Candidates for the race for Bulloch County Commission Seat 2B each said they have enjoyed campaigning, because it has allowed them to interact and learn what is most important to county residents.
“It seems the order of the day is dirt roads and recycling,” said incumbent commissioner Walter Gibson, a Republican.
Challenger Adrienne Dobbs agrees with placing focus on safer roads and better recycling plans.
She said her campaign has run “really well. I have had a lot of positive response,” she told the Statesboro Herald. “It was an opportunity to meet a lot of good people, and it was fun. I expect good things.”
Gibson said his campaign is also going well, and that “a lot of people are interested in this race.” His family has enjoyed meeting new people and he encourages residents to “get out and vote,” he said.
Both candidates expressed a desire to see better city and county government relationships. Gibson, a retired educator, has been in office over 24 years and said his experience would be helpful to achieve that goal. Dobbs, a social studies teacher, said she feels her dedication and determination, as well as her thorough examination of issues, would enable her to work well with other commissioners as well as leaders of the county’s four municipalities.
As for road conditions, she realizes great efforts have been made to maintain and repair the county’s 700-plus dirt roads, but is aware the efforts must continue.
“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.”
But revenues must increase, or at least maintain, in order to afford these improvements, Gibson said.
“The management of the Bulloch County’s annual budget is one of our most important challenges including the millage rates,” he told the Statesboro Herald. “Bulloch County’s millage rate is the eighth lowest in departments and our county continues to grow and increase in population, thus more services for more citizens.”
Each candidate realizes the importance and potential of Bulloch County’s economic growth,
“Due to our region’s climate and geography, I would like to see renewable energy sources, like solar farms, be expanded in Bulloch County,” Dobb 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.”
Gibson said the county “must target and recruit new businesses,” keeping up with trends.
“Technology and globalization is changing the way business and industry operate,” he said. “Local leaders need to develop a common focus to provide a balanced mix of commerce in our community.”
Each candidate feels their personal experience and characteristics would benefit citizens if they are elected.
“I try to have as much information about the question or situation as possible,” Dobbs said. “This helps prevent me from making a knee-jerk reaction. I am a listener and I feel that peoples’ opinions about their community are important and should be heard. I am determined, and I will see a project or problem through to the end.”
Gibson said he is familiar with the position, having been elected to five consecutive terms.
“If re-elected, I hope to continue to take advantage of my five- year term tenure …to maintain the existing spirit and the approach the county has always taken toward transparency and good government,” he said. “The best pledge as an elected public servant, not politician, that I can make is to keep in touch with the tax paying citizens and continue to make responsible decisions with honesty, courage, and consideration for my fellow man,”
The general election will be held Nov 6.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.