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Candidate profiles: Commission Chair At-large
kessler wendall
Wendall Kessler

Wendall Kessler

Family: Wife, Cynthia; children, Amber Lee Pace, Abby Diane Matthews, stepdaughters Laurel and Stefanie; seven grandchildren
Age: 58
Occupation:  Homebuilder in Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Garden City/most of the last 53 years
Previous political experience (what other offices have you held or run for): None, but serve on the board of equalization
Briefly explain why you are running for office: The better question may be why not. The why is because everyone should be willing to do whatever they can to make the system work better. We may not always agree with the system, but I have always said to those who do not even register to vote that they have no right to complain. Effingham has been good to my descendants, my family and to me. Effingham County is a great place to live and raise a family, so why not try to lead it in a way which would continue to be that great place.
List your top three objectives/priorities for the next four years:
1) Effingham has some debt which needs to be paid off in order to keep it in good shape. We cannot do that by spending unwisely. I want to lead a commission in a manner which would spend every tax dollar wisely and reduce the debt.
2) In an effort to do number 1, I would like for every department to not just have budget cuts by percentages but rather have a zero budget. Then they would have to present a budget which would justify every dollar needed to be spent, rather than just being asked to cut from a budget which may already have wasteful spending.
3) Create harmony on the commission. I strongly feel that everyone elected to serve has the best interest of the county at heart. The problem sometimes is that people to go about it in different directions and when that happens there is sometimes conflict. I would like to create an atmosphere where there is harmony and respect between all parties where people can differ and still be productive. Then, we can present a unified Effingham to Atlanta and beyond in getting things done.

Charlie Kea

Family: Wife, Marlene, married for 43 years       
Age: 62     
Occupation: 34 years as a residential home builder
Briefly explain why you are running for office: I have a vision for Effingham County and believe that I have the leadership skills needed to bring it about. Being a home builder for 34 year, I have learned the importance of establishing and managing budgets, meeting deadlines, and the value of team effort to accomplish a given task.
List your top three objectives/priorities for the next four years:
1. Roll property tax back to the 2004 level - Freeze spending and government growth.  Lower the millage rate each year as the property digest grows until we return to the 2004 level of taxation.
2.  Broaden the tax base - Our property digest will increase as we develop our industrial acreage.  This is the best way to broaden our tax base and bring tax relief to home owners.
3.  Pass the T-SPLOST (Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax) - The 1 cent sales tax will build the road necessary to develop our industrial acreage and bring relief to Highway 21 commuters.  It is essential to industrial development, the broadening of the tax base, and critical to property tax roll backs.