Running as “a hometown candidate with local values,” Konrad Godfrey is seeking the District 5 seat on Statesboro City Council. He talks about planned growth and some specific concerns affecting the district.
Godfrey, Don Armel and Derek Duke are vying for the seat vacated last month by Travis Chance, now a candidate for county commissioner. Only registered voters in District 5 will be eligible to participate in the May 22 city special election, which coincides with the county and statewide party primary and nonpartisan general election.
The “hometown candidate” comment is from Godfrey’s emailed summary of his platform.
Born in Statesboro, Godfrey attained both his bachelor’s degree and his master’s in information technology at Georgia Southern University. He left Statesboro for a time but returned about 28 years ago and, now 60, has lived in his current home in the district for 25 years. Since 1990, he has worked for the university in information technology services.
His first platform statement was that he strongly supports local firefighters, police and first responders. Then he made a comment about growth.
“Statesboro needs to experience steady and constructive planned growth,” Godfrey wrote. “One concern I have, is that we have a large number of vacant buildings in the city that should be filled with new businesses.”
This is a concern not just for the district, but across Statesboro, and something he hears often from other residents, he said.
Godfrey also emailed that he would “like to see the city of Statesboro and Georgia Southern University partner in promoting family friendly events,” and mentioned music concerts and outdoor festivals as examples.
Traffic & environment
“Another item of concern is the traffic flow on Highway 67 and around the hospital, which dramatically affects the Fifth District,” Godfrey wrote. “Options need to be studied and considered to ease the traffic congestion in this area.”
Within Statesboro, Georgia Highway 67 is also known as Fair Road. An environmental concern in this same area, he observed, is air quality near the city’s water treatment plant.
At times odors from the plant can be very offensive to people in this area of District 5, he wrote, and elaborated in a follow-up interview.
“There are certain times of the year — and I don’t know if it’s the plant or the way the wind changes or what — but there are certain times that you absolutely cannot breathe in those neighborhoods,” he said.
He laughed a little with this description but wants the city to look for ways to mitigate the problem.
Another issue Godfrey listed is a desire for more and improved parks, not ballparks but city parks with features such as walkways and benches.
“Beyond the district, I would like to see the city invest in some beautification projects by building neighborhood parks,” he wrote.
“This campaign is not about my accomplishments,” Godfrey emailed in follow-up. “It is about the people of the fifth district and how I can improve this district.”
This is his first time running for an elected office. But several years ago, when new elementary and middle schools were built, Godfrey served on the school zoning committee appointed by the Bulloch County Board of Education.
Ties to Statesboro
He and his wife, Beth Godfrey, have been married 36 years. They have two grown daughters and two young grandchildren. The Godfreys are members of Connection Church and help on the church’s feeding days for people in need. In earlier years he helped build some Habitat for Humanity houses and volunteered with Girl Scouts when their daughters were growing up.
“This is a long-term Statesboro family,” Beth Godfrey said when a reporter called seeking her husband for a candidate interview.
His father, the late Edgar Godfrey, was a longtime Georgia Southern professor. His mother, the late Mary Ellen Godfrey, was both a local public school teacher and a registered nurse.
“Konrad has lived in this town for years and has always had a heart for the city,” Beth Godfrey said.
Advance voting opens April 30 for the May 22 special election, as well as for the statewide primary. If any contests that day result in a runoff, it will be held July 24. For citizens not already registered in their districts, the last day to register to vote in the May 22 elections is April 24.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.