The room was full Tuesday night to hear David Ralston and Sam Snider square off for the third time in little over a week.
The Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce did a great job hosting the event but the questions did not lead to any great fireworks between the candidates. When the candidates answered the question there was no opportunity for rebuttal but then it was a forum not a debate. So as a forum it was great but the candidates need to have a true debate. No one is fact checking the candidate’s answers.
Snider looks more comfortable every time they meet and was able to share what I call his town hall plan. How he wants to serve and stay in contact with the Seventh District. Snider challenged people not to look at what Ralston has done in the past four months but what has happened in the last four years. Snider was trying to draw attention to Ralston not being very noticeable in the district in the last four years.
Ralston used this event to announce some pork in the state budget for Gilmer County. When Governor Deal signs the budget bill this week there will be a half million in the budget to complete the Clear Creek ballfields. The sports complex is a county project that was started almost five years ago and has not been completed because the county ran out of money.
These ballfields are so important to the citizens that they voted in a bond several years ago that would fund the construction and completion of this facility. The former county administrator, Mark Chastain, diverted the funds to another project. The White Path golf course club house. The Sanford administration chose not to finish the ballfields for the past four years stating the county did not have the money.
The question always comes up, do you want to lose the Speaker of the House? Well the Speaker is showing what you can do if you are speaker of the house with the half million but the ballfields have been sitting incomplete for the past four years and he has been Speaker the whole time. Why wasn’t the money put in last year's budget?
Nevertheless Ralston has identified a need for Gilmer County and is doing what a representative should do? Maybe the Speaker waited to get involved because it was a county-funded project, not a State project, but decided it was time to finish the sports complex for the kids in Gilmer County? We invite you to decide. Please send your comments.