Twenty plus years of military service helped hone the leadership skills needed to effectively serve as your State Senator. Clear communications, problem solving, integrity, and selfless service – traits common to all effective leaders – were a standard requirement for me during my time in the Army. Those traits are exactly what we need now from our elected officials. It is time to send new ideas with new people to Atlanta to represent us. Three main areas I plan on focus my intent are Government and Ethics Reform; The Economy and Jobs Creation; and Education.
Government and Ethics Reform
I am a believer in term limits. Being an elected official should not be a profession. It should be a public service that willing and capable persons undertake for a fixed amount of time before turning the position over to others. Fresh ideas and a sense of service would replace those individuals who spend a lifetime worrying more about committee positions and personal gain and less about meeting the individual needs of those they are elected to serve.
I believe in capping gifts and contributions from lobbyist and their affiliated organizations. Lobbyists provide a valuable service. The information that they give about specific sides of a given issue, information that is understandably biased towards their cause, is an important facet in fact gathering prior to making important decisions. The information they provide should be value enough so there is no need for further monetary contributions or expensive excursions. Doing otherwise severely undermines our ability to formulate unbiased decisions.
The Economy and Job Creation
We have been blessed in our District with a healthy mix of manufacturing, industry, and agricultural related businesses. We must continue to encourage new companies to come to the 30th District while continuing to provide the right environment for existing ones to prosper as well. A consolidated approach that includes input from a cross section of leaders from the State to the local level will help us create a more focused effort in attracting new jobs and keep us tied in with existing ones.
Tax reform is another way of helping better develop our area. There are currently nine States without a State Income Tax. Two of them are on Georgia’s border. For years we have been talking about revising the tax structure in Georgia and I feel that it is time to stop discussing it and start doing something about it.
A consolidated approach to encouraging job growth and tax reforms are important but the best way for government to create jobs in the area is to provide the incentives required and then get out of the way.
I am the child of two teachers. The importance of education has been stressed to me from my earliest memories. Jobs won’t relocate to areas without an educated workforce and quality schools for our children to attend. Drop outs are far less likely to be hired and often need more public assistance to survive throughout their lives. According to the most recent calculations, 33% of high school students don’t graduate with their class. We have to do better. Our educators have known for years that children learn differently. Some excel in the traditional systems while others require a more “hands on” approach. Preparing our children to be productive members of society should be the number one goal. All forms of education are important and all should be equally valued whether they be traditional, vocational, virtual, or home.