July 17, 2012



“As American citizens it is our civic responsibility to prepare ourselves well, researching the candidates, investigating their claims, and judging based on our own experience and priorities which we feel will truly lead us best.  In these times it is getting harder to trust that a man will do as he promises, or that he is even the man he leads us to believe, which is why, more than ever, we must be on our political toes.” --Unknown


A candidate forum was held on last Thursday night (7/12) in the large courtroom.  It was very informative; here are some of the main comments made by each candidate.  The order listed is the order each spoke during the forum.


Sheriff candidates:

  • Cook-  Relationships help solve crimes. Will have open door policy.  Has education from serving the public.  Let low risk inmates work to save money and benefit community. 
  • Yarbrough- Has natural ability to work with people.  Need to work with together with involvement by all.  Agrees inmates should work.  Worked with Covington PD almost 2 years.
  • Pope- Been in the trenches—worked in jail and on patrol.  Been in management part too.  Knows the legal issues and budget issues.  Have Spec Ops units to fight drugs and crime in more aggressive manner. 



  • Lam- Many counties have part time Chief Magistrates, many larger than Jasper.  Will watch budget and save county money for only billing for time actually worked.  Will run the office better and more efficiently with transparency of when he works and what it will cost county.
  • Jackson- County needs a full time Chief Magistrate.  Says case load warrants 3rd Magistrate.  Has served 15 years, looking for a 5th term.  Runs fair and honest court.


Tax Commissioner:

  • Walsh- Has integrity, high professional standards and morals.  Has worked since she was 16 years old.  Has superior customer service skills.  Will get the job done.  Would like to initiate online payment of tax bills so people don’t have to come into the office.
  • Steele- Will concentrate tax collections on people that live outside of county.  Thinks billing once per year is better.  Will provide customer service.  Thinks online tax payments would cost too much in electronic fees.


School Board—District 2:

  • Lynch- Has 3 children and has been involved for past 7 years and will be involved in schools for next 9 years when youngest graduates.  Stressed more communication with parents and community so everyone knows goals and mission of school system.  We have to prepare for the future and maybe do things differently due to funding cuts.
  • Norwood- Has served for 18 years on the BOE.  Has love for what she does.  Also has served in tax assessors office for 25 years.  There have been many changes while she’s been on the board.  Must encourage children to stay in school and not drop out.  Proud of the school system.

Many of the comments and questions to Commission candidates revolved around roads, public works, accountability, animal control, and economic development.  Not all candidates got all questions.  We are printing the main comments made by each candidate.  Some had more questions than others.  The candidates are listed in the order they spoke.


District 2 Commissioner

  • Henry- Character, not reputation is what matters.  He will work hard for the county.  Is Housing Facilities Director and Kennesaw State Univ.  Infrastructure is a must as well as strong public safety.  Public works seems to have training issues.  Must hold dept heads more responsible.  He has team building skills and can get the BOC to work together.
  • Bryant-  He cares about the well-being of the citizens.  Every decision affects all of us.  Doesn’t feel our best interests are at heart with present BOC.  Will concentrate on roads, animal control, and budgets.  Knows how to do more with less and will look at the real issues because we do have less money to work with.  Must attract business because everyone has to go out of the county to get things.


District 3 Commissioner

  • Trammell- Strong visionary.  Goal oriented.  Must be proactive, not reactive.  Need a plan for infrastructure.  Have to hold employees accountable.  Jasper County has potential.  We need strategic plan to measure success or failure.  Road work must be done by set standards and then do the job and do it right.  We have to have a lean budget and look closely at what is really needed.
  • Nowetner- Has worked on big jobs and small all over the world.  Knows how to bring in a job under budget and under time.  We now have no personnel to lead the way.  To cut overhead health insurance for BOC needs to be cut out because they are part time.  To attract business we need transportation, and educated work force, and good public safety.  Will represent all; we don’t need conflict between areas of county.  Would put animal control under the Sheriff dept and turn shelter over to rescue or Jasper County Humane Society.
  • Bernard- The reason for all the conflict is because we have no resources and we have a democracy.  Everyone has a say.  He has 15 years of strategic planning experience.  You can count on him to stand up and be counted.  There are ideas-roads, taxes, EMS- and there are personalities.  He has ideas and is best in serving people.  Made the statement: “You see how “positive teamwork” turned out for my last opponent” (Ronnie Payne).  Knows how to bring in business and wants Senior developments.


District 4 Commissioner

  • Salmon- His best quality is being fair.  County needs a plan and a vision.  Jasper County has great potential.  We need to work together.
  • Simmons-  Supervision is his best quality.  Feels several areas of county need more supervision and questioned if county manager was doing his job.  Animal control should be under the Sheriff’s dept and prisoners should help maintain it.  People need to be at work on time, especially supervisors and dept heads.  Will vote for a good idea no matter who brings it up; won’t vote for a bad idea no matter who brings it up.  We can’t keep raising taxes and cause elderly to lose their homes.
  • Hooseline- He can work with anybody.  Need the BOC to get together and be positive.


District 5 Commissioner

  • Cox-  Has 40 years as a salesman.  He is running on experience.  His past record on BOC counts.  He does nothing else but be a commissioner.  Says worse is behind us and we are turning the corner.  
  • Luke- He is a millwork foreman.  Quality and integrity are what he stands for, doing the right thing when no one is looking.  BOC needs to focus on same goal and move in the same way.  You must care, it is not just in what you know.  Public works needs closer supervision and accountability. 



DISTRICT 3, 4, AND 5 WILL BE DECIDED IN THE JULY 31ST PRIMARY ELECTION.  ALL THESE CANDIDATES ARE RUNNING AS REPUBLICANS.  You must choose a Republican ballot if you want to vote for the BOC candidate in these districts.


DISTRICT 2 CANDIDATES ABOVE ARE REPUBLICAN.  The winner of this contest will face Comm. Charles Hill (Democrat) in the November election.

Vote wisely!!  Early voting is going on now at the Courthouse and this Saturday from 9 – 4.  July 31st is the day of the actual Primary election.  Remember, you must choose a Republican or Democrat ballot when you vote. 





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