(Note: Profiles of other Republican candidates running for Seat 2B — Walter Gibson and Sid Jones — will appear in the Thursday and Friday editions of the Statesboro Herald.)
Bulloch County Commission candidate Travis Chance believes his experience as a former Statesboro city councilman would be an asset in improving the working relationship between the city and county governments.
Chance, seeking the commission's Seat 2B, will challenge incumbent Walter Gibson and newcomer Sid Jones in the May 22 Republican primary. The winner will face Democratic challenger Adrienne Dobbs in the November general election.
Chance served more than 10 years on the Statesboro City Council, but resigned in March to run for the county commission seat.
"The city and county government relationship is amiable now but could be vastly improved through better communication and understanding," he told the Statesboro Herald. "This could be better achieved by someone, like myself, with more than a decade of experience in city government. I could provide insight and common ground found from knowing and being able to relate to both sides of the table."
Like many, Chance said he thinks commissioners should focus on bringing more employment opportunities into the county.
"I feel that Bulloch County's biggest challenge may be managing the unlimited potential that this wonderful place has to offer its citizens," he said. "Jobs are always a big topic of discussion, and I feel that attracting new industry is always a challenge, especially in today's economy."
Bulloch County is a prime location for new businesses and industries, he said.
"This community has so many positive things to offer, and new projects are popping up every day. Our proximity to Interstate 16 and the deepened Savannah port makes us an attractive location for the businesses in our growing state and national economy. We also have a tremendous community that companies will find appealing for their employees' quality of life."
The possibilities are promising, especially since many companies are returning to the country, he said.
"This community has a great deal to offer all employers. We would be very attractive to businesses that could benefit from the use of the port and interstate system.
"Many manufacturing industries, as well as logistics and technology-based businesses, are relocating their overseas entities because of the new tax plan, and I would like to see Bulloch County at the forefront for their US site search," Chance said. "We have so much to offer from the quality of life aspect and available workforce/talent perspective, I don't see how any company could find a better alternative."
If elected, he said he would like to help explore solutions to the county's solid waste problems. He already has ideas for ways to improve services.
"Waste management is an issue we may have to get more creative on," he said. "With growth, more waste will be created by the sheer factor of increased consumption. Currently, the city and county jointly operate the Solid Waste and Recycling Center and ship most of the solid waste to Wayne County. One of the ways that we could help is to keep the current revenue at present levels and keep the upcoming SPLOST revenue to fund operations."
This funding would help pay for a badly needed new transfer station, he said.
"I feel that there may also be a need to address the aging equipment and provide staff with all of the tools possible to make the facility run more efficient. The staff does an excellent job, but we can provide additional resources and support to ease the burden."
Again, Chance said his experience with the city would lend itself to benefit the county.
"I have served as a city councilman for … the last 10 years. During this time, I have created good working relationships with many members of the Bulloch County elected board and staff."
An example of his ability, he said, is the recent discussion with Bulloch County Board of Commissioners Chairman Roy Thompson in which they negotiated an agreement regarding the Transportation Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST.
The two governmental agencies "were able to negotiate an agreement … to allow the community to amicably utilize the Transportation Local Option Sales Tax which will bring millions of dollars in improvements to our roadways and transportation throughout our community," Chance said.
He and wife Shannon have three children. They are members of Connection Church in Statesboro and are very active in the church's activities. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golf and "working on the maintenance of my late grandparents' family farm."
Chance has been a Bulloch County business owner for 10 years and has been in the financial services industry since 2005. He owns and operates a registered investment advisory firm, CFG Wealth Management.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.