On The Issues


    Increasing Economic Growth and Job Opportunities is a top priority
    We need to do more to promote sustainable employment in this County.  This includes a plan to help retrain workers, encourage new industries and encouraging all employers to look first to hiring local talent. Troup County has to continue to provide what is required to be competitive in attracting new investments from businesses including having the infrastructure and incentives that encourage growth and expansion .



    We are all responsible for what happens
    I love the outdoors. My father taught me to respect, enjoy, and gain strength from the land. When I later inherited a large tract of rural, undisturbed land I knew I would teach my son that same respect for our natural resources. What I see in the community is often a very basic disrespect for the land, the environment and our neighbors. We have zoning and pollution laws that must be enforced -- to not only ensure minimal impact from county growth but to keep the essence of the county that most of us value from being spoiled by the few that do not. We must strengthen the desire within our communities young people, teachers, parents and role models that this is "our job" to protect our environment not someone else's.



    Comprehensive Long-Term Strategy
    One limitation with politicians is they tend to think in 2 year or 4 year cycles. Our county needs leaders with the vision to look well beyond the next election. We need an evolving long-term plan to help guide our growth so that we are making sound investments each year to stay on track. We know currently that we need to be attracting more retail, entertainment and dining to West Point to take advantage of the influx of new residents, workers and students and also to the unincorporated areas of Troup County. Lake West Point is still an underutilized resource that has the potential to bring in millions of dollars more to our local economy simply through better lake levels and management. This is an area that I would hope Troup County, LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville can come together with coordinated strategy to lay the foundation for tomorrow.



    It's Your Money
    One of the primary functions of a County Commission is to prepare and approve an operating budget for the county. When it comes to Needs Vs. Wants a county is not that different from managing a household budget. The primary difference is that you are spending the publics money. I want us to always be able to know what is essential and what is not. If it essential are we getting the best value. If it is more of a "Want" does it have the justification to make the investment and does it have the backing of our community. With a declining tax base you can essentially do one of two things cut cost or raise revenue. Revenue means taxes and I am not a fan of anything that will increase my tax burden. Particularly in this economy I don't feel we can be called on to give more. 



    An Investment for the Future
    The Budget cuts that our County School System is undergoing is a real problem. I have heard the complaints and share many of your concerns. With a son and a wife in the public school system we view the news very carefully. Many may view the school closings and layoffs as someone else's problems but we will all pay the price for inadequate education options.  I believe we need to be less reliant on the state for funding when the system they use rewards poverty over performance. I feel that money itself is far less important than the results we are getting from that money. When our PE or Liberal Arts  programs are being cut , classrooms expanded beyond capacity and schools being closed we have to also realize what this does for our communities attractiveness to potential new residents and companies. Part of our long term strategy must include a partnership with the educational  institutions that provide these services. We have numerous public and private schools in the county as well as LaGrange College, CSU and soon Point University in West Point. for secondary education options. We should be asking ourselves what can we do as a county to help improve this?