Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oconee County Candidates Restate Their Credentials In GOP Meet And Greet

Chops And Hops

The Oconee County candidates in the May 24 Republican primary covered familiar ground last night in introducing themselves to about 40 people who turned out for a Meet and Greet at Chops and Hops Restaurant in Watkinsville.

Board of Commissioners candidates Penny Mills and Sarah Bell, seeking Post 1 and Post 4 respectively, stated concerns about rapid growth in the county.

Mark Thomas, also seeking the open Post 1 seat, focused on his business background.

Mark Saxon, incumbent Post 4 commissioner, said the county is going in the right direction and he wants to continue his service to its citizens.

Incumbent Bill Cowsert, seeking reelection to the Senate from the 46th District, reviewed his legislative accomplishments. Pat Daugherty, challenging Cowsert, said elected representatives don’t listen to the citizens often enough.

Tom Odom, Board of Education chair, said once again that the Board should deal only with the superintendent, while challenger Britt Beaver said the Board Chair and Board need to get involved directly with the schools.

Dale Rogers said his experience as a funeral director would make him a good Coroner. Incumbent Coroner Ed Carson underscored the training he has received, often at his own expense, to improve his skills.

Kevin “Chappy” Hynes reviewed his personal history and said he would bring “passion” to the Sheriff’s Office. Incumbent Scott Berry didn’t attend because, according GOP Chairman Mitch Swan, he had another commitment.

Williams Also Spoke

Chairman Swan asked Chuck Williams, who represents most of Oconee County and part of Clarke County in the Georgia House of Representatives, to use three minutes to introduce himself, though Williams is unopposed in the May 24 primary.

Williams asked those present not to sign petitions being circulated by candidates seeking to run against him in the November 8 general election.

Williams didn’t name Pamela Hendrix and Ronald Houser, but both are trying to get enough signatures to be listed on the ballot.

Hendrix is seeking to be listed as an independent, but Houser wants to be the Constitution Party candidate.

Williams said any candidate who was not part of a party caucus would be an ineffective leader in the General Assembly.


The Meet and Greet was the final official gathering of candidates before the May 24 election. All local candidates are running as Republicans.

Candidates also met in Candidate Forums on April 14 and April 25, and videos of those meetings are available on the Candidate Forum Channel of the Oconee County Observations Vimeo site.

The video from the Monday session is below. The room was dark and noisy, but it is possible to hear the candidates’s comments.

The candidates did not take questions from the audience, and the entire event lasted only an hour.

GOP Meet And Greet 5 9 16 from Lee Becker on Vimeo

Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week and next at the Board of Elections and Registration Office at 10 Court Street opposite the Courthouse.

That office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday for early voting as well.


rightway1974 said...

We need people like Sara Bell and Penny Mills on the BOC. If Saxon and Thomas are elected the developers will continue to ruin the county.

Xardox said...

Putting the brakes on development in Oconee is not possible,
and the current system of the development tail wagging the county dog is as well unsustainable and unpopular among those who actually live here.
I am not sure that there are middle candidates.

Anonymous said...

I think in the forums that Bell, Mills and Thomas said that they were not against development. They just wanted it to be slower and more controlled. Only Saxon has said that he wanted to continue in the same direction that the county has been going.
My question is with all the commercial development that has occurred and the promised tax revenue gained, why has the check that I write for my taxes gone up rather than down?
The convenience at least for me has not outweighed the aggravation of the congestion. I can remember when you could get out of your neighborhood without having to wait 15 minutes to do so.
We don't need to go back to the slower times of yesteryear but I am fearful of tomorrow and the future if we don't have more forethought and better planning for the future.

Lee Becker said...

I believe it is accurate to say that Bell and Mills made it clear they were not opposed to all development.

zippity said...

Despite what politicians say, taxes do not go down with development. Taxes invariably go up, because development brings the need for more services, police, fire, roads, schools, parks etc. Cows don't require services so our former rural county had low taxes. People have been mainly voting for development and the elected officials work well with the developers. Only the people who are willing to run for public office and those that vote can influence this. Thanks so much to Lee Becker and others who keep us informed.