(Note: Profiles of Republican candidates running for Seat 2B — Travis Chance, Walter Gibson and Sid Jones — will appear in the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday editions of the Statesboro Herald.)
Local social studies educator Adrienne Dobbs hopes, if elected to the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners, to help work toward improved road safety, recycling programs and better partnership between city and county governments.
Dobbs is pitching a bid for Commission Seat 2B and is the sole Democratic candidate. She will face the winner of the May 22 Republican primary between incumbent Walter Gibson and challengers Travis Chance and Sid Jones.
Dobbs, a Double Eagle from Georgia Southern University with an undergraduate degree in history and a Master of Arts in teaching, said she is in her fifth year at Statesboro STEAM Academy, teaching economics and government; U.S., world and Georgia history; and horticulture.
Bulloch County's road safety is of utmost importance, and she believes continued work on improving road safety is important.
"Many improvements to the roads, sidewalks, water drainage, run-off, and intersections have been made over the past five years," she said. "I believe that these improvements need to continue to make Bulloch a safer county for drivers. Many places outside the city limits have had population growth that causes congestion or even dangerous driving behaviors on the roads due to delays. Using traffic controls like round-a-bouts or red lights would help keep the flow of traffic calm and reduce safety concerns. With community support, we could research and plan for improvements to problem areas."
Dobbs would like to see more regular meetings between city and county leaders.
"As for any relationship, communication is key," she said. "Regular monthly or even quarterly meetings could be held between the leaders of each group so that updates, problems and positive achievements could be discussed."
Specialization is also important for government bodies, she said.
"Making sure that one group or entity within the city and county does not have too much responsibility would help with productivity out of each area," Dobbs said. "If the city or county needs help with in issue, reaching out to the other group could be helpful in resolving the issue. This would bring a sense of unity to both groups because they are working together for the improvement of the city and county."
She said she would like to see more renewable energy industries come to the area.
"Due to our region's climate and geography, I would like to see renewable energy sources, like solar farms, be expanded in Bulloch County," she said. "These systems help create local jobs and could utilize an already-popular educational program at Ogeechee Technical College for training to work on the solar systems."
Such businesses would result in eventual energy cost decreases.
Regarding solid waste, Dobbs leans toward the environmental aspect as well, suggesting more recycling options.
"There are multiple models of a dual landfill and recycling program that come from around the United States and other countries that could be studied and scaled to fit our local needs," she said. "Working towards adding a full recycling area to the landfill could bring more jobs to the county as well. These models do not see recycling as a separate issue from waste disposal, but an integrated and integral part of the plan.
"Bulloch County has taken positive steps towards being recycling conscious that other counties in Georgia have not, and with the support of the community, we can go farther. Some studies show that an efficiently run recycling program may cost no more or even less than a traditional waste disposal program."
As a solid waste solution, this isn't a quick fix, but "the impact will be widespread for our local community, environment, and economy," she said. "When the program becomes fully operational it may attract customers from other counties that cannot develop their own recycling initiatives, in turn bringing more revenue and jobs to Bulloch County."
About herself, she said, "At Statesboro STEAM, I sponsor a community involvement club that the students gain volunteer hours for working with local civic organizations in Bulloch County. I believe this is important for the students because it allows them to see the positive impact they can make in their own community. I believe in being a 'lifelong learner.'"
Dobbs enjoys traveling, gardening, home renovation, art, baking, reading and spending time with friends and family. She is married to Chad Dobbs and shares her home with a recently rescued German shepherd dog named Londyn.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.