Monday's guest on “Mornings unPHILtered” was David Poythress, a Democratic candidate for governor. Poythress said the three main reasons he wants to be governor are: to help fix the economy, solve water issues, and to improve public education throughout the state.
He was born and raised in Macon and was commander of the Georgia Army and Air National Guard.
Poythress doesn't believe Gov. Sonny Purdue's proposal to make a number of currently elected positions, including secretaries of state, education and agriculture, appointed by the governor is a good idea.
Poythress also told host Phil Boyum that he has made a promise not to accept a paycheck until Georgia's economy had seriously improved. Poythress said Georgia has a history of being a populist state, and he would like to see that continue.
Poythress said Georgia has set aside large funds for tough economic times, but unfortunately these reserves have been spent. Poythress said before the current administration, the state legislatures set aside $20 million a year, whereas now they're going in debt.
He said what we need to focus on right now is to get people back to work, so they have money to spend and can pay their taxes. Asked what happens when the Stimulus money runs out, he said we had better start making plans right now as to how we will be able to pay the bills.
Georgia used to have what he called a phone number (the One Stop Shop) that people could call to get help setting up a new business. Poythress said as governor, he would get out there and sell the state to all those companies interested in establishing a new business, or moving their business from its current location.
He said he disapproves of what is called the Inter-Basin Water Transfer proposal, that could potentially, take water from south Georgia for use in Atlanta. He suggests instead that we as a state focus on water conservation. North Georgia, he said, has grown to the point that it is simply using up more water than is available.
He said many improvements could be made in the houses, such as low-flow toilets. In addition, he said we must build many more reservoirs. Finally, he said, we need to work out a satisfactory arrangement with Florida, Alabama and Tennessee to everyone's satisfaction.
Concerning how to pay for Atlanta and north Georgia improvements such as water and transportation improvements, he said the Legislature is considering a regional sales tax to pay for improvements that would not affect Georgians who don't see direct benefit.
Poythress said there are plans to essentially double the size of the port of Savannah, and that means much must be done to handle all that extra traffic.
Concerning his ideas for improving public education, he said he has three main area of focus:
The drop-out rate, currently at 37 percent; freeing up the teachers from strict regimentation and allow them some more flexibility while holding them accountable; and ensuring that all Lottery monies would be applied, as originally promised, for technology improvements in public schools.
“Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on statesboroherald.com and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at BoroLive.com on statesboroherald.com