In his professional career, Brannen served as a branch manager for a consumer finance company and special assets officer for a local bank.

He was a charter member of Bulloch Lions Club, where he served as President for several terms, is a member of the Downtown Statesboro Rotary Club and has served on a Consumer Counseling board for eight years.

Brannen said his greatest accomplishment, though, is “being a husband and father to four sons.”

In his free time, he said, he enjoys running, walking, fishing and attending sporting events.

The incumbent mayor believes the city is headed in a positive direction, and is pleased with ongoing efforts within city departments.

“I feel that the city of Statesboro is in excellent condition. There is an excellent staff and employees that strive to make this city run smooth for all its citizens,” he said. “The elected officials work together well and are concerned and committed to do the right thing for all citizens.”

Still, there is plenty room for improvement, he thinks.

“I would like to reduce the crime in the city and on the GSU campus; I would like to increase the amount of employment opportunities; and I would like to complete a study to see if property taxes could be decreased or eliminated,” Brannen said. Also, “(Statesboro needs) a study to reduce traffic, and more community service projects that help people unite as one. I would like to see more sidewalks, bike paths and walking trails to accommodate the students and citizens and more industry to create better-paying jobs.”

Brannen said he loves the city he calls home and envisions additional growth in coming years.

“Statesboro is a wonderful city. I want to continue to improve the attractions we have and make it even better,” he said. “I see Statesboro as a much larger city with more industry, more shops, more restaurants, more housing and a much larger GSU. I would like to see continued growth, while maintaining a family-friendly environment that we have all grown to enjoy.”

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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