Vera Jones (incumbent)
Family: Husband, Dennis M. Jones; son, Mitchell Jones.
Occupation: Entrepreneurial. Owner and operator of a hair salon and tanning salon and a licensed commercial and residential contractor.
Place of birth/how long you have lived in Effingham County: Born in Midwest City, Okla. Have lived in Effingham over 20 years.
Previous political experience: Represented Effingham County Board of Education 5th District for two terms and was chairperson for the last two years.
Why I’m running:
I believe my experience has well prepared me to make a difference. I fought to bid health insurance and saved approximately $1 million. I stopped the practice of unadvertised committee meetings. I worked to decrease the county water and sewer debt by approximately $1 million.
I fought to restore the use of the southern public safety communications tower after frequencies and approvals were lost and not reported by staff, restoring improved radio communication to both the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Rincon police force and other first responders.
I restored qualified local government status after finding its loss online and unreported by staff. I stopped the practice of giving public taxpayers funds to certain private entities, which violated state law.
What are your top three objectives or issues for the county in the next four years?
1. Continuing to find ways to cut spending and taxes.
2. Roads and transportation — both beginning to alleviate traffic on Highway 21 going and coming from Savannah, as well as continuing to repair the existing roads
3. Continue working with the cities and municipalities to share cost and improve service to the citizens in recreation, fire, roads, etc.
Family: Married with three children, who are all students of the Effingham school system
Occuaption: Allstate agency owner in Statesboro
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Effingham County native with family lineage from the mid-1700s
Previous political experience: Chairman of Effingham County Board of Commissioners
Why I’m running:
I think the board has been hijacked and being steered by a voting coalition that has been destructive. I disagree with the incumbent’s actions and digressions toward county policy that benefit her and her alliances. She threw out the ethics policy, eliminated the chairperson’s vote, slushed the general fund and cost the county nearly $4 million extra on top of a $12 million debt, $12 million that she claims to have “saved” the county, not to mention her undermining taxpayers by not returning over half a million dollars that was errantly paid to her prematurely.
I have owned and operated a business with a budget equivalent to the size of the county’s budget and I am confident that I can do a better job in representing both the county and District 2, for the right reasons. I’d like to see the county work together with the people who want to help us develop our community.
Top three objectives for the next four years:
1. Immediately re-establish the ethics policy that the incumbent threw out.
2. Lean county operations and reduce the budget to help entire county and burgeoning District 2, where home market values will steadily increase. Reducing the millage rate is of less importance to those who have increasing home values in District 2!
3. Move forward shifting the focus back to long-term planning, road improvement projects, and coordinated development.