By Charlie Paris, Candidate for Gilmer County Commission Chairman
One of the unintended consequences of an election year is that unresolved issues are highlighted for all to see. In our case, this would be Jobs and Growth, Recreational Facilities, Roadside Garbage, SPLOST, Debt Management, The Golf Course, and The Cherry Log Fire Station.

In virtually every Candidate Forum and Debate this year, you’ve listened to 4 candidates for Chairman detail their plans to address these issues. One thing that is seldom mentioned, however, is that none of these are new. Go back for 6 months and you will find that the same issues challenged us; All of them. Go back a year and the only one that drops off is the Golf Course.

I’m very disappointed that we have been unable to address any of these issues in a timely manner. Thinking about that, I decided to check a little deeper. I went back to the news archives for the last Chairman’s election in 2010, to see what the major issues were in that election year. Here’s what I found; Jobs and Growth, Recreational Facilities, Roadside Garbage, SPLOST, and Debt Management. None of these have been addressed, and the Golf Course and Cherry Log Fire Station have been added to the list. Essentially, nothing has been done!

Since we’ve looked back to the 2010 election year, perhaps it would be appropriate for us to look forward to the 2018 election year. What will we see? Will Jobs and Growth still be unaddressed? What about Recreation? Will Parks and Rec be restored to a decent condition? Will the Clear Creek Ball Fields be completely finished? And if they are, will they have been maintained better than Parks and Rec was? What about Roadside Garbage? Will confidence be restored in our SPLOST accounting? Will that revenue be grown enough to once again provide sufficient funds to pay our annual debt service? And, finally, will the Golf Course and Cherry Log Fire Station still be contentious issues?

Only you, the voters of Gilmer County, can answer those questions. It’s up to you. You can vote to continue with the same leadership. That choice is available to you. On the other hand, you can decide that it’s time for a change. You can decide that it’s time to start addressing our problems and putting them behind us. It’s your choice, and May 20th is your time.

I’m not sure who said it, but I always liked the expression, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.” I believe that to be true!

I’m not looking to turn Gilmer County into Fulton County. I love our quiet country lifestyle and I want to protect that. I just want us to be able to put these issues behind us , to be able to celebrate our accomplishments rather than regret our failures , and to regain the respect of our neighboring counties.
I hope you will agree that a change is needed. I hope that you will give me an opportunity to be that change. Remember…WITHOUT YOUR VOTE – NOTHING CHANGES.

Charlie Paris

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