Election 2014 is underway in Gilmer County with Charlie Paris confirming to FYN that he is running for the office of Commission Chairman. You may recognize his name from his recent run for tax commissioner.
Paris is a member of the Gilmer Tea Party and Gilmer GOP. He has been very engaged in the issues facing Gilmer County. He played a lead roll in stopping drone testing at the Gilmer airport and recently wrote the SPLOST language along with county attorney David Clark that the citizens will vote on in the upcoming election on November 5th of this year.
Considering the enormous debt Gilmer citizens face Paris was determined that all the SPLOST tax go toward paying the debt. The original language that Chairman J.C. Sanford presented allowed the commissioners to use the SPLOST at their discretion. Sanford did say that it would be used to pay the debt first but did not want to remove the specific language that would allow them to use it for other things. Paris would not accept the language and gave several speeches concerning a guarantee for the citizens that the money be used to pay the county’s debt. The persistence displayed by Paris paid off when he and Clark crafted language that will guarantee citizens that the SPLOST money will go to the debt. The commissioners voted unanimously to place it on the ballot. If the citizens do not extend the SPLOST in November then they are looking at about a 4mil increase in their property tax.
FYN has asked Commission Chair Sanford several times if he has plans to run for re-election and he will neither confirm nor deny. Sources tell FYN that Post Commissioner Danny Hall plans to run but Hall has not confirmed any plans for future office. Other names surfacing are Mark Simmons, Jack Smith, and Randy Bell.
It looks like this will be a crowded field but at this time Charlie Paris is the only one who has officially entered the race and in his words he
The announcement that Mr. Charlie Paris is running for the Board of Commissioners is welcome news. Let us hope that we have even more candidates .. candidates who will announce a specific platform that will fight the deplorable condition that this county has inherited. Thanks to previous commissioners and a disinterested electorate the county is broke .. and our present commission has, at best, been treading water on taking corrective action.
If this county is to survive we need specific action plans and highly competent leadership that will focus and act on the problems .. and an electorate that will support the much needed change.