1. Why are you running for Fayette County Commissioner and what are your qualifications for this office?
I am running for the commission because I have a desire to serve this community and want to help return it to what originally drew each of us here – the old school values, and the quality of life that we have come to love and expect from our county. It is time the Commission came together as a team, and worked together for the betterment of all the county residents. I have no personal agenda. I am fiscally responsible – I will spend your money as if it were my own.
I have been a single working Mom for the past 17 years. During that time I managed a small business, maintained a profitable work place, and have kept my budget intact. I raised my son during this time by myself while attending law school. I have my own practice in Fayette County, as well as operate a second company, so I know what it means to budget a household, business, and raise a child. I stand on my honor as an attorney, business-woman, and citizen of this county. I am self-driven. I know how to lead people and to be successful. I have integrity, honesty, compassion, and a willingness to see things from an opposing point of view, to be able to do the right thing even though it may not be the popular thing to do.
2. What is your plan to promote economic development for Fayette County?
The County has done a reasonable job in trying to manage things over the past years, but I think we have gotten away from what made us who we are. Since 2008 this “Great Recession” has cost us the momentum. We need to be innovative and come up with a new plan, by revising the Land Use Plan and figuring out how far off we are from being competitive. Commercial and residential over-development has cost us the rural character of what made Fayette County unique. By following the Land Use Plan that was adopted in 1985, Fayette County will not only have the opportunity to manage its growth in a manner that will accommodate future need, but will maintain the unique character of Fayette County. The purpose of this Plan is to provide a realistic guide or framework for future development. Another component to consider along with the Land Use Plan is the Fayette County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan that was adopted in 1991. This plan is a policy guide whose purpose is to guide planning and decision making and to provide general policies in terms of future development. By following these two guides, I believe that Fayette County will manage its growth in a manner that will accommodate future need while maintaining the unique character of Fayette County.
The housing market is an enormous issue that affects everyone. Most all neighborhoods have had a foreclosure, or know of someone that has or is going through this horrific event. For those of us that do own a home, we have seen a $10k to $50k reduction in valuations. This forced savings plan as I call it, has had a negative impact on our households that we once thought of as a key element to creating wealth in our portfolios. Doing what we can from the government side of things to reduce taxes will help people save money. That savings can be used to either create a safety reserve and/or help our citizens reduce their debt. If we can get our citizens to really budget, and get away from the American nightmare of debt, then the quality of life will improve.
The East and West Fayetteville bypasses were misguided and mismanaged, and from what I can see, there were personal and financial agendas at play. The TSPLOST on the other hand is big government at the regional level working to tell us at the local level what we want to hear. In my opinion, the TSPLOST can be likened to an oligarchy instead of being run by all of the citizens of the County. The grandiose promise that Fayette County is going to receive millions of our tax dollars back is a pipe dream. Time and time again, we have these promises of tax and spend and the local people bear the brunt of the negative impacts due to poor planning and mismanagement. Fayette County needs to be working on their own agenda and transportation issues and not be tied to the large regional oversight of the Atlanta Regional Commission. The citizens of Fayette County need to have a say in how they wish for their money to be spent in funding the transportation issues. In short, go back to the guidelines of the Land Use Plan.
So, what is healthy growth? It is growth that is contained in the community to create a safe and healthy living environment. We go to work, come home, and know that when we get home, we don’t have to worry about crime and the safety of our family. We only have to be concerned with our daily routines like getting the children to practice, a game, or other activity. Again, we don’t need to recreate the wheel here, but we do need to review the plans that have been put in place, such as the Land Use Plan and the Fayette County Comprehensive Growth Management Plan to insure that we are still on the right track. We need to review these plans to make sure they are in keeping with the economic environment where we presently find ourselves. Keeping taxes low to bring either new business into our community or to help the small business person open and start a new business is key. Not only will keeping taxes low help decrease the number of vacant commercial properties and create growth, but it will also assist in stabilizing property values that will stimulate our economy and encourage businesses to come to our County resulting in the creation of new jobs and wealth. Small and engaged government that is ZERO LINED budgeted will also spur economic development.