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Boyum cites local knowledge, approachability in re-election bid

Boyum cites local knowledge, approachability in re-election bid

Boyum cites local knowledge, approachability in re-election bid

Phil Boyum

Borrowing the mantra of legendary football coach Erk Russell, Phil Boyum promised last year to “Do Right” by Statesboro District 1 voters.

The pledge earned him a special-election victory and seat on the Statesboro City Council to replace Councilman Tommy Blitch, who resigned because of illness before the term expired.

Now, less than 11 months since being sworn into office, Boyum hopes the message still resonates.

The incumbent councilman and longtime community fixture is seeking re-election to the District 1 council office. He will be part of a two-man race to be settled in a city election, Tuesday, Nov. 5. Early voting began last week.

“I'm running for re-election because the people want an approachable councilman who has consistently shown that he will ‘Do Right’ and put the welfare and security of the city and district residents before special interests,” Boyum said.

“The city continues to need fresh ideas and a fresh approach because citizens are still tired of hearing, ‘That’s just how things are done in Statesboro.’ The city needs a common-sense councilman who bases his votes not on personal allegiances, but on what benefits the widest number of people in the district and city.”

Boyum, 43, has called Statesboro’s District 1 home for more than six years.

A marketing consultant and radio voice at Georgia Eagle Media radio stations, he is a member of Statesboro’s Kiwanis Club, the emcee of multiple downtown events — including Dancing with the Statesboro Stars, which benefits Safe Haven, a shelter for victims of domestic violence — and a 2010 Statesboro Herald “20 Under 40” honoree.

Prior to work with Georgia Eagle Media, Boyum was a reporter for the Herald covering, among other things, City Council —  he received the 2009 Georgia AP Story of the Year Award for coverage of the council.

“Before being elected by District 1 voters last fall, I had attended more than 100 council meetings, budget hearings and work sessions,” he said. “As someone who was the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community before I was elected, as councilman I remain committed to an open and transparent council in addition to a government that treats its vendors equally and its citizens fairly.”

Boyum is a father to one son, and counts reading and spending time with friends and loved ones among his greatest interests.

“Though the task is far from done … raising my son to be an outgoing and considerate young man” is an accomplishment he is most proud of, he said.

Boyum said he is pleased to call Statesboro home and a great place to raise a family; and is hopeful for the opportunity to continue representing the community.

“As I again walk the district and talk with citizens one-on-one, I hear concerns of neighborhood integrity, economic development, job growth, increasing costs of government and, frankly, just keeping the city looking good. As councilman, I will continue to vote to use city revenues conservatively and efficiently, while considering the needs of existing neighborhoods as we improve our community with smart development decisions,” he said. “I believe a councilman should maintain a non-partisan perspective while operating with no hidden agenda. As I have over the past 12 months, I will continue to work with the other council members to better the entire community, and will continue to oppose any decisions based on self-interest or personal favorites. Legendary coach Erk Russell’s famous phrase ‘Do Right’ says it all.”

Since his election, Boyum has been a central figure in several council projects, including an effort to garner federal grant money to improve drainage in low-lying areas on and around Gordon Street.

He said he remains committed to the idea of improving infrastructure throughout Statesboro and working to bring additional jobs to the city.

“Over the past year, the Statesboro City Council and staff have reached out to Georgia Southern University, Bulloch County, the Bulloch County Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce and others to find projects that will benefit the entire community. While each of these groups – including the city – faces tightened budgets and stalled revenue growth, it is imperative we work together and pool our resources in order to improve infrastructure, create opportunities and raise the standard of living for our citizens,” Boyum said. “The city needs better paying job opportunities. This past spring, I voted to develop the industrial park at I-16 and Highway 301 and a business incubator in downtown. As councilman, I will continue to support ideas that increase economic opportunities while leveraging our tax dollars wisely. We need to continue to work together as a community to bring additional industry and well-paying jobs in order to support our local businesses and retailers.”

Boyum said he has a positive outlook on the city’s future.

“As a marketing consultant for Statesboro radio stations, I understand the importance of fostering a pro-business environment, which increases opportunities for our citizens,” he said. “Over the next few years, I’d like to see our local businesses become more prosperous, see new business develop, see our downtown and South Main areas revitalized, and I’d like to see the area’s major groups working closely together to improve our community for all citizens.”

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

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