1. Unity, Progress, and Results
These are my commitments to the people of Paulding County. We need to unite the commissioner’s office to lead by example and make good sound decisions to unify the county. We need to continue to make progress on all issues concerning the county with some means to be able to measure the results. With unity, progress and results the Commissioners can indicate to the citizens that they can manage effectively.
2. Pro-Business Community
During my tenure as Chairman with the Paulding Chamber of Commerce I worked with our community leaders to develop a pro-business atmosphere to help attract businesses to our community. I would like to bring this to the forefront again since more businesses in the community leads to lower personal county taxes.
To achieve the Pro Business Atmosphere, it’s imperative to bring business, government, economic development, Chamber of Commerce and educational entities together to organize a master plan. This plan would involve government incentives, County owned properties developed by the Industrial Building Authority, the partnering with economic development associations within the neighboring counties and the state. State incentives and grants would also play a part in this plan. And you would need the help of the Chamber of Commerce to retain existing companies with incentives. We currently have a jobs education program with the secondary schools to train or retrain existing company employees and future employees to help the businesses to maintain their ability to attract business. Continuing education for a proper workforce is valuable in attracting new companies to locate in our County.
3. Transportation/ Infrastructure
Thanks to the former Speaker of the House Tom Murphy, we have a multi-lane highway through our community to provide easier access for our residents as well as neighboring communities’ residents. We are finally moving ahead with the widening of Highway 92 from Douglas to Cobb County. It only took 30 years to get to this point. There is a need to update Paulding County’s other roads to accommodate the increased traffic. We have a long-range transportation plan in place, but it was based on a smaller population years ago. Now that we have significant growth in traffic based on a larger population, we need to update the plan and use our SPLOST monies to help implement the plan. We need to come up with an initiative to reroute the heavy truck traffic out of Downtown Dallas and onto the State Route 61 corridor via a bypass.
4. We need to go back and review our 10/25-year master plan on our utility infrastructures and update to match our ever-growing population and requirements for future businesses. We need to continue to upgrade our fiber optic, water and sewer if we are to attract new businesses to our community.
6. Attract an Aquatics Center for the Recreation Department and PCSD. Our young children need to learn to swim and our middle and high school students can participate competitively in water sports with other communities. If we can’t attract a center, then we need to put together a public / private group to raise money for a center.
7. High Shoals Falls
Right now, the county owns the 8-acre tract of land the falls sits on along with an historic cemetery for High Shoals Baptist Church. I reside in this community and know that there have been numerous times that law enforcement responded to break up fights, drug deals, loud parties and broken-down vehicles. The land was donated to the county and very little has been done to update parking, security and access to the area. I feel the county should allocate the area to the Recreations Department to provide the upkeep and attention it deserves with the use of our SPLOST funds. Since the beautiful falls is highlighted in many of our county advertisements, I feel it is an embarrassment to our county and should be properly maintained.
8. Special Needs Children Program
Right now there are a few programs that are jointly managed by the School District, Recreations Department, Department of Children and Family Services and the County. With the number of special needs children in the county we need to have a full-time dictated counselor to provide the necessary programs for our children. We have an unfinished field at the Burnt Hickory Park that was set aside strictly for our special needs children and I feel it needs to be completed. Our current Special Needs Olympics program is managed by the state with a single person coordinating the following counties: Gordon, Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Polk Haralson, Douglas, Fulton, Clayton, Henry, Newton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Greene, Morgan, Oconee, Clark and Paulding. That’s twenty three (23) counties if you count them. We need to divide up this large group of counties and have a State worker working a smaller area with a full time coordinator in Paulding. We need dedicated programs with teams established and volunteer coaching staffs to help manage the program. Right now our special needs kids have to travel to other counties to compete in sporting activities. We need to initiate a plan for our area and we need dedicated funds from Parks and Rec to complete the field. If we don’t have the funds then we should seek private / public funding to complete the field and fund the programs.
9. We need to continue to work with all the local law enforcement agencies to be sure they have all the resources needed to neutralize the rising crime rates. This also applies to the District Attorney’s office as they have an ever-increasing workload as well.
10. Continuing education and resources for our county employees
The HR department has done a great job keeping our county employees educated on their job performance. We should provide continuing education courses and classes for the employees to improve their skills. We should continue to discover other educational programs from other counties across the country that we could implement here. I feel highly skilled employee’s increases productivity. Our skilled employees need the latest equipment and education to provide increased productivity. With increased productivity, we can provide the best services to our community.