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Candidate profiles: County Commission District 1
floyd forrest
Forrest Floyd

Forrest Floyd

Family: Wife Nancy Gercken Floyd (married 27 years); children, Kylie, 23, senior at Georgia Southern University, Forrest, 19, student at East Georgia.
Age: 50
Occupation: Chemistry department at Georgia Power’s Plant Kraft in Port Wentworth, owner and operator of 80 West Mini Storage and owner of Floyd Rentals LLC. Served 21 years in the Georgia Air National Guard.
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Born in Chatham County, raised in Port Wentworth. First moved to Effingham County in 1992 and left in 1996. Moved back to Effingham in 1999.
Previous political experience (what other offices have you held or run for): Bloomingdale Planning and Zoning Board.
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 four years:
1) 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.
2)  We must address the transportation issues that are stifling industrial growth. The only way to relieve some of the tax burden of the homeowners 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 investment, and its water and sewer investment, 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 and property owners. I believe by working with the State, the DOT, and Chatham County, all parties benefit by finding solutions to our transportation issues.
3) 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, this problem seems to be even more prevalent. So much so that we are mired in numerous lawsuits because of broken promises over the past years. I believe that if an agreement is made, then the county, and those making that agreement, should be held accountable if there is not follow-through of that commitment. I also believe some solution or compromise should be made before we waste a dime of taxpayers’ money with litigation. My goal is to regain some trust in the leadership of this county by simply doing what is best for our districts and county, and honoring our commitments.

Solomon Smith

Family: Wife, Linda L. Smith; children, Missy Roddenberry and Amanda Stafford; grandchildren Avery and Peyton Roddenberry, Brennan Stafford.
Age: 55
Occupation: Self-employed, property management
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Born in Savannah, lived in Effingham 39 years
Previous political experience (what other offices have you held or run for): None, ran for School Board and Magistrate Judge
Briefly explain why you are running for office: I was asked by some friends about running and decided to give it some serious thought. My business has been through a tough time the last five years, but I feel that now we have reached a point where I can focus on some other things as well. After considering some of the issues I have been aware of in the last four years, I decided to run for the office.  I feel that change is needed in the county commission — nothing personal against Mr. Brantley. It just seems there has been a lot of unnecessary turmoil and it may be time to clean house and start over.
List your top three objectives/priorities for the next four years: 
1) To try to bring the county and the three local municipalities together.  I feel that too much money (taxpayer money) has been wasted because the county and cities cannot work together. It seems to me that many leaders are too interested in building their own little “kingdoms” inside of their area of control, instead of what is best for the county as a whole.
2) To have a comprehensive review of the county budget to try and identify areas that spending and cost can be improved. I think there are many loyal and dedicated employees working for the county who have done a great job handling the business of the county, but there is always room for improvement. I would also examine current and future projects to make sure that our money is being used in the most efficient way possible and with the intended and stated benefits that were advertised, i.e., fire station that was supposed to bring insurance rates down for a certain area of the county but is being placed too far away to benefit those citizens. Instead it is located just a few miles away from the Rincon FD.
3) To push harder for development of the I-16 tract of land the county purchased a few years ago.  This is the only land in Effingham that touches a major interstate and seems to be the last place that the county considered for commercial and industrial development. The areas around Rincon and Springfield are important but will always be limited because of traffic concerns.