For the past 30 years, Democrat Anthony Simmons has held the Bulloch County Commission District 1B seat, and hopes he will be reelected to that office in November.
The retired 66-year-old likened his work with the county to that of his past profession as a social worker.
“It has always been a joy. I always looked at being a commissioner as being social work – it’s how I went into it and how I still feel.”
He is excited about the impending growth Bulloch County faces.
“I was first part of the County Commission during a growth spurt,” he said. “It was a good time and makes me want to continue on.”
The southern side of the county is booming, he said. The coming of the Hyundai plant in Bryan County will have a huge positive impact on Bulloch, he said.
Hyundai Motor Company announced last week it would invest $5.4 billion to build a plant that will manufacture electric vehicles and employee as many as 8,100 workers.
“Bulloch County played a big part in bringing (Hyundai) to the Mega Site and we will provide water and sewer services to it.”
While the anticipated boom is expected in the south end of the county, Simmons said he would also like to see some development in the northern section.
“Not everybody wants to live (in the Brooklet/Stilson area),” he said. “Some people like to live in the country.”
The Portal area still offers rural settings for those who enjoy more open spaces, he said.
Simmons said if re-elected, he hopes to “continue to help keep the TSPLOST and SPLOST (Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax).
Also, attention to dirt roads must continue, he said.
“I know some people don’t want their dirt roads paved, but some need paving.”
As commissioner, he would continue to work to strengthen the road department to keep the over 700 miles of dirt road in the county safe, he said.
As a rule, county commissioners are approachable and accessible, more so than many government officials, according to Simmons.
“The people can reach out and talk to us and let us know their needs. It is a good feeling to know you can help someone.”
Simmons said having three decades of experience under his belt should “count for something. I know who to call to get things done.”
Often candidates approach an election campaigning for change, but “It is not only one person on the Board of Commissioners. Sometimes (new candidates) feel they can change the world if they are elected. We all have to work together on everything.”
Simmons and wife Joyce are both retired. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.
"Bulloch County is the best county in the world,” he said. “I want to work to help it continue to be the best.”
Simmons is challenged by Republican candidate Preston Tutt, who will face him in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 243-7815.