Family: Spouse Patrice; two children, Bailey, 17, and Carolina 4
Occupation: Public works director for the City of Springfield
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effngham County: Greensboro, N.C., moved to Effingham County in 1998
Previous political experience: I have not sought political office before, however I did serve as county administrator for five years, assistant county administrator for one year, and zoning administrator for four years.
Why I’m running:
My reasons for seeking office is an inherent belief in the county’s mission statement — “It is the mission of the Effingham County Board of Commissioners to provide, through the highest integrity, a county government which will assure our citizens a safe and healthy environment to encourage and promote a high quality of life,” and a feeling of responsibility to see that the values of this mission are followed.
We must restore the integrity of our county government. It is very concerning that the first year since my forced resignation the general fund budget increased. It is even more concerning that the incumbents for the 2nd and 5th districts both made statements in last week’s forum that they had reduced the budget every year they have been in office. We should expect more from our elected officials, we should expect honesty and integrity. We should not accept misleading information, false statements, and personal agendas.
Top three objectives:
1. To restore the ethics ordinance, which was repealed by the incumbent.
2. Restore the proper role of government to be smaller and smarter. Most recently the budget has increased, a trend that I believe will only continue if there is not a return to strategic thinking.
3. Reestablish the mission of the county by returning to strategic thinking. It should be the function of county government to guarantee opportunities for our citizens through proper long-range planning, fiscal management, infrastructure planning and development, and proper implementation of rules and regulations.
Phil Kieffer (incumbent)
Family: Wife, Brandi, and three sons: Bryan (10), Newton (7) and John Ross (1)
Occupation: Commercial general contractor
Place of birth/how long have you lived in Effingham County: Born and raised in Effingham County
Previous political experience: Elected as Effingham County’s 5th District commissioner in 2010
Why I’m running:
As a lifelong resident of Effingham County, I am keenly aware of the issues that are important to its citizens. My family and I are immersed in the community. Lifelong residents and those new to our community all carry the same goals for our county.
I have spent the last three years fighting for less burdensome taxes, continued public safety, improved recreational options and more economic opportunities. Having worked hard to strengthen intergovernmental relationships with each municipality, the course of Effingham County has now been set to propel it into the future. I look forward to providing this same strong, sound leadership for four more years.
Top three objectives:
1. I will continue providing an open, honest and ethical government that works for the citizens, not against them. The citizens deserve a representative that they can trust and count on in times of need. I have brought that trust to this position and look forward to continuing my service to the people of Effingham County and the 5th District.
2. To continue solving the problems created by water and sewer infrastructure debt that preceded me. We have made strides in the last few years, but the burden is still hanging over every taxpayer’s head. With glimmers of hope now in our local economy, we are now better situated to begin reducing that debt. The solution is undoubtedly creating more users of the services. A great deal of hard work lies ahead, but I am prepared to continue working for the taxpayers.
3. I am committed to continued improvements of our transportation infrastructure. Many existing roads are in desperate need of repairs. Several resurfacing projects, such as Bunyan Kessler Road, are scheduled to begin very soon. Chatham County remains a high priority. We are currently working closely with GDOT and Chatham County on long-term solutions.