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Candidate profiles: County Commission District 1
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Bob Brantley

Family: Wife, Cathy Brantley; children, Andrew Brantley, 30; Ashley Brantley, 32, Shayne Champion, stepson, 40, Jason Champion, stepson, 36; seven grandchildren.

Age: 58

Occupation: Real estate broker

Previous political experience: Elected in 2008 as District 1 county commissioner.

Briefly explain why you are running for office: I am running for re-election to continue to serve the citizens of Effingham County. I believe my experience these last four years will be a benefit as I have not only the experience but the knowledge in all the issues the county is dealing with that my opponent does not. I make all my decisions based on what I feel is the best for the county and its citizens and not special interest groups. Representing the citizens and their needs is my full-time job. I will continue to serve with dedication, honesty and responsible leadership.   

List your top three objectives/priorities for the next four years:

1. Continue to find ways to reduce the county budget.

2. Continue to reduce the county debt.

3. Continue to find ways to reduce property taxes.

Forrest Floyd

Family: Wife, Nancy Gercken Floyd, married 27 years; children, Kylie 23, graduating senior at Georgia Southern University, Forrest, 19, student at East Georgia College.

Age: 51

Occupation: Owner and operator of  80 West Mini Storage in Bloomingdale since 1996; owner of property management business, Floyd Rentals LLC; employed in chemistry department at Georgia Power’s Plant Kraft for 25 years; served 21 years with the Georgia Air National Guard’s 117thACS.

Place of birth/how long you have lived in Effingham County: Born in Chatham County, raised in Port Wentworth and graduated from Groves High School in 1979. Family first moved to Effingham in 1992, moved to Bloomingdale in 1996 and moved back to Effingham in 1999.

Previous political experience: A short term on the City of Bloomingdale's Planning and Zoning Board. I resigned that position when we moved back to Effingham County.

Briefly explain why you are running for office: My decision to run for this seat was first considered four years ago when the incumbent commissioner ran unopposed. I feel that the conservative voters in our district need a voice and I felt it was a good time for me to step up and represent that group of voters. My leadership skills as a senior NCO in the National Guard, and my business skills acquired by owning and operating several successful businesses, I think, qualify me as a strong candidate to represent the voters in District 1.  

List your top three objectives/priorities for the next three years:

We have to control our residential property taxes. Many people moved to Effingham for the lower tax rates and great schools. We still have outstanding schools but our taxes have doubled since 2003. We cannot continue to spend as we have in the past. There are going to have to be spending cuts made or taxes will continue to rise. We must address the transportation issues that are stifling industrial growth. The only way to relieve some of the tax burden of the home owners is to generate more tax revenue from the industrial sector. The IDA has nearly 4,000 acres of land zoned for industrial development, without the proper roads for access. Couple that with the congestion of the Highway 21 corridor, and it is going to be impossible to get Industry to give Effingham County a serious look. The only way for Effingham to capitalize on its land investments, and its water and sewer investments is to get traffic moving to those areas. With the continued expansion of the Port of Savannah, Effingham will be a prime location for a solid industrial tax base, which will eventually relieve the stress on our home owners. I believe by working with the state, the DOT, and Chatham County, all parties benefit by finding solutions to our transportation issues.  We must restore honesty and integrity to our county government. There is a general distrust of government by many individuals, but in Effingham County government, there seems to be absolute distrust, so much so that we are mired in numerous law suites because of broken promises over the past few years. I believe that if an agreement is made then the county should hold up its end of the bargain. I believe some solution or compromise should be made before we waste a dime of tax payer’s money with litigation. My hope is that we can regain some trust in the leadership of this county by simply doing what is best for our districts and county.