Gator Hodges Announces Re-Election Bid
To the Citizens of District 1:
Today I am formally announcing that I have qualified to seek re-election to the position of County Commissioner of District 1. Over the past three and a half years, it has been my privilege to represent you on the Butts County Board of Commissioners and to put my best efforts into making Butts County’s government more efficient and effective as well as to promote our county as a great place to live, work and grow a business. I am proud of what we have been able to achieve in the past few years and I hope to continue serving you and working towards making Butts County the home that we are all proud to call “our home”.
This board has faced challenges none of us could have imagined just five years ago. The collapse of the housing market and the lingering recession have impacted not just our county but our entire state and nation. Locally elected officeholders have had to learn, in some cases the hard way, how to ensure that their counties could survive wave after wave of economic impacts and I can say that we have dealt with situations that no county commissioner has had to face in modern times. Despite these challenges, Butts County has done far more than many other counties to ensure our stability and it is thanks to the leadership of our board, the diligence of our county employees and the input of our constituents that Butts County has so far weathered the storm as well as it has.
We are now working on our budget for the upcoming year and are making preparations to lower the county millage rate by at least 2.5 mils in addition to the small decrease we were able to make last year. Thanks to the vote of confidence by our citizens this past November, we have successful implemented a continuation of SPLOST that has allowed us to remove debt that has been on the books long before our board took office and to allow sales tax dollars to retire those debts rather than property tax dollars. By lowering the millage rate, the property owners get some tax relief, we suddenly become much more attractive to business and industry looking for a place to locate and these bring with them jobs and eventually, a stronger tax base that takes even more of the burden off the homeowners and landholders.
Today, counties around us are having to look at tax increases and massive cuts in the upcoming budget year. While we certainly are not prosperous, Butts County is looking at tax decreases and has a fully funded reserve that meets the recommendations of the State and our auditors. Our debt is now being paid by sales tax dollars, the bulk of which come from fuel sales by out-of-county visitors and we have been commended by our auditors for having set the goal and working towards stabilizing and strengthening our government’s financial security during these trying times.
Despite all that has been accomplished, there are many challenges and problems that must still be faced. Dwindling state and federal funding for infrastructure such as road and bridge improvements continues to be an issue of major impact to local governments. Attracting good industry and strengthening our existing industry is also a challenge each commissioner faces in the upcoming year as our economy struggles to reassert itself. I feel confident in my abilities and now, my experience, to continue helping our county to face these challenges and to work with our team of commissioners, employees and citizens to find workable solutions to new problems that we will face. It is because of that and because of my genuine desire to make Butts County the best county in the state that I am seeking re-election to the office of District 1 County Commissioner. I want a county that we can all be proud of and a community that we can raise our son to be proud of as well.
I also believe in making myself accessible to the public and to keep them informed of what is going on in the county and the state. I can be reached by cell phone at 678-758-5631, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the County Clerk at 770-775-8200. To follow what is going on and what I am working on, please see my website at http://www.gatorhodges.com or follow me on Facebook and Twitter. If I can help you or if you need more information, please contact me. If I can’t answer the phone, please leave me a message and I will get back with you.
Thank you for your confidence in electing me in 2008 and for your support of me in the years since. I ask you again for your support and your vote in this year’s election.
G.S. “Gator” Hodges