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Guyton mayoral candidates talk issues, TSPLOST, and business
road resurfacing
Bulloch County and the city of Statesboro are spending nearly $4.5 million this summer to resurface a little over 16 miles of pitted, cracked or otherwise worn but previously paved roads. (SPECIAL)

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

[Editor’s note: The Herald asked a series of questions to candidates for the various seats up for election on Nov. 7.

What are two or three specific issues facing the current council that you believe have not been met or dealt with adequately and how do you intend to address those issues if elected?


Do you support TSPLOST? If not, why not? If TSPLOST fails, what alternate revenue sources will you seek to maintain the city’s infrastructure?


How will you work with the Chamber of Commerce to attract and keep viable and resident-desired businesses (sit-down restaurants, gyms, spas, movie theatres, daycare centers, etc.) within the city? 


Candidate’s answered are in alphabetical order.]

Russ Deen (Incumbent)

Russ Deen
Mayor Russ Deen
“Growth is the most important issue facing Guyton today. If reelected, I will continue planning for the future by assessing the wants and needs of the community through public meetings and discussions with other community leaders. Effingham County must work together to preserve the quality of life we currently enjoy.

When I served on planning and zoning, it was always frustrating to not have a unified code to work from. One of my first orders of business when I became Mayor was to unify and update the Zoning, Building, and Subdivision Codes. We are currently in the process of unifying our entire code of ordinances and getting them online so citizens and staff can easily access and understand the laws of the city.

“I fully support TSPLOST and have been privileged to watch it change our city dramatically in the last three years. Guyton has repaved 35% of roads and corrected numerous drainage issues thanks to TSPLOST. TSPLOST is not a tax only for individuals, but also large businesses operating in the county, helping spread the expense of infrastructure rather than place that burden on property owners alone.

“If the voters choose to approve TSPLOST, the city is obligated to take and spend those funds on the projects listed in the TSPLOST referendum. Even future councils would be bound to complete the projects the voters approved. The city could not refuse the money nor could the county and other municipalities reallocate it. All projects on the list probably wouldn't get done, but it would be easy for a citizen to make it necessary for the city to comply with the letter of the law.

“Guyton has an excellent relationship with the Effingham Chamber and hosts a State of the County breakfast featuring local leaders every year. City Hall makes applying for a business license easy and is helpful in explaining requirements and offering guidance to new businesses interested in our city. We also regularly share local business information on our city Facebook page to encourage citizens to buy local.”


Michael Garvin

“I'm running to give the citizens their voice back. Strong leadership is what the city needs as it moves forward with the anticipated growth. The citizens should not have to suffer for the like of accountability not being held in city hall.

“I would like to resolve the sewer issue that the city is faced with because it's much needed to continue future growth. Public Safety needs to be overhauled to fit the needs of Guyton, there are several subdivisions that are not directly attached to the old footprint of Guyton, and they need to have coverage as well. Drainage is another big issue as we continue to add homes we need to plan and prepare for how the excess water will flow and where. Revitalization of our recreation facilities will give the seniors as well as the youth a safe place to exercise, relax and play.

Michael Garvin
Michael Garvin
“I support TSPLOST, the city benefits from it, but for every dollar that's collected, the city should bring some tax relief to its property owners.

“Working with the chamber will benefit the city by understanding the needs of the county as a whole and the availability of the city of Guyton.”


Andy Harville

Andy Harville
Andy Harville
Harville did not supply answers to the Herald’s specific questions.